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View Full Version : Causing trouble again on the ORVW Facebook page.



dmarkle
08-16-2011, 21:19
Here we go again. Old Rip posts something on Facebook, and I, of course, have to read into it. I prophecised during the Spring release that it would be the last of the PVW 15 to come from the Stitzel-Weller distillery. Others came to a similar conclusion and the rumor mill started churning up, with ORVW coming into the discussion on FB about how "rumors get started..."

Then comes the newest posts:

From one commenter: "When can we expect the release of the 15 year to distributors?"

From ORVW: "Late September to early October most likely (if everything goes as planned in the bottling hall)."

And then there's another post with a picture of a ton of small bottles (I guess for tasting individual barrels), with a bottle of PVW 15 in the center of it. Looks like they're tasting the new BT-based PVW 15 this release. I was worried initially, but I'm excited to be honest. I think it'll be great.

DeanSheen
08-16-2011, 23:27
Looks like they're tasting the new BT-based PVW 15 this release.

Not following you there.

You got all excited about the provenance of 2011 PVW based on a photo on facebook?

Virus_Of_Life
08-17-2011, 01:11
I think what he is referring to is that since recent previous releases were "Bottled ahead of time" this is a sign that they are tasting from a new distillate to try and match the profile. Of course I am sure we'll never get a straight story, but it definitely seems like the S-W pappy15 days would have come to an end.

I think they're doing themselves a disservice by not giving a straight story, or retiring the pappy label, but as long as there is enough people willing to pay the price they won't care.

RyanL
08-17-2011, 04:03
They claimed several months back on their FB page that the 15 would still be SW/Pappy fwiw. Someone can dig it up if they really want but I'm on my phone.

Edit: I understand what is being implied though based on the picture and their claim that all the 15/16 was bottled in advance years ago to last until???? Just saying what they specifically posted several months ago.

dmarkle
08-17-2011, 06:32
Not following you there.

You got all excited about the provenance of 2011 PVW based on a photo on facebook?

Not just from the pic, though it is photographic evidence corroborating my crazy conspiracy theories. Too bad I filtered out the PR&C threads, or I would tell you guys a thing or two about JFK and the "moon landings".

I quote Mr. Van Winkle, from this forum a while back:


In the last couple of years, we bottled up a 2-3 year supply of 15, 16 year to sell as 15 year Pappy. We still have some 20 year S/W in barrels to bottle as 20 year.

A 2-3 year supply must be running out by now. And I see them making comments about distributing the PVW 15 if things go well in the bottling hall, and I see some PVW 15 in amongst small bottles and tasting glasses. To me, that's proof positive that they're bottling new PVW. And for the provenance to change, it couldn't come from a barrel - it would have to come from a tank, or he'd have to be cracking open bottles and re-blending. Somehow that doesn't seem likely to me.

I can imagine why they don't talk about the provenance of the whiskey. I don't really have a problem with them not coming out and saying, "Hey this is no longer from XXX or YYY distillery" I mean, the implication there to many people would be that the new distillate would somehow be less than what came before it (though it will of course be less rare). IMO this is the real test for these guys. Can you take such a celebrated brand, where people have all been talking their heads off about the quality and whatnot and translate that to another distillery? Is the whiskeymaking as good at BT as it was in the last days of S-W? Is it better? Are your tasting and barrel blending skills good enough to make a whiskey worthy of the label? All good questions. I mean, Julian said himself that his "desert island" whiskey was some of the 15yo (Very) Old Fitz from a few years ago -- he said that was the "best stuff on earth". That seems to me like he feels there's some room for improvement in the PVW 15 product. That's exciting, because having not had the 15yo VOF, PVW 15 is my desert island bourbon.

I have no worries that the PVW 15 will become "Pappy van Winkle's Old Number 15" ;)

DeanSheen
08-17-2011, 07:32
That seems to me like he feels there's some room for improvement in the PVW 15 product. I agree with this assertion in that I feel the same way.

unclebunk
08-17-2011, 10:11
Not just from the pic, though it is photographic evidence corroborating my crazy conspiracy theories. Too bad I filtered out the PR&C threads, or I would tell you guys a thing or two about JFK and the "moon landings".

I quote Mr. Van Winkle, from this forum a while back:


A 2-3 year supply must be running out by now. And I see them making comments about distributing the PVW 15 if things go well in the bottling hall, and I see some PVW 15 in amongst small bottles and tasting glasses. To me, that's proof positive that they're bottling new PVW. And for the provenance to change, it couldn't come from a barrel - it would have to come from a tank, or he'd have to be cracking open bottles and re-blending. Somehow that doesn't seem likely to me.

I can imagine why they don't talk about the provenance of the whiskey. I don't really have a problem with them not coming out and saying, "Hey this is no longer from XXX or YYY distillery" I mean, the implication there to many people would be that the new distillate would somehow be less than what came before it (though it will of course be less rare). IMO this is the real test for these guys. Can you take such a celebrated brand, where people have all been talking their heads off about the quality and whatnot and translate that to another distillery? Is the whiskeymaking as good at BT as it was in the last days of S-W? Is it better? Are your tasting and barrel blending skills good enough to make a whiskey worthy of the label? All good questions. I mean, Julian said himself that his "desert island" whiskey was some of the 15yo (Very) Old Fitz from a few years ago -- he said that was the "best stuff on earth". That seems to me like he feels there's some room for improvement in the PVW 15 product. That's exciting, because having not had the 15yo VOF, PVW 15 is my desert island bourbon.

I have no worries that the PVW 15 will become "Pappy van Winkle's Old Number 15" ;)

Nice post, D. Looking forward to trying the new bottles and glad I've still got a few 2008 bottles bunkered for comparison.

cowdery
08-17-2011, 10:20
Here's a question. What's more important? Having Pappy 15 be SW or having Pappy 15 be the best Pappy 15 it can be?

The "best Pappy 15 it can be" might, just might, for example, be a mixture of SW, BT and Bernheim distillate.

They may not be telling you now what the new Pappy 15 will be because they don't yet know. Ask them when they release it.

Bourbon Boiler
08-17-2011, 16:12
Assuming pricing it was it is regardless, my priorities would be:

1. Making it the best that it can be
2. Knowing what it is that I'm drinking - distillery being the main variable

100. Coming specifically from S-W or any other location.


I think the frustration on this board comes from not knowing what's coming; although I imagine we don't represent the broader market with that concern.

dmarkle
08-17-2011, 16:38
My feeling is that if the whiskey is still amazing, then that is all that matters to me, really. Provenance is good to know, for curious, academic reasons. I find it strange that some people get fixated on the distillery itself, as if it is something other than merely one of the determinants of quality.

I really don't care about the distillery in and of itself - IMO a new PVW 15 release, maintaining or improving upon the past will still be more desirable to me than, say, another dump of SW distillate under the JPS label (which can show a bit too much wood, especially in the 18 year expression)

OscarV
08-17-2011, 17:55
So when we find out that the new Pappy 15 is a blend of Bernhein, Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller then all will be right?
FWIW I ain't crazy about blends.
My two favorites are WT and 4R but I find the 3 whiskey blend of Rare Breed and the 4 whiskey blend of Small batch to be all over the place and far less than the sum.

Just kill off Pappy 15 and go back to the original rumor of Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo making a come back with 100% BT whiskey chosen by JVW III.

WsmataU
08-17-2011, 18:16
FWIW I ain't crazy about blends.


Not to be argumentative, but blends (at least in theory) turn out a more consistent rounded final product. The problem for the marketing department is the prestige factor is not there for blends the way it is for single barrel/malts. I can see charging more for a really good single barrel because it takes more skill/luck to produce and is a much more limited quantity, but I don't think that they are "better" on average.

Virus_Of_Life
08-17-2011, 18:48
Just kill off Pappy 15 and go back to the original rumor of Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo making a come back with 100% BT whiskey chosen by JVW III.
Glad I am not the only one who thinks that! Nor the first to say it. Man, I feel a lot better now reading someone else make that point.

birdman1099
08-17-2011, 19:19
Glad I am not the only one who thinks that! Nor the first to say it. Man, I feel a lot better now reading someone else make that point.

alot of us think it...... I just dont think it'll happen

dmarkle
08-17-2011, 19:32
Just kill off Pappy 15 and go back to the original rumor of Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo making a come back with 100% BT whiskey chosen by JVW III.

That's my favorite rumor, except I think the Pappy label will be around for a long time. Let's face it, from a marketing perspective it's an awesome brand, and I challenge you to find a better looking label on a bottle of booze anywhere (though those old sharp intaglio - printed labels of Weller from many years back are pretty). It has everything you want. A funky, cult-brand name. Old man on the label smoking a cigar... The only better label is the back of the 23 yo with Pappy playing golf with his dog as the caddy.

Oh and BTW vaccines also give you autism and space aliens landed in Roswell, NM and there's a huge cover up centered around Area 51.

Halifax
08-17-2011, 20:40
With the tight controls on distribution, the increased prices at retail, and the recent press & publicity... my money is on that the label ain't going nowhere. Would be a poor business decision IMHO. My guess is that the labels will stay them same, and inventories will just slightly increase over the next handful of years in order to get the desired sales to retail price ratio. They seem to be positioning themselves as the preeminent bourbon brand. And their lineup has to have the highest average price per bottling. Seems logical that they would continue to do what is driving business. Retiring the brand would be counterproductive to that. But then again.... what the hell do I know. :skep:

AaronWF
08-17-2011, 21:14
There's a phrase for this thread... what is it? Spinning wheels? Well, I thought that the Pappy brand was going to be exclusively used for S-W whiskey, well I thought that Pappy's likeness would only be used on bottles that house S-W stock...

I wish it was 2007 again, when I could buy as many bottles of Pappy 15 as I wanted, for around $45, and not think about where it was from. All it did for me at the time, with my limited knowledge, was convince me that I LOVE bourbon. Pappy 15 turned me on to bourbon, and now that I'm turned on and interested in educating myself, I know how many awesome bourbons there are out there for me to cherish, and if I don't know what to try next, I know where to look for suggestions! Ain't nothing like the first, and I may never taste another drop of whiskey even remotely similar to the juice in the Pappy 15 I absorbed in 2007, but that's ok.

And I'll buy every bottle I can when the next allocation hits.

cowdery
08-17-2011, 22:40
So when we find out that the new Pappy 15 is a blend of Bernhein, Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller then all will be right?
FWIW I ain't crazy about blends.
My two favorites are WT and 4R but I find the 3 whiskey blend of Rare Breed and the 4 whiskey blend of Small batch to be all over the place and far less than the sum.

Just kill off Pappy 15 and go back to the original rumor of Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo making a come back with 100% BT whiskey chosen by JVW III.

Then you only drink single barrels because everything else is a blend, as you are using the term.

cowdery
08-17-2011, 22:46
Remember, they may not be telling you now what the new Pappy 15 will be because they don't yet know. Ask them when they release it.

Yes, Pappy 15 was created to distinguish between the products that were all S-W and the ones that were not. No one has said definitively that that has changed, have they?

And if it has, that explanation is now several years old. Plans can change.

The way Julian explains his business plan, the most important thing to him is to sell everything he releases quickly and easily and at full price. That's a successful season for him. He doesn't care about selling more.

But the bottom line is, don't worry about what the next Pappy 15 will be until the next Pappy 15 is. If they won't tell you then, then you have something to complain about.

fussychicken
08-18-2011, 00:13
But the bottom line is, don't worry about what the next Pappy 15 will be until the next Pappy 15 is. If they won't tell you then, then you have something to complain about.

This is the core of the problem though. The above quote from Julian now withstanding, there has been a great deal of speculation about what has or has not been in PVW15 for years now. Why do you think this thread even exists? Why do you think this topic comes up all the time? There have been other quotes from Julian and others that have made the situation less than clear.

Even with the somewhat definitive quote from Julian above, it still leaves questions open. Was it a 2 year supply or a 3 year supply? Was it mixed with other stuff to stretch it? When was this 2-3 year supply pulled?

What is the harm in Julian and BT just coming out and saying what has been in the bottle for the past couple of years?

I know that Julian and BT read this forum, why not just tell us? Why not do it on the Old Rip Van Winkle website? What is it going to hurt?

fricky
08-18-2011, 05:22
I don't have to know the source of the bourbon. I will taste it and if I like it, I will buy it. Not all bourbon from the Stitzel Weller distillery was stellar. Knowing that bourbon from the Stitzel Weller distillery is in the Pappy 15 does not necessarily mean that it will be outstanding. I believe that Julian has the ability to maintain a certain taste profile without using bourbon from the former Stitzel Weller distillery.

smokinjoe
08-18-2011, 05:28
The real question is, where did Julian's mustache go???!!?! Bring back the 'stache!!!

dmarkle
08-18-2011, 05:43
The real question is, where did Julian's mustache go???!!?! Bring back the 'stache!!!

A fine question indeed. One day he will be old enough to be the "old man on the bottle" and he's going to need to look the part!

callmeox
08-18-2011, 06:49
Not all bourbon from the Stitzel Weller distillery was stellar.

Don't let your buddy Joe hear you spouting crazy talk like that. :cool:

DeanSheen
08-18-2011, 08:14
Don't let your buddy Joe hear you spouting crazy talk like that. :cool:

Is that why Bourbon Joe is not coming to KBF with you this year?

Thats a looong car ride to be in with a guy who talks like that! :grin:

OT: As far as why this information is not disclosed it's all about the marketing. We have seen recent examples of VW product placement in unexpected places. The mystery WRT whats actually in the bottle just keeps the buzz going and the name of the brand on the lips of the brethren.

(Ok Julian, you owe me a nickle for the bump. A real one too, not those BT nickles.)

OscarV
08-18-2011, 12:55
Then you only drink single barrels because everything else is a blend, as you are using the term.

Technically true.
But I was referring to WTRB, 6, 8 & 12yo is blended and 4 different recipes in 4RSmB, these use the most different whiskeys for their blends and they sometime just don't work for me.

Also, yes, I am almost exclusive on single barrels that have been chosen by me and associates and retailers.

SMOWK
08-18-2011, 14:33
Also, yes, I am almost exclusive on single barrels that have been chosen by me and associates and retailers.

I find that keeping bottom shelfers in the mix makes the top shelf taste that much better.

dmarkle
08-18-2011, 17:51
I find that keeping bottom shelfers in the mix makes the top shelf taste that much better.

So true. I actually have a nip of Weller Antique or Maker's before really settling down to tuck in to my PVW 15 or 20.

craigthom
08-18-2011, 20:59
Not all bourbon from the Stitzel Weller distillery was stellar.

I have a handle of Rebel Yell that proves this.

mosugoji64
08-18-2011, 21:08
So true. I actually have a nip of Weller Antique or Maker's before really settling down to tuck in to my PVW 15 or 20.

Slumming is such hard work :rolleyes: :slappin:

Josh
08-18-2011, 21:17
BT nickels, I like that.

I should start harassing my favorite retailer about getting some Pappy 15. Hope somebody doesn't buy it all up around here.