Made From: Straight Whiskey At Least 4 Years Old
Origin: Louisville, Ky. U.S.A.
Proof: 100
Age: 8
Importer: Made In The U.S.A.
Location: Louisville, Ky.

Barreled in 1955 and Bottled in 1963
Old bottles of Old Fitzgerald are particularly valuable because of the association with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, whose whiskey has become highly sought after by enthusiasts. Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle ran Stitzel-Weller after the repeal of Prohibition through 1964, and Pappy became a legend amond bourbon aficionados. Stitzel-Weller was closed in 1992, which also helped drive the distillery’s mystique. In 2013, plans were announced to reopen.

Very Old Fitzgerald was “Bottled in Bond,” which means it was issued at 100 proof under US government supervision. However, some BIB versions were not 100 proof. Those were for export, and US labeling rules didn’t apply.

Pappy Van Winkle retired from the distillery in 1964, and passed away in 1965. His son Julian Van Winkle Jr. continued to supervise the brand through 1972.

bottle of Very Very Old Fitzgerald
Most commonly seen is the 8-year-old Very Old, followed by the Very Xtra Old 10-year-old and Very Very Old 12-year-old. The Very Very Old 15-year-old and Very Very Old 18-year-old are rarely seen.

Prior to 1962, the 10 and 12 were only labeled “Very Old” (instead of with two “verys”). In 1960, the 10 year old began appearing with a green Bottled-in-Bond stamp, and in 1962 the “Very Xtra Old” designation seems to have been phased in. In 1962, the 12yo began appearing with a green stamp. In 1964 (or perhaps later 1963), the 12 was restyled and renamed “Very Xtra Old” and Very Very Old,” respectively. You will find bottled-1963 12yo VVOF in both name styles, but we’re not sure if those weren’t actually labeled for retail sale until 1964.

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