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Old Fitzgerald is a brand of sour mash bourbon currently distilled in Louisville, Kentucky by Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. Beginning in 1870, Old Fitzgerald was first produced for rail and steamship lines and private clubs primarily located in the south by John E. Fitzgerald in Frankfort, Kentucky. Around 1900, “Old Fitz” was released to the American public and in Europe as well. It was one of the few distilled using the pot still method and continued to do so until around 1913. During Prohibition, Old Fitzgerald was one of a select few to distill under government supervision for the national medicinal trade, it was soon after acquired by Pappy Van Winkle for $10,000 who then introduced the “Whisper of Wheat” to the original recipe. By substituting wheat for the more traditional rye in the grain recipe, Old Fitzgerald is finished with a rounder, softer profile compared to other bourbons. It was produced by the Stitzel-Weller Distillery until, after some changes of ownership, the brand was sold around 1992 by Diageo to Heaven Hill, which currently produces and markets it.
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