I had the luxury of tasting this blind on an occasion prior to our VVOF meeting. It was instantly peggable as something from years gone by, or at least, a very good facsimile of one. I wrote that the nose was full and super-pleasant without being too big. Round and sweet, syrupy, with a little skunk and maple syrup. Palate delivers on that, medium-sweet with moderate oak, skunky stuff again, a little peanuts, and hints of painty stuff. Finish lengthy and mild, really brings you back for more. B+/A-
Retasting it again "openly" and in context of its amazing brethren in our VVOF meeting, I noted:
Just sweet and really rounded and wonderful. Man, I could drink this forever. Hits the palate perfectly. Probably a little overoaked, but I don't really care. Yummm!! A-
The nose is very nice, spicy with butterscotch. The palate is just massively woody. I like a lot of oak and there is some sweetness as well but my mid-palate, this stuff is just concentrated wood, which becomes too bitter and yields to a very bitter finish.
This isn't bad, but it's over-oaked and as a result, has lost much of the texture and complexity of the earlier VOFs. It may not be fair to judge it on destroyed potential and it would probably do well in any other lineup, but not compared to the younger expressions of Very Old Fitzgerald.
N: Red grapes, raisins, salty sweetness, strawberry rhubarb pie.
P: Hot, Big Red spice.
F: Long, spicy sweetness.
As an experience, this was so easily drinkable and soothing. It was perhaps unfair that it was in the same tasting as the '64 and '68 VVOFs, because it is a stunningly good bourbon. I rated all three an A, but the '64 and '68 are slightly superior. Nonetheless, as a whiskey of any kind, this is incredible.
A very comfortable nose, full of sweet vanilla fudge and buttermilk syrup, but very tame and not overindulgent. Sweet and easy!
Palate builds on the nose, and though it may not seem complex to only build on the nose, this one was far from simple. More buttermilk syrup, and maybe more oak than I anticipated from the nose, but still getting a pleasant palate.
My notes dwindled off, not from lack of enjoyment, but rather wanting to enjoy the finish without thinking. Great stuff! Probably won't taste it again. :(
Deep deep amber color. On the nose I got a very nice and balanced sweet oak and salted caramel vibe. All around I thought the palate had too much oak, which distracted me from what I thought was a delightful nose. Once again, this is another one I would like to do alone (or just with the 15); regardless, I still found this to be unique and interesting and something I want to try again. B- [10/18/13]
Retaste: The palate is initially sweet, but the oak creeps in quickly. Slightly more balanced than the 15 I have reviewed here. The nose is again wonderful. Second time around I like this one a little bit more. B [raised my overall grade to match].