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van Winkle Family Rye 13

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van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Admiral » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:10 am

Can anyone provide some information about this van Winkle Family Rye 13yo?

Specifically, I'm wanting to know the mash bill.

Is it a 100% rye, or does it just comply with the minimum 51% requirement to be called a straight rye.

Cheers,
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Laphroaig » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:12 pm

= or +51% rye grain ("Straight Rye").

Arrested into stainless steel tanks around 19 years of age I believe in 2004.

Not sure where you are located Admiral, but it's a pretty fair priced rye here in California, particularly when you consider it's in the same age range as the Sazerac 18 and other well aged ryes. It's also pretty strongly allocated here (like the Antique Collection and Pappy Van Winkle bourbons).
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby oldrip57 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:44 pm

I'm not sure even the bottler, Julian Van Winkle III, knows the mashbill (he may well, too), because his family wasn't involved in making it. He purchased existing remaining stock from the now-defunct Old Medley Distillery some years ago, from which this rye originates. As previously stated, Julian has acknowledged that the rye continued to age in barrels till c. 19 years, when it was tanked in stainless steel, from which it's bottled today. At the time it was tanked, he 'married' it with a second rye (from Berheim Distillery, I believe, though I can't seem to recall the exact detail at the moment).
Thus, from the 'G' series onward (see the bottle numbers), it is this later vatted whiskey -- and thus the mashbill would not be original to either distillery, anyway.
For the most part -- Fritz Maytag (Old Potrero -- from 100% malted rye) notwithstanding -- today's American straight ryes are pretty close to the legal minimum, which is 51%.
Regardless of its details, it's a very fine drink.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Bob O. » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:16 pm

Laphroaig wrote:= or +51% rye grain ("Straight Rye").

Arrested into stainless steel tanks around 19 years of age I believe in 2004.

Not sure where you are located Admiral, but it's a pretty fair priced rye here in California, particularly when you consider it's in the same age range as the Sazerac 18 and other well aged ryes. It's also pretty strongly allocated here (like the Antique Collection and Pappy Van Winkle bourbons).

Hey Laphroaig,

What local shops carry it? I don't usually frequent shops in SF but on the Peninsula I haven't seen it.

Thanks for whatever info you can provide.

Sorry for the hijack, Admiral.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby bamber » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:33 pm

Sometimes you get a little bag of grains with the VWFRR 13yo. Did that have the mash written on it ?

Anyway I must have drunk more than a dozen bottles of the stuff over the years. great whisky and my favourite of the Van Winkle lineup. In fact it is one of my favourite ever whiskies full stop.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Laphroaig » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:06 pm

Bob O. wrote:Hey Laphroaig,

What local shops carry it? I don't usually frequent shops in SF but on the Peninsula I haven't seen it.

Thanks for whatever info you can provide.

Sorry for the hijack, Admiral.
In general, stores that get the Antique Collection (George T. Stagg, Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17 etc.) would typically be allocated maybe 3 bottles of VWFR 13 Rye.

As oldrip stipulated the whiskey originates from defunct operations / periods. The truth is almost all the (American) rye whiskey you can find today, that is over 18 or so years of age, was the production of one of the two rye sources oldrip named.

After you get past that fact, the secondary fact to contemplate is this:

If you like any of these current well aged ryes - YOU BETTER BUY THEM NOT NOW - BUT RIGHT NOW. Because what you see is an overproduction of product from the early - mid 80s. After 1985 or thereabout, there was little to NO backup production and a very limited market for rye.

What that means is what ever remains will only get more limited (which unless you are paid in currency other than US Dollars) means it will only get more expensive.

The reason you can't find the VWFR13 Rye is because Julian is only releasing around 300 (or something like that) cases annually (world wide) until new make catches up (that'd require 13 years maturation), and I'd guestimate we're about 5-7 years into it with at least 5-6 more years of wait, til there is new back-up stock.

Further, this begs anxious question, will the newer make be to y/our liking as much as the older (if you liked the current rye available).

As a side, given that many of the varied brand names contain same sibling whiskey, I'm surprised more people don't prejudicially grab which ever has the lowest price tag... although, I'd have to agree that some of what's bottled is quite a bit tasty than others.

p.s. - sorry for the nostalgic thread jacking. Last I looked, (admittedly a few months back), you could still get bottles of letter "A", VWFR13 out of the UK including what I felt was the best variation I´ve tasted - the 100º, un-filtered presentation.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby bamber » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:06 pm

including what I felt was the best variation I´ve tasted - the 100º, un-filtered presentation.


The 1985 - I had the pleasure of a bottle of that :)
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Laphroaig » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:50 pm

oldrip can correct me if I'm wrong, but until the 2004 or so, marriage, wasn't every example of Van Winkle FR 13 Rye, the same 1985 distillate?

My understanding was to avoid the cost of new labels plus annual product registration per each individual market, Julian left the age statement unchanged although his marketing strategy was as follows:

Originally around 1998/99 (13-14 years after *1985*), he bottled a batch with the letter "A" on the label. The remaining un-bottled whiskey was left in barrels and a year later, B's batch was born (a year older). That pattern continued on up to around the F /G bottlings.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby oldrip57 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:44 am

Laphroaig wrote:oldrip can correct me if I'm wrong, but until the 2004 or so, marriage, wasn't every example of Van Winkle FR 13 Rye, the same 1985 distillate?

My understanding was to avoid the cost of new labels plus annual product registration per each individual market, Julian left the age statement unchanged although his marketing strategy was as follows:

Originally around 1998/99 (13-14 years after *1985*), he bottled a batch with the letter "A" on the label. The remaining un-bottled whiskey was left in barrels and a year later, B's batch was born (a year older). That pattern continued on up to around the F /G bottlings.


True that. To the best of my knowledge, the 'G' series was the first 'vatted' whiskey -- with the original component at least 19 years old, and the additional distillate 13 or (probably much) more.
Thus, the Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye will be 12 years old, the un-lettered bottlings of VWFRR will be 13 years, the 'A' series 14, the 'B' series 15...
Julian has subsequently stated that he wished he'd purchased ALL of the Medley rye when he could. Instead, much of the rest went to Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (the Kulsveens), who have turned some of it into Michter's 10yo Single-Barrel rye (closer to 20 years old, and likely related to the Saz 18 -- wink and nod :) ), Black Maple Hill 18 yo, and who knows what other ryes, soon to be defunct because the whiskey is all spent.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby Laphroaig » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:58 am

The Classic Cask is another one (quiet as kept, that KBD props up).

What I found quite interesting is, according to what John knows over at the Advocate, his assertion is that Brown (at BT) assures him the Sazerac Rye is the only rye BT has in stainless at this time.

I could be wrong, and easily over-looking something, but at face value, that statement created a bit of a conflict in my mind. Starting with if the statement is remotely accurate, where is Julian's tanked rye?

Also FWIW, the Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12 year old was actually 13 year old product from the same original 1985 distillate. It's sole distinguishable difference was it's bottling strength.

Posted by the man himself back in 2004:
jvanwinkle wrote:We originally bottled the 12-year 90 Proof Old Rip Van Winkle and the 13-year 95.6 Proof, Van Winkle Family Reserve rye about 6 years ago. They were originally the same age whiskley, just different Proof. However, Jim Murray swore that they were different whiskeys. It's amazing what adding a little water will do to to the flavor of the same aged whiskey.
Our 12-year is all gone now. Our 13-year VWFR Rye is now about 19 years old, so it is quite different from the original. It is actually a marriage of two diferent distillations.
The 100 Proof unchillfiltered was the same whiskey as the original but not filtered. it was about the best rye we put out.
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby oldrip57 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:19 am

Laphroaig wrote:...Also FWIW, the Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12 year old was actually 13 year old product from the same original 1985 distillate. It's sole distinguishable difference was it's bottling strength.

Posted by the man himself back in 2004:
jvanwinkle wrote:We originally bottled the 12-year 90 Proof Old Rip Van Winkle and the 13-year 95.6 Proof, Van Winkle Family Reserve rye about 6 years ago. They were originally the same age whiskley, just different Proof. However, Jim Murray swore that they were different whiskeys. It's amazing what adding a little water will do to to the flavor of the same aged whiskey.
Our 12-year is all gone now. Our 13-year VWFR Rye is now about 19 years old, so it is quite different from the original. It is actually a marriage of two diferent distillations.
The 100 Proof unchillfiltered was the same whiskey as the original but not filtered. it was about the best rye we put out.
julian


Thanks for that -- it's no wonder even Julian can't keep track of his whiskeys. Frankly, I would swear they are different whiskeys, too, though I've long known otherwise. I still have 60% or so of my last 12yo Old Time rye, and it seems much lighter and ethereal than the earliest 13yo. Who knows why? But, in the event, it is an epiphanical whiskey, the 12yo.
Though I might not have said as much 20 years ago, I trust Julian's palate empirically (it doesn't hurt that we've chosen from the same barrels, and agreed! :D ) -- he selects only superior whiskeys for his labels. Buy 'Van Winkle', and enjoy...
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Re: van Winkle Family Rye 13

Postby bamber » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:29 am

I asked the Van Winkles (at whisky live) about the letters on the bottles of the rye and they seemed a little vague about it all to me.
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