The Historic Kentucky Bourbon Anthony Bourdain Absolutely Loved

Try explaining why the second-best product is "good enough" to a chef — go ahead. (Good luck.) Perhaps more staunchly than any other industry demographic, chefs know that quality counts in crafting a worthwhile finished product. For the former Executive Chef of Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan, cutting corners wouldn't cut it. Of course, we're talking about Anthony Bourdain — to whom a quality spirit was just as essential as a good meal. Perhaps that's why in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread, he named his all-time favorite Kentucky bourbon as "very very old Fitzgerald, that's some nice stuff."

The chef-slash-writer was a connoisseur of whisky in all its various forms. As one Redditor pointed out, Bourdain posted a photo of himself with a bottle of handcrafted single malt scotch whisky by The Balvenie at the beginning of the AMA. The comment asked, "I see you're drinking a $150 bottle of scotch. How is it?" to which Bourdain replied, "It is very delicious. Very delicious." Bourdain was also an outspoken fan of the ultra-rare Pappy Van Winkle whiskey. In 2011, he took to Twitter to announce, "I am considering a full back Pappy Van Winkle tattoo." But Old Fitzgerald's untouchable craftsmanship is what set it apart from the rest in Bourdain's book. Old Fitzgerald pre-dates Pappy, for the record.

Killer craftsmanship, but is it worth the price?

Fans have been enjoying Old Fitzgerald since it was first produced in 1870 at Old Judge Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. It survived Prohibition and earned a spot of fame among whiskey enthusiasts and spirits historians alike. So what makes it so special? For starters, the rich butterscotch, cocoa powder, fig, and baking spice flavor profile makes this an accessible bourbon despite its high ABV. Old Fitzgerald is also a true wheated bourbon produced in compliance with the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 (i.e., aged for at least four years, made in America during one distillation season, and bottled at 100 proof). But this sky-high quality doesn't come without a matching price tag.

The 8-year version will set you back $549.99 via Top Bourbon. And at the time of publication, a single bottle of 19-year retails for $1,499.99. Original bottles can fetch as much as $5,000 at auction — and true Old Fitzgerald fans keep their spirit in diamond decanters (yes, really).

If you have the spare grand lying around, it might be well worth it to find out what the hype is about for yourself. To help curate the sipping experience, Bourdain even shared his ideal place to enjoy a glass of whiskey like Old Fitzgerald on the rocks. As he told Harper's Bazaar in 2015, "I would rather go into a regular bar or pub whose ambiance and atmosphere I like and be fortunate to find a good whiskey ... rather than go to a place surrounded by people taking notes. I want to be surrounded by people drinking whiskey, enjoying their lives, and listening to good music."