PDA

View Full Version : Pappy Van Winkle 15 - 2011 BT release



STLbourbon
12-10-2011, 11:30
Here's a thread specifically for discussing this new all-BT Fall 2011 release of Pappy 15 year only.

There's a lot of emotion and opinion since it's been accepted and understood that this no longer contains any of the Stitzel-Weller juice anymore. But it is the recipe and is their very best attempt at keeping PVW15 alive. So instead of talking about the great tragedy of what it isn't, I'd love to hear from folks about what they really think of it in its own right. Numerous reports are coming out that the stuff improves profoundly with some air exposure time and is nothing short of fantastic.

So what are your thoughts? I finally tasted my new bottle last night, and it's quite a wallop of intense and distinctly unique flavor, complexity, a powerful and enjoyable nose, and a very long finish. Very, very enjoyable bourbon, special stuff, no question about it, and I look forward to its flavor development as the bottle dwindles and the air exposure time increases. It's a huge flavor experience for me. I can still taste it.

STLb

White Dog
12-10-2011, 18:50
Here's a thread specifically for discussing this new all-BT Fall 2011 release of Pappy 15 year only.

There's a lot of emotion and opinion since it's been accepted and understood that this no longer contains any of the Stitzel-Weller juice anymore. But it is the recipe and is their very best attempt at keeping PVW15 alive. So instead of talking about the great tragedy of what it isn't, I'd love to hear from folks about what they really think of it in its own right. Numerous reports are coming out that the stuff improves profoundly with some air exposure time and is nothing short of fantastic.

So what are your thoughts? I finally tasted my new bottle last night, and it's quite a wallop of intense and distinctly unique flavor, complexity, a powerful and enjoyable nose, and a very long finish. Very, very enjoyable bourbon, special stuff, no question about it, and I look forward to its flavor development as the bottle dwindles and the air exposure time increases. It's a huge flavor experience for me. I can still taste it.

STLb

I understand that you're trying to stay focused on the whiskey in front of you, but I'm curious as to how you would compare it to previous releases.

STLbourbon
12-10-2011, 19:05
Comparisons are fine with me, but personally, I don't know the previous versions. I missed that era.


STLb

jmpyle
12-12-2011, 16:52
The Pappy Van Winkle 15 year for 2011 noses a bit more dry, has a fresher oakiness, and more minerality on the nose. Still, the waves of toffee, fruit, and spice are familiar and quite present. The front entry of the sip is sharper, less round and soft. It quiets down quickly and again - familiar Pappy 15. A bit more butterscotch and a bit less fruit than the Stitzel-Weller juice, but just awesome stuff.

Whiskey is a subjective thing, but I cannot help but wonder how many folks were predisposed to not like this because it's 100% BT juice? Flavor delivery is slightly different but this is special whiskey nonetheless.

STLbourbon
12-12-2011, 19:02
Thanks for the insightful review Jason. Much appreciated.

Question: Does this all-BT factor suggest that the future may provide greater quantities and availability of this new-generation PVW15? Or will we still be bound by the business/marketing scarcity model of the VW's? I sure do enjoy this stuff and would love to not have to fight so hard to grab up a bottle now and then. Even once or twice a year would be great, but without the insanity of procurement that we've seen.


STLb

jmpyle
12-12-2011, 19:30
STLbourbon. great question, and I would only be guessing with an "answer". I believe they've found a nice model that is working for them (scarce, higher price, consumer frenzy - that model!). I heard that there was more released this time than the previous one. Not confirmed and not vetted out by me, but that's the rumbling I heard. Is that a positive sign that maybe it will be a little less difficult to find? Perhaps, but I think it will always be a toughie.

ErichPryde
12-12-2011, 19:38
It's not just that- although there may be some truth to that. Primarily however, I just don't think there's that much 15 year old whiskey that is good enough to fit their profile.

I think that the Van Winkle whiskeys will always have that "insanity of procurement." They are incredibly good at advertising (in their own way) and regardless of what may or may not be believed about how wheated bourbons age compared to ryed ones, there simply cannot be all that much 15 year old bourbon that fits the profile.

I think most of the bourbon that just doesn't quite fit will get bottled as ORVW 10/90, 10/107, Weller 12, VWFR12, and of what's left some will have the wrong profile for 15 but the right one for 20 or 23. It would be really interesting to see how many gallons of wheated bourbon BT distills, and what percentage of it becomes WSR and OWA before it even reaches 10 years old. how many gallons- or barrels- are even left for a 15 year old???

ErichPryde
12-12-2011, 19:48
I really like this PVW release, when comparing it to WLW 08 instead of the previous PVW release. This is the death of one profile, and the proliferation of another one. It's happened before- even with S-W bourbon.


ooooh, what a soothing nose. sweet, sweet sugars. beautiful honey and caramel. Absolutely gorgeous, spectacularly sweet, wonderful nose.

Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Waxed floors take the lead in the taste. The mouthfeel isn't as full as I would like, and definitely more waxy than creamy. that loses this bourbon some points. But man, is that some good wax. The cinnamon hot is interesting, and the vanilla sugars play into the finish...

...which isn't as long as I would have liked. but it isn't unpleasant, either. Warm and sweet.


overall, good whiskey.Maybe 60 dollars good. But I'd have a lot of trouble spending more.

elmo
12-13-2011, 21:32
sorry I don't have the tasting vocabulary involving fruits and or nuts, etc. but this is good stuff. The naysayers are just whiners and snobs as far as I am concerned. I think Jason stated it rather well in a more mature manner than I am predisposed, but some people seem determined to not like the pappy 15 because they heard that it was bt juice. I say BS. If they heard it was a recently discovered barrel of SW juice the same people would be falling all over themselves to say this was the best ever.

ErichPryde
12-14-2011, 03:32
sorry I don't have the tasting vocabulary involving fruits and or nuts, etc. but this is good stuff. The naysayers are just whiners and snobs as far as I am concerned. I think Jason stated it rather well in a more mature manner than I am predisposed, but some people seem determined to not like the pappy 15 because they heard that it was bt juice. I say BS. If they heard it was a recently discovered barrel of SW juice the same people would be falling all over themselves to say this was the best ever.

It may effect the manner in which some people would talk about it, but it is thinner and less creamy than previous releases. It would be relatively disappointing s-w juice... But its pretty good bt juice. :)
but I think you're right, everyone would be happy that there was at least SOME sw juice left for pappy 15... We can have bt stuff any day of the week.

nivto
12-14-2011, 09:11
If they heard it was a recently discovered barrel of SW juice the same people would be falling all over themselves to say this was the best ever.

I don't know if I agree with that. I don't remember the Jeff 17 year being received so well when it was first released. I think there was a lot of excitement for the new release of SW and then followed by disappointment by many. People are going to be critical. The only way for you to truly tell how you feel about this bourbon without there being any bias one way or the other involved is to taste it in a double blind tasting. I'm sure we'll see some group results of a tasting sooner or later.

AaronWF
12-14-2011, 09:59
I revisited by bottle of WLW 2011 last night. Bringing it down to around 110-115 proof, it was distinctively reminding me of the new Pappy 15, and it became clear to me it's the same juice. The Pappy is older and the WLW is stronger and unfiltered, but they are very clearly close blood relations.

One question I have about this BT Pappy stuff: how can there be any claim to using the same special Pappy "recipe" (I don't understand what exactly is meant by the word recipe in relation to whiskey; is it simply grain ratio? Is yeast part of it? Process?) in a whiskey that was distilled no later than 1996 when Julian did not partner up with Buffalo Trace until 2002?

STLbourbon
12-14-2011, 10:27
I guess there isn't any claim to have used the same recipe. I just assume they're desperately trying to keep that flavor true and alive to the best of their ability.

But regarding recipes in general. Aren't there factors of the actual genetic choice of grains from one source or another? Some probably use generic, genetically modified Monstanto grains. Others may have very special and unique heirloom genetic grains chosen. Also various yeast strains contribute to flavor. And didn't someone point out that the old SW still was copper compared to stainless at BT? I'm sure I don't have that exactly right, but it seems to me that there are most definitely a lot of key details that make a recipe, even if the grain proportions are identical. Other parts of the process, lots of trade secrets. Even the source and age of the white oak trees chosen for the barrels. The depth of the char into the wood. The exposure to temperature and moisture changes thru the seasons. And then the whole metaphysical mojo imparted into the mashbill, that black art alchemical, less-discussable aspect to making a spirit come to life. It's no wonder there are so many wildly different flavors of bourbon...

STLb

clingman71
12-14-2011, 17:30
I revisited by bottle of WLW 2011 last night. Bringing it down to around 110-115 proof, it was distinctively reminding me of the new Pappy 15, and it became clear to me it's the same juice. The Pappy is older and the WLW is stronger and unfiltered, but they are very clearly close blood relations.

One question I have about this BT Pappy stuff: how can there be any claim to using the same special Pappy "recipe" (I don't understand what exactly is meant by the word recipe in relation to whiskey; is it simply grain ratio? Is yeast part of it? Process?) in a whiskey that was distilled no later than 1996 when Julian did not partner up with Buffalo Trace until 2002?

I would think that the BT Weller recipe would be the same mashbill as it was pre-BT going back to SW, with the exception of the yeast. Did SW have a single recipe? Same mashbill and yeast for all the various labels? If so, I would think the mashbill is the same for BT Weller as HH Old Fitzgerald, albeit different water, yeast, barrels, and warehouses.

LostBottle
12-14-2011, 18:09
I revisited by bottle of WLW 2011 last night. Bringing it down to around 110-115 proof, it was distinctively reminding me of the new Pappy 15, and it became clear to me it's the same juice. The Pappy is older and the WLW is stronger and unfiltered, but they are very clearly close blood relations.

Interesting and not surprising it is the same/similiar juice. Does the new Pappy 15 seem like it has more of that cinnamon 'red hots' taste than previous years? I ask because I always got that from WLW, but not from previous expressions of the Pappy.

ErichPryde
12-14-2011, 19:35
Interesting and not surprising it is the same/similiar juice. Does the new Pappy 15 seem like it has more of that cinnamon 'red hots' taste than previous years? I ask because I always got that from WLW, but not from previous expressions of the Pappy.

Kinda. it has a bit more wood and vanilla than WLW as well in my estimation.

ErichPryde
12-14-2011, 19:38
I don't know if I agree with that. I don't remember the Jeff 17 year being received...


You're right, may have, as much as anything, been a marketing problem. They didn't really market that as S-W, we did. or maybe the whole reason they got it is because no one else wanted it. Who knows for sure... but the current PVW15 is better, which says somethin'.

wripvanwrinkle
12-29-2011, 15:04
For what my opinion is worth, I find the 2011 and 2009 to be similar in many ways. To me they are like sisters, or at least close girl friends that dress and make themselves up the same. Both hang from the same framework of caramel, fruit, and baking spice.

For me though, the fruit in the 2009 is more reminiscent of baked pear while the 2011 is more like ripe plum. Also, the taste of the 2009 opens up with wintergreen while the 2011 enters with clove, barrel char, and maybe a little anise.

I also feel that the 2009 has a little of the wheat bread like nose that I associate with Stitzel Weller and Makers Mark.

I very much like the 2011 it is great stuff.

drunk
12-29-2011, 20:01
I only had the pleasure of the old stuff once, and after the first sip, I knew it was the best bourbon I've ever had. The new stuff is great, don't get me wrong, I was very happy to get three bottles of it, but it is just a peg below the old stuff. I have just a few drinks left of an incredible Rock Hill Farms bottle, which I get just as much pleasure out of, and I don't have to lose my mind trying to find it.

I think what really sets Pappy apart is the nose, and the incredible rush of flavor after that quick burn subsides. It's still got it. Let's face it. It is in good hands at BT.

Bamber
02-02-2012, 03:16
I've had the pleasure of drinking the full line up of Van Winkle and BT Bourbons and ryes over the last 9-10 years and I would tentatively propose that the current 15yo PVW is the finest of the lot (hope that does not offend the Van Winkles !).

In fact it is one of the top 5 whiskies I have ever tasted. Up there with (to be honest probably above) Springbank 21yo, Lagavulin 21yo and Ardbeg from the 70's. It is flawless butterscotch caramel deliciousness, perfect sweet dry balance. A masterpiece.

I had two bottles arrive in the post today. Noone will know about the second bottle. It is all mine to cosy up to at my leisure.

We all morn the loss of great distilleries but don't let that prejudice you to the continuing enigma that is the Van Winkle bourbons.

T Comp
02-02-2012, 06:26
I've had the pleasure of drinking the full line up of Van Winkle and BT Bourbons and ryes over the last 9-10 years and I would tentatively propose that the current 15yo PVW is the finest of the lot (hope that does not offend the Van Winkles !).

In fact it is one of the top 5 whiskies I have ever tasted. Up there with (to be honest probably above) Springbank 21yo, Lagavulin 21yo and Ardbeg from the 70's. It is flawless butterscotch caramel deliciousness, perfect sweet dry balance. A masterpiece.

I had two bottles arrive in the post today. Noone will know about the second bottle. It is all mine to cosy up to at my leisure.

We all morn the loss of great distilleries but don't let that prejudice you to the continuing enigma that is the Van Winkle bourbons.

Five years between posts means Bamber is serious :cool: ! Looks like it beats out the VWFRR you loved so much? Good to see you back and your well tasted point of view on this one.

sob0728
03-09-2012, 12:41
I like this stuff quite a bit. Great GREAT nose. But I will say it is heavy on the wood. I would like a bit more balance. I think it is worth $60, but I wouldn't pay $100 for it.

TheDude
03-10-2012, 07:09
I don't know if I agree with that. I don't remember the Jeff 17 year being received so well when it was first released. I think there was a lot of excitement for the new release of SW and then followed by disappointment by many. People are going to be critical. The only way for you to truly tell how you feel about this bourbon without there being any bias one way or the other involved is to taste it in a double blind tasting. I'm sure we'll see some group results of a tasting sooner or later.

I have to wonder if the bottles of S-W labeled "Jefferson's" that are still on shelves all over my area would still be sitting there if the label said "Van Winkle"?

I've tried both, and I agree with many that the Jeff 17 & 18 aren't the same as PVW--at least to my tastebuds. However, you have to consider the role that branding plays.

As for the Pappy 15, I was able to try last fall's release and thought it was delightful. I'm a big fan of BT bourbons, so I'm not disappointed that it isn't likely S-W...nor was I surprised at how good it still is.

TheDude
03-10-2012, 07:13
I like this stuff quite a bit. Great GREAT nose. But I will say it is heavy on the wood. I would like a bit more balance. I think it is worth $60, but I wouldn't pay $100 for it.

Retail for the spring release (at least here in KY) is a little less than $60....so you are in luck!

I just hope the price doesn't start creeping up into that $100 range anytime soon. I'm with you. It's a phenomenal pour at the current price, but I would hesitate to pull the trigger if it was triple digits.

Janko
03-10-2012, 08:17
Is there a date yet for the spring release?

luther.r
03-10-2012, 10:14
Is there a date yet for the spring release?

It's already hitting the shelf in some areas. Check their FB page for details on which locations have shipped.

Janko
03-10-2012, 14:05
Thanks Luther. Just left a voicemail for owner of my shop... He usually calls me when it comes in, so maybe he hasn't gotten his yet.

StraightNoChaser
03-13-2012, 11:27
I'm so sad I didn't stockpile more of the spring release last year :frown:

MarkEdwards
03-13-2012, 17:46
I'm so sad I didn't stockpile more of the spring release last year :frown:

I'm sad that somebody else cleaned out my regular store two weeks before I saved up enough money to do that myself. :smiley_acbt:

TheDude
03-13-2012, 17:57
It's already hitting the shelf in some areas. Check their FB page for details on which locations have shipped.

I started finding it in Kentucky (Louisville area) last week. I'm not sure if its all gone out here, or if some of the distributors are holding some back until closer to the KY Derby. I was able to find plenty of ORVW, and lucked into single bottles of 20 and 23 Pappy.

That's the good news...bad news is that no place I checked had any VWFRR and only a few bottles of the Pappy 15--all of which were long gone by the time I inquired.

BroInBourbonMD
03-15-2012, 17:04
A few places I leep tabs on in the Northern Kentucky (Southern Cincinnati area) received their shipments. They said they received smaller allotments than normal and 2 of them sold out in les than 24 hours. I was lucky they hid 1 bottle of PVW20 for me, but sadly they decided this was the release they were raising their prices on the PVW20. Stupid laws of supply and demand!

bigtoys
03-15-2012, 17:23
got these today. limit 1 each per customer

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee132/bigtoys335/etoh/IMAG0523.jpg

TheDude
03-15-2012, 19:08
A few places I leep tabs on in the Northern Kentucky (Southern Cincinnati area) received their shipments. They said they received smaller allotments than normal and 2 of them sold out in les than 24 hours. I was lucky they hid 1 bottle of PVW20 for me, but sadly they decided this was the release they were raising their prices on the PVW20. Stupid laws of supply and demand!

I was lucky enough to pick up several bottles of Pappy as well as some ORVW and Lot B from different retailers in Louisvilleover the past week and have yet to pay more than normal retail price. I thinks it a shame that some stores feel that its appropriate to raise prices just because customers will pay it--especially when they pass such "price hikes" on to regular customers.