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John E. Fitzgerald 20 Year Old Very Special Reserve 37.5cl / Stitzel-Weller

Lot: 5026413

John E. Fitzgerald 20 Year Old Very Special Reserve 37.5cl / Stitzel-Weller

Winning Bid: £1,650

Currency Estimate

Important: Currency exchange rates are constantly changing; this feature is to be used as a guide price only. All final transactions occur in British Pounds (£).
Lot:
Distillery: 
Stitzel-Weller
Age: 
20 year old
Vintage: 
N/A
Region: 
Kentucky, USA
Bottler: 
Heaven Hill
Cask Type: 
N/A
Bottled Strength: 
45%
Bottle Size: 
37.5cl
Distillery Status: 
Closed
product Details

John E. Fitzgerald 20 Year Old Very Special Reserve / Stitzel-Weller

Originally registered as "Jno. E. Fitzgerald," the Old Fitzgerald brand was devised by S.C. Hebst in 1870. Hebst was a rectifier by trade (using grain neutral spirit with colouring and flavourings to make "whiskey"), but he also had a passion for sourcing high quality barrels of pot still bourbon and rye, which he bottled as Jno. E. Fitzgerald. When the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was passed, rectified whiskey fell out of favour and Hebst went into the distilling business, purchasing a distillery which he named Old Judge after his best-selling flagship brand. Old Judge did not survive Prohibition however, and Hebst sold the Old Fitzgerald brand for just $10,000 to a former customer, a certain Julian 'Pappy' Van Winkle, who was sourcing label for his new Stitzel-Weller venture. Van Winkle had a near-religious belief in the importance of quality above all else in the bourbon he produced and under his guidance, Old Fitzgerald became and remains to this day, one of the most sought-after and respected labels in American whiskey. Stitzel-Weller was eventually shut down by United Distillers, and as their successor, Diageo, sold the Old Fitzgerald brand to current owners, Heaven Hill.

The John E. Fitzgerald sub-brand was launched by Heaven Hill and best known for the core-range expression, Larceny. Released in 2015, this highly-limited release was bottled from twelve casks of Stitzel-Weller bourbon that was tranferred to Heaven Hill's Warehouse Y following their acquisition of the brand from Diageo. The casks were moved into stainless steel in 2013 to avoid further ageing, and were dumped together and bottled here at 90 US proof.

The Stitzel-Weller company was officially established in 1933 at the repeal of National Prohibition in the US. It was the result of a merger between the A. Ph. Stitzel distillery and its biggest customer, W.L. Weller & Sons. The Stitzel-Weller distillery opened on Kentucky Derby day in 1935, and quickly developed a reputation for its high quality wheated bourbon, and its main brands were Old Weller, Old Fitzgerald and Cabin Still. The original ownership was shared between Alex T. Farnsley, Arthur Philip Stitzel and Julian Van Winkle. The former passed-away in 1941 and 1947, respectively, leaving the Van Winkle family as the sole heirs to the business. 'Pappy' died in 1965, having handed the reigns to his son, Julian II the year prior, who ran it until 1972 when the board of directors forced him to sell it to the Norton-Simon subsidiary, Somerset Imports. When they were bought over by the American arm of Scottish distillers, DCL, its subsequent iteration invested heavily in bourbon. So much so in fact, that their newly rebuilt Bernheim distillery had such capacity that Stitzel-Weller was rendered surplus to requirements. It was shut down in 1992. Still part of the Diageo portfolio, it has never re-opened and instead now houses the visitor experience for their Bulleit brand.

Important Notice

We would recommend viewing/close inspection prior to placing any bids. If this is not an option and you have questions beyond the offered description and images, please contact us for a more in-depth condition report. Otherwise lots will be sold as seen in the images.

Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.