View Full Version : ORVW 12 year old bourbon

05-14-2003, 17:52
This is new in Ontario, running about 70 dollars Canadian. Any views on the quality? This would equate to about $45.00 U.S. I've focused so much on straight rye I realise I have never had a dram of Van Winkle bourbon, oh sorry I did have the 107 proof, the 10 year old, excellent. But what does the 12 year old offer?

Gary (tiring of my Cy moniker, going back to basics http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif)

05-14-2003, 21:41
My notes on the VW 12 year Special Reserve 'Lot B' bourbon (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=Tasting&Number=8320&Fo rum=All_Forums&Words=texascarl&Match=Username&Sear chpage=3&Limit=25&Old=allposts&Main=8320&Search=tr ue#Post8320)

05-14-2003, 23:50
Many thanks. Sounds like it has that "old-fashioned" taste, which I like, so I will have to pick this up. I do enjoy the concentrated flavours of well-aged whiskey. The leather component sounds like a result of long barrel aging. I do recall now some years ago I had a bottle of ORVW's 15 year old bourbon and it similarily had notes of caramel and old leather. I knew any bottling of ORVW would never be less than excellent but I always like (if possible) to read taste notes before I buy.


05-15-2003, 04:28
The past week or so I've been trying out this rascal and also the ORVW 10yo, along with the Van Winkle Family Rye. They're all excellent, and I think I can say (up to now) the finest bourbons I've ever had. Maybe it's just my inexperience-- but as great as the 12yo is I found myself prefering the 10. For the difference in money-- the 10yo was about $22, I'm ready to declare ORVW 10yo the best value and also the best tasting bourbon I've had to date. The rye is also excellent. Ain't life grand!?

05-15-2003, 18:11
Well, now here's my take. A well-flavoured, high-quality drink. Certainly it shows its elegant wheated pedigree - I think I've gotten used in the years since I valued Old Fitz to the complexity imparted by rye in the mash, though.

Thus, I could not resist adding a dash of (all-rye) Lot 40 to my dram of ORVW 12 year old bourbon. Result was ... almost exactly like the current issue of Van Winkle's 13 year old rye whiskey! Superb. While neither the bourbon nor the Lot 40 reveal wild cherry medicinal notes on their own, the combination does - the alchemy of this branch of U.S. whiskey-making at work, no doubt..

But the bourbon taken "as is" is stylish, quality drink - it blows away most whisky(ey) I know of any style.


05-15-2003, 22:09
I am a BIG fan of the 12 yo Van Winkle bourbon. It is very similar to, yet different from, the 15 yo (I confess I have not yet been able to sample the 10 yo). To me the 12 yo has more carmel/fruity flavors...although these may be there in the 15 yo and it's just that the higher proof conceals it.

As for the Van Winkle ryes, I'm liking the 12 y.o "Old Time Rye" even more than the 13 yo Family Reserve rye these days. It seems like the taste is sweeter and smoother in the 12 yo.

05-16-2003, 05:25
You'd better stock up on a few of the 12 year old Time Rye's then, it is no longer being made. Only the 13 year is still being bottled, and even that as we all know is much older than 13 years...

05-16-2003, 11:42
Here is a review by the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago.



05-16-2003, 16:12
Sounds like some pretty good stuff!


05-16-2003, 16:42
Hi Julian, many thanks for this reference, with which I agree completely.

To me, the Van Winkle rye whiskeys are the finest straight whiskeys in America - the 12 year old ORVW bourbon shows a pedigree worthy of that renown, to be sure.

You may recall I met you and your son at your booth at the KBF Gala last fall (the whiskey fan from Toronto). Good to see your whiskey has made it through the maze-like procedures of our LCBO - I'd kill to buy the ORVW rye, though. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

Best regards.


05-16-2003, 19:18
JVW has a wonderful nack for picking barrels. All of his (the Van Winkle label) products are premium and superb.

-- Greg

05-17-2003, 13:18
Fully agreed, in that there seems almost a "house" taste to ORVW whiskey, no doubt the result of selecting barrels to a defined spectrum of flavours/characteristics and even though the whiskeys are obtained from different sources.

I would ask the Van Winkles or other knowledgeable posters, to summarise the situation regarding the sourcing of the ORVW whiskeys past and present. I know there were posts on this subject lately but some were compressed and I am trying to understand the full picture.

Do I have it right to say:

(i) some ORVW whiskey came from the distillery (Stitzel-Weller) sold by the VW family to a large concern (Diageo?) in the early 1970's or the new plant (Bernheim?) subsequently built by that purchaser, i.e., under a manufacturing agreement in either case?;

(ii) some whiskey came from the now defunct Old Commonwealth distillery; and

(iii) future bottlings (whether bourbon or rye) will come only from Buffalo Trace, with which ORVW concluded a joint venture last year.

Does this state the position correctly? If so, what is the ownership tree of Old Commonwealth, and why did it close? If not, what are the true facts?



05-18-2003, 09:39
I will let JVW or KW of BT tell as much as they want. But what I can set you straight on is that the Old Commonwealth "distillery" was a bottling operation. So no whiskey was produced or aged at OCW. I also believe there is a good supply of the whiskey (the same stuff for now) to assure us of plenty of ORVW products. When those barrels are finally exhausted, BT can supply product from the same mashbill. There simply is no room for the Old Commonwealth label any more.

The Stitzel-Weller distillery was sold to United which became Diageo. The distillery sits idle now. It is a part of bourbon history.

The bad news for me is that the ORVW 107 proof 10-year costs a lot more locally than Old Commonwealth did (far more than the $19.99 price in Chicago at my last check).

-- Greg