Fortune’s Fool The Prelude


Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Fortune’s Fool Whiskey

Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery(ies)

Release Date: October 2023

Proof: 109.6

Age: 32 Months

Mashbill: 62% Rye, 30% Corn, 8% Malted Barley

Color: Light Reddish Copper

MSRP: $40 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Press Release


Very sweet caramel popcorn | Cotton candy | Chocolate covered raisins | Light spice


Rye spice | Marshmallow | Honeydew melon | Kettle corn | Butterscotch | Raisin


Sweet-spicy mix | White pepper | Caramel chews | Warming | Medium length


The first release for the brand is a young rye that tastes sweeter and more developed than you might expect.

Fortune’s Fool was founded by Juliet Schmalz, a former Anesthesiologist turned whiskey producer. True to its namesake, The Prelude is the company’s first release. A 10 barrel blend that was distilled in Kentucky, the rye was aged in oak barrels that were air dried for 24 months, a factor Fortune’s Fool highlights stating, “[The Prelude is] one of the only whiskey products on the market to be aged in the highest quality barrels from Napa Valley's Seguin Moreau Cooperage.”

The Prelude is a surprisingly sweet rye, with a slurry of sweet scents on the nose followed by warm, sweet underpinnings as it progresses to its conclusion. It layers in spice as you would expect for a rye, but manages to keep the spicy notes in check throughout the sip. At 32 months, it doesn’t come across as youthful or even grain-forward per se, but it doesn’t have the depth that comes with more time in oak.

The company has already laid out their plans for future releases, including a 4 year old rye and a 4 year old bourbon slated for January 2025, and a 4 year old wheated bourbon scheduled for January 2026. This suggests that The Prelude is a one-time release and that the company intends to release products at 4 years or more once barrel stocks reach maturity. At the (almost) 3 year mark, the whiskey is good in relative terms, and I’m excited to see how their future releases turn out as a result.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
360 video

Written By: Nick Beiter

February 1, 2024
photo of author
Available at these retailers
Fortune’s Fool The Prelude
Also Check out
No items found.
Reviews By This Author
Recent Reviews
Recent Articles
  • Exclusive Content
  • new content summary
  • bourbon in the news
  • social media roundup
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyEthics PolicyCommenting Policy