View Full Version : Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
Under another topic, Gillman opined that the VanWinkle Family Reserve Rye is the best straight whiskey in America today.
Note that he said "best straight whiskey," not "best straight rye."
I seconded the motion, saying that as much as I hate to be that definitive, I probably agree. "Best" is always a slippery concept, but for everyday drinking enjoyment VanWinkle Family Reserve Rye is hard to beat. It is the only whiskey I can't stand to be without.
My Dad likes it too.
But let's not build it up too much, because it's still nicely priced.
Any comments here under the appropriate topic heading?
I've registered my concurring opinion previously. I assume that the price is so low (relative to its quality) because rye is somewhat out of fashion these days. Personally, I would be happy to see it remain so.
In addition to its own merits, VWFR rye has opened my taste buds to other ryes. I now find Wild Turkey rye easy to enjoy neat (as I was already doing when I opened your post), although I more often drink it with ginger beer.
I had my eyes on a stock of 12 year old VanWinkle Rye and bought as I could. It is all gone and the UPC and shelf markings are history also. I had a heads up that this was going to happen. Oh well there is still the 13. Like Chuck says , lets play our feelings close to the chest on this one. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif
Van Winkle Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey 13 Years Old.
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I've never seen the VanWinkle rye here in Northern CA. Doesn't mean it isn't around of course, and Sam's is just a few seconds away via DSL.
I have several bottles of the Hirsch rye, which I understand to be the same product bearing a different label. A superb libation without doubt. I don't know if I'm ready to call it "the best", but if I were somehow required to narrow my collection down to ten bottles, three of them would be this rye ... and five of them would be GTS. The remaining two slots I'd have to give some thought to http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
You guys finally convinced me to pick up a bottle of this stuff. I haven't really paid much attention to ryes. Don't get me wrong, I like the WT and OO ryes enough, but my heart belonged to bourbon. Not to mention the wrong impression I was under of this being a fairly expensive bottle. I was pleasantly suprised to see it at only $24.99 at the Liquor Barn. I am having my first sips as I type this and all I can say for the moment is, "WOW"! I know I have read previously that this whiskey is actually considerably older than 13yrs. I get that. How much longer do we expect the extra aging on the 13yo rye?
It's a bittersweet moment when you find a new bourbon/whiskey that you know you can't live without: A new world has opened to your tastebuds http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif, and a new hole has opened in your wallet http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
I 'think' the most recent bottlings of the VWFRR are presumed to be about 17 years old... I may be off a year.
I'm not too big on rye, but the exceptions to this rule w/o a doubt are VWFRR and runner up Sazerac.
I posted the answer to that question after I saw Julian at Whiskeyfest in March, but I don't remember now what the correct answer is. I think it is more like 15 years.
The deal is, he still has it in barrels, so each time he bottles some, it's that much older, but it's too much hassle (government-wise) to change the label. That means any given bottle may be older than the label says, depending on how long it has been in the store or in the distributor's warehouse. At Liquor Barn, they probably turn it over often enough that whatever they have there is the latest (i.e., oldest) version out there. A smaller store with slower turnover might still have some of the original bottling.
Did that make sense?
Loud and clear, 'o wise one. In this instance, new inventory means older whiskey!
Thanks for the correction Chuck, your old post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=rye&Number=15169&page= &view=&sb=5&o=&vc=1) does state that Julian says the newest expression is in fact 15 years old.
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