Into the Wheat Pt. 4

767px-Wheat_field_with_reaper_and_sunVan Gogh was an amazing artist.  Some of his most inspired, I think are his paintings of wheat.  The colors, the shadow play, the texture, and depth of these paintings seem to me to be some of his best work.  I also like the analogy to bourbon, the color the depth, and mouth feel (texture) are all important and like the artist the master distiller must keep these qualities in mind when he is practicing his craft.  So many things go into the making of a fine bourbon, the mash recipe,  the chosen yeast, the depth of char and length of time in the barrel all must be orchestrated in a way to get that outstanding pour.

The mash recipe is where the first decisions must be made.  Should wheat or rye be used in the mash, and at what percentage with corn and barley to make that perfect bourbon. In this way the Master Distiller is like an artist, and just like Van Gogh uses rounded and softer shapes in his wheat paintings, so does wheat make a softer and more rounded Bourbon…

Old FitzgeraldOld Fitzgerald 1849 is an 8 year old Bourbon that uses Wheat in the mash recipe.  This is a great bourbon with a silky and substantial mouth feel.  The nose on this whiskey is amazing.  It is sweet and smells of pecans and dark fruit.  I was so impressed by the nose on this whiskey I had my wife smell it.  She hates alcohol.  It smelled so good to her that she actually took a sip, and after the icky face she made, she actually said the flavor was good, and she would like it in a mixed drink!  For those of you who know my wife, you know that is a HUGE endorsement!

The flavor reflected the nose with dark fruit and pecans, it also had a lot of sweetness and some woody notes on the back side.  The finish on this whiskey was that of a signature wheater, smooth and understated, but long and satisfying.

Neat

This Bourbon drinks very well neat , with a smooth and sweet flavor and long and subtle finish.

On the Rocks

Cooling this whiskey brings out some additional sweetness and berry flavors, with a touch of smoke from the barrel.

With a Splash

Adding water really opens up the flavor of this Bourbon.  You loose some of the finish, and the nose subsides slightly, but the flavor is like a pecan pie with notes of caramel, dark berries and oak.  This is special juice!

Like an artist the master distillers at the Old Fitzgerald have created something of quality.  The Old Fitzgeralds 1849 8 year old is a great wheat bourbon.  It has the substance of a rye with the subtlety of the wheat.  This was actually bottled in 2003-2004, and I have heard that subsequent bottlings were not as tasty.  If you can find it, buy it and give it a try.  You might be in for a great treat.

-Don

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Categories: Whiskey

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2 Comments on “Into the Wheat Pt. 4”

  1. Dan
    October 29, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    Nice review. This is a bottle that I have not had the pleasure to try. I normally do not like wheaters. Mostly they are just to light in flavor but with the 8 years in the barrel this one sounds like a winner. Did you find this bottle in state or did you pick it up in travels?

    • Don
      October 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

      Hey Dan:

      Mike from BE sent me this bottle, so I’m guessing it is from Conyers GA or vicinity. It was wonderful, and I encourage you to try it if you can find it in your area. It almost feels like a Rye in the flavor, but wheaters have the subtle finish that this one has, but the treat here is that it is long. About 2 minutes. I liked it a lot. If you find it and try it let me know what you think.
      -Don

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