View Full Version : Punch and Van Winkle Rye

06-14-2003, 14:22
Last night I discovered the Van Winkle Family Reserve 13yo Rye. Wow, what a whiskey http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif. To celebrate my new discovery I fired up my first Punch Punch. Not the Honduran variety if you know what I mean http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

These ISOM's have a very distinct "earthy" quality too them. At one point I thought I smelled "Horse Stall" in my cigar, but in a good way http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif. Lit easily and burned very evenly. Draw was slightly tight, but better than my Bolivar the other night. The earthy flavors of the Punch paired well with the slightly musty, woody flavor of the rye. Burned my fingers trying to smoke it into oblivion. Great pairing that I wish I could have more oftem. While the whiskey is easy to find (currently), the cigars are a little harder to come by. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bandit.gif

06-14-2003, 15:17
Last night I discovered the Van Winkle Family Reserve 13yo Rye

I am so enthralled by the 12 VW Rye that I am actually fighting a small urge to uncork a 13. I think it best to enjoy this new discovery for now and enjoy a tug from a 13 later. I think I'm good for another glass of it today.

06-14-2003, 15:55
Be sure when near the end of the 12 though, to do a side by side, I'm interested to see if there is a notable difference. I only have had and have a 13 opened...

After reading an earlier post, I think tonight I'm going to try a VWFRR Manhattan tonight, should be one superior Manhattan. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

06-14-2003, 16:40
I'm going to try a VWFRR Manhattan tonight, should be one superior Manhattan

I think I will as well. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

06-14-2003, 16:48
We're going slightly off topic here, unless you guys are herf'n while your making your Manhattans http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif, but I have a question. Will the VWFRR, being just barely a straight rye whiskey, make as good of a Manhattan as a different whiskey with a higher rye content? I say that because this rye tastes a little sweeter than say the WT rye. Let me know after you try them.

06-14-2003, 18:24
Sorry bout' taht Jeff, http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif. Actually i was jsut kinda wishing I did have one of those Pappy cigars around right now while making these Manhattans. Did you call the number off julians website to roder them, or just write him yourself? I want to make sure the ones I get come in the box like yours did... And these Manhattans made with VWFRR to me are great! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif I'm really not that into rye's or heavily 'spiced' bourbons (I realy dislike Old Grandad 114), that's why I think I am so partial to Julians Rye. But I also do like Sazerac... Does that make sense?

06-15-2003, 08:57
It occurred to me recently that a rich, full rye accented partly to corn sweetness, such as the Van Winkle ryes, might not make a good Manhattan since the whiskey is already fruity and rich-tasting. In other words, adding red vermouth and maraschino cherries might be too much of a good thing. In fact this is not so - the VW ryes make a superb Manhattan. I would advise however to use less vermouth than normal, say 10-15% of the total mixture, not more. That way, the vermouth adds its complex notes but doesn't bring the drink over the top. One could also add white vermouth, or white and red for a "perfect Manahattan", in which case the total added could be higher because of the dryness of white vermouth.

Wild Turkey, Pikesville and the other straight ryes all make excellent Manhattans too. Rye was the whiskey first used to make this cocktail, it seems, although some bourbons work well - frankly the ones with high rye content work best and that brings us back to the rationale of the original formulation.

I believe vermouth was originally added to rye whiskey to make it taste like quality, well-aged rye. Why would people add vermouth (with its spicy, herbal, sweetish, fruity taste) to whiskey? Probably because a lot of the whiskey around was young, or blended. Bartenders probably discovered that adding a shot of red vermouth made the drink resemble quality aged straight spirits. Consider also the aspect of color. Old whiskey is coloured deep brown and red and adding vermouth to pale spirits would make them look older. The sweetness and woodiness of red vermouth were bonus points. The cocktail originated at a time when blenders were adding all manner of things to neutral spirits or unaged whiskey (prune juice, other fruit mixtures) to make them taste better. Maybe the blending business took its cue from practices in clubs and bars where the same thing was being done on a small scale.

By this logic, it would seem superfluous to add vermouth to a whiskey as fine as Van Winkle rye, but in fact this is not so, it makes a fine mixed drink. A poster to the forum recently quoted the Esquire definition of a Manhattan as made with "musty, sharp" rye whiskey. That language sounds like it was written a long time ago, when most rye in bars met that definition (and some still does of course). But that is not to say using the highest quality rye whiskey does not produce a fine result: it does but attention must be paid to the proportions. Sazerac's 18 year old rye may require a different approach again, here I think the use of both white and red vermouth may may sense, maybe as high as 25% of the total would produce a complex, well-flavored, balanced cocktail.


06-17-2003, 01:29
Be sure when near the end of the 12 though, to do a side by side, I'm interested to see if there is a notable difference. I only have had and have a 13 opened...

I have done a side-by-side tasting, and while both are excellent, I prefer the 12 yo. It has a smoother, somewhat sweeter and mellower taste. Unfortunately, I think they've stopped making this one.

10-17-2003, 07:39
Great post Gillman.

With regards to the Van Winkle rye, it is probably one of the best on the market. I adore it. My first experience with it lead to a good friend and I, and an empty bottle. LOL!

That said, try your next smoke with the very masculine Wild Turkey Rye, my second favorite. Its rich, earthy, leathery style really contribute to the cigars flavor!