What do we have here? Old Fitzgerald was first produced in 1870, mainly for rail and steamship lines. Can you image? Being on one of the last Mississippi paddle steamers, and having a sip of Old Fitzgerald? During the Prohibition, Old Fitzgerald was one of a select few to distill under government supervision. It was soon after acquired by Pappy Van Winkle. Old Fitzgerald was produced at his Stitzel-Weller Distillery until the distillery was shut down in 1992 and production transferred to Diageo’s newly built Bernheim Distillery in Louisville.
In 1999, Diageo sold the brand, along with the Bernheim Distillery, to Heaven Hill, which currently produces and markets Old Fitzgerald.
So, what’s in this bottle? Stitzel-Weller? Bernheim? We asked our all-time superstar bourbon specialist, and here is his answer: ‘Chance that it has some Stitzel in it, also Bernheim. Could be a blend of both, or just one depending on what might have been tanked or actually used for the bottling. There is no way to tell for sure, not with a bottle from that period.’