Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bottled in Bond

My liquor store carries two bourbons that are bottled in bond: Old Grand-Dad and Old Fitzgerald. They are both solid whiskeys. Smooth, but not mellow. At 50% alcohol, you wouldn't expect these to be "mellow" whiskeys. OGD has a very strong flavor with hits of an almost almond nut flavor. Old Fitzy also has a strong flavor, though I am at a lack of words to describe it in comparison to OGD or other whiskeys.

These also have some of the most interesting labels of any whiskey. OGD has a nuclear orange color with bright gold lettering proclaiming "Bonded". A seal of quality to octogenarians perhaps? An amusing anachronistic label, equaled by its counterpart Old Fitzy. Ole' Fitzy has so much verbiage on the label it is mesmerizing. It has a seal proclaiming "Old fashioned but still in style" and on the back "Your key to hospitality". It also lists a brief history of the brand and tasting notes. I can stare at that thing and get lost on the labeling, which apparently hasn't changed since the Kennedy administration.

I should have pictures up for you shortly.

So which one is better? Hard to say, really. They are similar in character, with OGD having a stronger aftertaste and that nut flavor. I'll do a head to head comparison and give the results. Either way, they are both solid value whiskeys. Smooth and hangover free, fascinating labeling, and definitely a conversation piece for guests having a pour for the first time.

1 comment:

  1. They are actually two very different bourbons with Old Grand Dad having one of the higher rye mash bills (around 27%)of current bourbons. Old Fitzgerald is a wheater whiskey where wheat replaces the rye component. The current Old Grand Dad BIB is close to tasting very similar to the juice made in earlier times by National Distillers and before Jim Beam bought the brand in 1987. The most current Old Fitzgerald BIB is a bit of a shadow of the bourbon when distilled at the Stitzel Weller distillery which closed in 1992. The distillery is identified on a bottled in bond bottle by its DSP number on the label. Stitzel Weller's DSP was 16. Some of the first post DSP 16 juice, which then was distilled at DSP 1, was very good but the most recent stuff not so much. Being bottled in bond means the whiskey must be at least 4 years old, from one distiller and one distallation season/year.