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View Full Version : ORVW Spring vs. Fall Release



mosugoji64
12-15-2011, 13:38
We've had quite a bit of discussion lately on the latest release of Pappy 15 and there seems to be a consensus that it's significantly different from previous releases. For the fun of it, I decided to compare the Spring release of ORVW 10/107 to the Fall release. I wasn't expecting much of a difference since the juice for both releases is most likely the BT wheat recipe. Boy, was I surprised! My Spring ORVW was bottled on March 7 at 9:32 a.m. (if that matters) and the Fall was bottled on November 7 at 7:50 a.m. Here's what I gleaned from a blind tasting of the two. Keep in mind that my tasting vocabulary isn't well-developed:

Spring: The nose is very oakey with subtle caramel and pepper in the background. The nose carries over to the palate with some candied fruit and faint toffee underneath. It has a moderate finish with a light burn. A WSR sweetness becomes apparent in the finish revealing its BT source.

Fall: The nose is VERY sweet with lots of vanilla sugar and black tea. The palate is much lighter and strikingly similar to WSR. It has that candied cherry flavor of WSR with very little evidence of 10 years in oak. There's a little in the background, but not much. The finish is noticeably shorter with a lingering sugary quality.

My Spring bottle has been open since then, so I allowed the Fall glass to sit for the better part of the afternoon to allow for some oxidation. I don't know if that made any difference since I didn't taste it right out of the bottle.

I also tasted a little Weller 12 and WSR for comparison. The comparison confirmed the similarity of the Fall release to WSR. I also found the Weller 12 to be more balanced and equally enjoyable even at the lower proof.

If this is the direction in which they're going with ORVW, I don't really see any justification for spending the time or money on ORVW. Don't get me wrong, ORVW is very good but there's little to distinguish it from the Weller line. With Weller readily available for considerably less, why bother.

That's my take on it. I'm interested in what others here think.

Brisko
12-15-2011, 13:56
I don't have the fall release but your notes on the spring are pretty similar to my recollection of it. I do recall it was fairly oaky for a 10 y/o.

At the time I compared it to OWA and while the ORVW was obviously better, I'm not convinced that it was worth double the price.

And I didn't do a head-to-head but my sense is that the ORVW was oakier than the 2009 WLW that I have open. I would say that it was nicely balanced, though.

White Dog
12-15-2011, 20:09
FWIW, I gets lots of oaky aggression on the fall and spring releases of ORVW 107proof. With cutting, it does not improve in the way it should, given the price and scarcity, IMHO.

It's gotten to the point where I'm only going to seek out the Rye and the 20.

mosugoji64
12-15-2011, 20:31
I ended up mixing the two after taking notes and the combination was better than the individuals. Still, I think I'll be content with Weller 12 and OWA from now on.

wadewood
12-16-2011, 09:21
I think I'll be content with Weller 12 and OWA from now on.

Both these in big handles and blend them. For about $18/bottle you get about a 10YO 100 proof damn close to current Van Winkle. Save your old VW 10/107 bottle and refill it yourself.

mosugoji64
12-17-2011, 13:09
Both these in big handles and blend them. For about $18/bottle you get about a 10YO 100 proof damn close to current Van Winkle. Save your old VW 10/107 bottle and refill it yourself.

Good idea. I may have to give that a try!

clingman71
12-17-2011, 16:55
Both these in big handles and blend them. For about $18/bottle you get about a 10YO 100 proof damn close to current Van Winkle. Save your old VW 10/107 bottle and refill it yourself.

Just tried this for the first time, brilliant. Why hadn't I already thought of this? There is a good chance that this could become my everyday pour.

dridge11
12-17-2011, 18:27
Totally newbie question but I can't quite put together the right search terms to get the answer...how do you get the specific bottling date/time?

mosugoji64
12-17-2011, 20:42
Totally newbie question but I can't quite put together the right search terms to get the answer...how do you get the specific bottling date/time?

Van Winkles have a code printed on the bottle. Some single barrels are dated as well, but I don't think the practice is common beyond that.

Old Lamplighter
12-18-2011, 06:25
Both these in big handles and blend them. For about $18/bottle you get about a 10YO 100 proof damn close to current Van Winkle. Save your old VW 10/107 bottle and refill it yourself.

Great idea! I experimented with a similar combo on a small scale a couple of weeks ago. About once or twice a year, I give in & allow my wife to drag me off to a movie that she has insisted I "must see". This time it was the latest Twilight flick. To get me thru these times, I usually carry along a flask. Of course, this time it could not be found so I hijacked an old 200ml of SW WSR that was hanging around. Only problem was it was only about 1/4 full. So, I grabbed the next best thing and filled it to the halfway point with OWA. It was a winner for sure. Not exactly as rich as W12 + OWA but definitely something I will try again as well as run with W12.

T Comp
12-18-2011, 07:15
Totally newbie question but I can't quite put together the right search terms to get the answer...how do you get the specific bottling date/time?

Here's the top secret decoder information in the PWW 15 Dot Matrix Numbers thread currently accesible on page 2 of this section. It can be very difficult to read, smeared and some report bottles with no code too.


K bottling line
76th day of the year (March 17 - Happy St. Patty's Day :) )
2009
8:13am

STLbourbon
12-19-2011, 20:54
I just found 2 bottles of ORVW 10/107 today at a local store. I've also stocked up on a few OWA's in the past 2 months. Earlier in the year the OWA I'd find had a lighter, more pale and golden hue, a great nose and a nice taste, fairly quick finish, not too complex, but very likable.

My recent purchases of fall 2011 OWA were a LOT more copper and dark in color and to me taste a lot better than the previous purchases, seemingly more aged. The color really struck me. I've been enjoying this OWA this month, and even last week when I finally popped my PVW15/2011 (amazing), I only allowed myself a couple of small pours and then finished the evening with this nice copper OWA. I remember noting how related and pleasant the OWA was, even in that context. Clearly the PVW was immense and huge in flavor and everything, but the OWA held its own

So anyway, I'm sipping this new ORVW 10/107 (fall 2011 release) and it's stunningly similar to this special OWA I've been drinking. Identical in color, and VERY close in taste and experience. I'd say the ORVW may be a bit more complex and lingering, but overall they're strangely close. Has me thinking that all this stuff is coming from similar barrels. Is it possible that OWA may be ORVW rejects this season? Same proof. Same color. The OWA is almost as tasty but is essentially the same flavor. I've had wider discrepancies from one bottle of the same bourbon to the next. These are very close.

For the record, this ORVW is better in every way, but $22 dollars better, more than double the price?? I can get this coppery amazing OWA for $18 any day of the week here, and this ORVW was $40 and quite scarce.

STLb

T Comp
12-20-2011, 06:19
... Is it possible that OWA may be ORVW rejects this season?...

For the record, this ORVW is better in every way, but $22 dollars better, more than double the price?? I can get this coppery amazing OWA for $18 any day of the week here, and this ORVW was $40 and quite scarce.

STLb

Your talking about the same exact distillate, and since the Van Winkles have partnered with BT, OWA will always be barrels that have been rejected by the Van Winkles, not just this season. Since Weller still puts out a 12 year label it can be presumed that nothing older than 7 year barrels are being dumped for OWA. Since the Special Reserve label still states 7 years of age it is presumed here that OWA is still at 7 years old since the barrel dumps are supposed to be the same for both.

As to pricing between OWA and ORVW (which is still 3 years older) it has been noted since the inception of this board that there is no straight linear progression between price and quality (in whatever way you are measuring quality). Great deal for you if you like OWA that much and find little difference. You are not alone either...Bourbon Joe posted a few months back about their tasting groups blind tasting results that had nas OWA being preferred to PVW 15. Of course we don't drink them blind most of the time though, do we :grin: .

smokinjoe
12-20-2011, 06:29
Here's the top secret decoder information in the PWW 15 Dot Matrix Numbers thread currently accesible on page 2 of this section. It can be very difficult to read, smeared and some report bottles with no code too.

Thad, are you getting close to getting that decoder info on a plastic ring? :D

mosugoji64
12-20-2011, 21:59
Your talking about the same exact distillate, and since the Van Winkles have partnered with BT, OWA will always be barrels that have been rejected by the Van Winkles, not just this season.

Knowing that the youngest in the VW line is 10 years old, does that mean they're tasting them at 7 and rejecting them at that point? I'm unfamiliar with the selection process.

luther.r
12-20-2011, 22:31
Knowing that the youngest in the VW line is 10 years old, does that mean they're tasting them at 7 and rejecting them at that point? I'm unfamiliar with the selection process.
According to the K&L podcast with Preston this fall, they have BT pull some barrel samples out of certain parts of certain warehouses and they taste them to get the profile they're looking for. So that says to me:
-They're getting the best barrels of the ones they try.
-They aren't tasting every barrel, so there must be other good ones going into Weller products.
-There are likely barrels in other warehouse locations that they aren't even trying.

An interesting related side note: in the podcast, Preston says BT started distilling Pappy's recipe in 2002. That means the first BT ORVW10 with a Pappy recipe would start coming out next year. But the OWA 7 coming out now would already be the Pappy recipe. But he did say the recipe doesn't make that much difference.

gblick
12-21-2011, 06:27
An interesting related side note: in the podcast, Preston says BT started distilling Pappy's recipe in 2002. That means the first BT ORVW10 with a Pappy recipe would start coming out next year. But the OWA 7 coming out now would already be the Pappy recipe. But he did say the recipe doesn't make that much difference.Maybe that explains why the NAS OWA is better than the '07-'08, it is to me anyway.

jeanraulmitchell
12-21-2011, 08:11
Last night, I got a bottle of ORVW107 from the Fall allocation and so far, I'm quite sad because I went through at least 6 bottles last year and sometimes favor it over PVW15 depending on what I've had to eat. The new release just doesn't have that great finish from before and it's not quite as sweet and zingy, at least last night. It could be my palette was off but it's the first bottle ever I've opened and not been happy with the first pour. I'll taste it again tonight. I was tasting against a new bottle of OWA and I preferred the OWA to it, so I am very suspicious. The good thing is, I also found 2 bottles with 1 year of dust on them and another with 2 years of dust on it this week.

mosugoji64
12-21-2011, 08:14
An interesting related side note: in the podcast, Preston says BT started distilling Pappy's recipe in 2002. That means the first BT ORVW10 with a Pappy recipe would start coming out next year. But the OWA 7 coming out now would already be the Pappy recipe. But he did say the recipe doesn't make that much difference.

From where did this year's release come? I know it's all speculation, but the current bottle tastes like Weller to me. Very interesting ...

BourbonBaron
12-22-2011, 06:15
From where did this year's release come? I know it's all speculation, but the current bottle tastes like Weller to me. Very interesting ...

This whole thing confuses me. For instance, if Pappy 15 is all BT juice now, and they didn't start using the Pappy recipe until 2002, then the current Pappy 15 isn't based on the original recipe? So how the heck can they call it Pappy? Do they just find barrels using BT's wheated mashbill and taste until they find something they are happy enough to call Pappy/ORVW (which is fine by me if it's delicious...just trying to understand the process)?

luther.r
12-22-2011, 07:59
This whole thing confuses me. For instance, if Pappy 15 is all BT juice now, and they didn't start using the Pappy recipe until 2002, then the current Pappy 15 isn't based on the original recipe? So how the heck can they call it Pappy? Do they just find barrels using BT's wheated mashbill and taste until they find something they are happy enough to call Pappy/ORVW (which is fine by me if it's delicious...just trying to understand the process)?
When Stitzel Weller closed in 1992, the brands made there were sold off. Heaven Hill got Old Fitzgerald and BT got Weller, for instance. When they bought the brands, they also got some barreled product so they could continue the line uninterrupted. So HH and BT had to start making a wheated mashbill pretty soon after, and it's presumed they would have had the SW recipes to go off of. So yes, the current Pappy 15 would be more or less based on a SW wheated recipe.

The Van Winkles started working with BT in the early 90s and said they made some changes to the recipe in 2002. So I would assume they were small tweaks to get BT's distillate a little closer to what came out of SW.

I'm also curious about the barrels, since the barrel and the aging have the biggest effect on the profile. I read that SW used a specific barrel that was 8-hoop. I don't know what the char or the manufacturer was, but the VW products are all coming out of the standard BT barrels with #4 char.