On the nose, Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond 15 Year assertively throws off a bouquet of caramel corn, Werther’s originals-like caramel candy, florals, strawberry jam fruitiness, baking spices and old oak. As the age of these batches have increased, the oak presence has certainly crept forward as well, something I can imagine being a bit divisive for fans of the brand. Also surprising: The sheer amount of spice presence on both the nose and the palate, which is far more pronounced than you expect in most wheated bourbons, but complements the profile in a pleasing way.
On the palate, there’s a good amount of complexity here in the Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond 15. Caramel apple, strawberry and creamed corn segue into moderate maple syrup sweetness, big oak and a blast of baking spices—again, more than you expect in pretty much any wheated bourbon. Syrupy and fairly rich on the initial palate, it packs moderate heat, about where you would expect for the 100 proof. The finish turns toward old oak, with a tannic dryness that actually helps temper the initial sweetness/richness, but some drinkers may find the oak presence to be a bit too dominant for their taste. Regardless, this feels (to me) like the furthest one would probably want to push the age statement on Old Fitzgerald, lest it be overtaken by the wood completely.