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Pappy van Winckles 20 yr Family Reserve

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Pappy van Winckles 20 yr Family Reserve

Postby T » Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:09 am

I was given this as partial payment for some work I did for someone.
I have no experience with this producer other than what I have read.
Has anyone tasted this Bourbon before?

First time poster long time mag reader and online lurker.

Cheers.
T
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Postby bamber » Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:13 am

I've only drunk it in bars but am very familiar (drunk >= 1 bottle of) with the 10YO 107, 15YO 107 13YO Rye and 12YO lot b. They are all fantastic whiskies. The rye is my second favourite whisky of all time.

I hate to say it but I prefer the 15YO and 13YO as the 20YO is a bit too dry for me. Still really enjoy it though and would love a whole bottle.

It's a famous Bourbon, with a cult following and many Bourbon fan's favourite whisky, so don't listen to me too closely. However, my advice would be to get a bottle of the 10YO 107, savour that until you get used to the VW flavour profile and then sample the 20YO. Otherwise you might just say yuck, because of the large oak imapct.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:02 pm

T:

I would consider selling it especially if it has no sentimental value. I would think such a bottle would go for more than $120 US. For potential buyers, check out the "advertise" link on this website. On the other hand if you're a longtime reader of the mag and online lurker, this is the sort of thing you may want to try.

I'd consider trying to exchange it at a local store for more bottles of something else (ie - Woodford Reserve or Elijha Craig 12yr). "Please sir, I just want an exchange! My father in law is coming over and my partner bought the wrong bottle! Please, take pity on me {insert horrified/pleading face}. I know I don't have a recipt but he'll go nuts. PPLLEEEEEEEEASE".

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Postby Laphroaig » Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:24 pm

Really. . . get rid of a bottle of VW 20? If it is this year's realease would you really ditch a bottle that fetched a 99 score (the only bourbon to ever do so - thus far?)

I'd enjoy it rather than tire myself out with getting rid of it. Some people gouge in prices but $120.00 is borderline delirious, when if you look hard bottles can be found in the US just south of $80-

I'm surprised the 20 would come off as dry... The Pappy 23 seemed over aged and just short of a bottle full of splinters of oak, but the 20 at least from this year wasn't that dry imho. Though noticeable differences are present, I think I like the (old) 15 the most out of the entire Van Winkle Line... Then the 13 Rye or 20 are close seconds... The nose on the 20 is simply fabulous. I've probably inhaled a couple of mil. 8)
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Postby bamber » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:12 am

I really need to get a while bottle of this stuff to evaluate it properly. Trouble is that it's around £90 a bottle ! Having said that I've spent exactly £40 on it a local bar (4 single shots).

In the UK, its very hard to know whether your getting a recent release or not because retailers tend to sit on these expensive bourbons for years. Worked in my favour for Balnton's Silver edition and Sazerac Rye, but I just know I'll get a relatively 'crappy pappy' (i.e. a heavily oaked version) if I decide to shell out.

Oh dear the Pappy 20 centre of my brain is well and truly stimulated now.
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Postby Laphroaig » Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:53 pm

Bamber you aren't exactly alone. The way I know what I got is this years vintage of VW 20 is that there was NONE available until this vintage was released, which went to the distributor and then the store. . . shortly thereafter it was in my glass!

Blanton's Silver I don't believe can be obtained here but doesn't it have some identification features stated on the bottle? I know the Antique Collection which includes the Sazerac Rye definitely states the barrel entry month/year and bottling month/year. So if you have a preferential year - it's right there on the bottle.
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Postby bamber » Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:30 pm

Actually - you're right it does. By luck I got the 2002 bottling, which according to JM (whisky bible 2005) is far superior to the 2003 (94 vs. 83). Don't think you can pick it up in the US, but you've got quite a few other bourbons to soften the blow :)

The Pappy 20 really is a tricky one. I'll probably wait until someone buys it for me, or they change the label.
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Postby T » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:56 am

The Pappy's will not be sold. Shame on you for even suggesting such a thing :)

I was just curious what others thought of the bottle.
I also have an "in" with the rye's they produce. I've heard that they are deeeelicious.
For those who have partaken, would you agree?
BTW, I can't buy them in my province, BC, Canada, so it would have to be a special order through a buddy of mine.

What say you?
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Postby bamber » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:01 am

Like I said, the 13YO rye is my 2nd favourite whisky of all time. There's nothing quite like it.
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Postby Laphroaig » Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:01 pm

Bamber if you like the 13 Y/O Family Reserve Rye... being that you are in the UK and you do know of a place that carries this... :idea: you should jump on a bottle of 1985 unfiltered VW Rye.

If some of the info I was fed is correct - current VW 13 Rye (not sure if age was arrested) but what is bottled today (as the 13) was produced almost 20 years ago (at least 18 years past) and it's said to be a marriage of two distillations (I'd assume the original + something supplemental).

There use to be a VW "Old Time Rye" (I think was the name) which was listed as 12 years old, but was actually the same whiskey as the original release of Family Reserve 13 (only the percentages were different and the Old Time had a little more water added to lower proof). From what I'm told, that 1985 unfiltered is bottled from that same original initial batch/bottling and is thought to be the best Rye Van Winkle ever made... this according to some dude named. . . Julian Van Winkle - :P
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Postby bamber » Fri Dec 10, 2004 1:59 pm

Thanks Laphroaig, I know the place you mean. Could be a nice Xmas present to myself.
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Postby Laphroaig » Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:32 pm

Incidentally Julian does insist that the current releases of VW 13 are actually close to 19 years of age. It's been bottled in small amounts each year (and is now arrested / tanked).

The logic on this seems two fold. The whiskey aged well so it seems they left the unusued quantities barreled to continue to age each year - but the label would have to be changed each year to say it was 14,15,16,17,18 & 19 years of age. The product would also have to be registered per year per state that required it etc.

Basically you are getting a well aged product which is listed (and priced) as younger than it truly is.

The second part is it will be a good 11 or 12 years before another batch of VW 13 is ready via Buffalo Trace's distillery. I have my doubts about the newer product being in the same ballpark but we'll see! But the small release per year is a supplement / ration, until the new batch is matured for market.
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