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sob0728
06-11-2012, 08:10
Thanks to John and Chuck. Interesting and informative.

http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/06/11/what%e2%80%99s-in-that-bottle-of-van-winkle-anyway/

These statements seem to mesh with everything the Van Winkles and Harlan Wheatley have said. Even admitting that the 20/23 have BT juice in them. And the 15 will have some amount (likely small, I would guess) of S-W juice, which was unexpected information (at least to me).

p_elliott
06-11-2012, 08:21
Here we go again .............

TradingBoiler
06-11-2012, 08:25
I agree! This post completely caught me off guard but kudos to John Hansell, Chuck Cowdery, and the Whiskey Advocate guys for hopefully putting all the finger pointing to rest. All that matters is it's damn fine bourbon that is meant to be enjoyed!

sob0728
06-11-2012, 08:31
Here we go again .............

I knew this topic would draw some ire from a lot of people around here, but I thought it was interesting information.

LostBottle
06-11-2012, 08:37
So it would seem that Fall 2011 or Spring 2012 was the last release where Pappy 20 & 23 were all SW whiskey (remember, Julian confirmed 2011 20 & 23 were 100% Stitzel-Weller). With the distillery closing in 1992 and BT and Bernheim not making those wheaters until '91 and '92, this makes perfect sense for the 20 - they must be light on 23 barrels.

jbutler
06-11-2012, 08:45
I knew this topic would draw some ire from a lot of people around here, but I thought it was interesting information.
It's pretty simple really. If this one blows up like the last one, then some folks are going to find themselves without posting privileges.

Brisko
06-11-2012, 09:02
Thanks to John and Chuck. Interesting and informative.

http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/06/11/what%e2%80%99s-in-that-bottle-of-van-winkle-anyway/

These statements seem to mesh with everything the Van Winkles and Harlan Wheatley have said. Even admitting that the 20/23 have BT juice in them. And the 15 will have some amount (likely small, I would guess) of S-W juice, which was unexpected information (at least to me).

Except for the rye...

clingman71
06-11-2012, 09:40
Thank you. I am in no way informed beyond what we've all already read. But my opinion mixed with what I believe to be common sense was that there would be years of "mixed" bottles. It's the only thing that makes sense to keep a profile consistent and ease the transition. The 15 being a mix of all 3 now, then Bernheim/BT before 100% BT is what I assumed was the case, just not knowing the timing ('09,'11, or '12) that it would happen. It does seem strange that the 20 and 23 are a mix of SW/BT w/o Bernheim, but maybe the amount and age of their Bernheim stock didn't fit the bill. I still like knowing the source for my.own.personal knowledge, but in the end it doesn't change my opinion of the product. I've never had a bad bottle of Van Winkle. I am a big fan of Weller, but there is some inconsistency , it seems like VW is the Weller insurance policy so to speak, best of a good brand.

The surprise in this to me is that the12 isn't 100% BT. And as I've said before, I understand their marketing plan to keep their product low supply/high demand, but I don't think bumping ORVW some would hurt the lot B and Pappy image.

MacinJosh
06-11-2012, 10:03
I applaud John and Chuck for contacting Julian and advocating for open transparency. I know it can get a bit complicated for Independent Bottlers in terms of relationships with the distillers and whatnot, but I'm always in favor of full disclosure. As an enthusiast, I appreciate the effort.

Good article. Thank you gentlemen.

White Dog
06-11-2012, 10:32
I really didn't wanna post on this thread, but I can't help myself.

According to the article, this fall's 23yr will be a mixture of BT and S-W. The article also states that BT started making wheated Bourbon in 1991. So the BT component in the 23 is NOT 23 years old. Maybe this years release will be the Old no.23 Brand.

I really don't give a rats ass, as I have no plans on buying it, but I'm just saying...

CorvallisCracker
06-11-2012, 10:44
I really didn't wanna post on this thread, but I can't help myself.

Boy, do I know that feeling. :lol:



According to the article, this fall's 23yr will be a mixture of BT and S-W. The article also states that BT started making wheated Bourbon in 1991. So the BT component in the 23 is NOT 23 years old. Maybe this years release will be the Old no.23 Brand.

I pointed out the same discrepancy in a comment posted to Hansell's article. It continues to be "awaiting moderation". As there is a published comment timestamped later than mine, I expect "awaiting moderation" will be its perpetual state.

They hate it when you ask questions for which they have no good answer. :searching:

Rughi
06-11-2012, 10:49
Hey guys, check it out!

All the cool people are moving on to speculate whether Breakout Rye is made at Dickel. Hey, wait up...

Brisko
06-11-2012, 10:59
I'm not going to look up the original trainwreck thread but I recall that the claim was made that BT had been contract distilling wheated mash for many years, since 1981, maybe?

damn it, now I've gone and posted on this thread twice.

CorvallisCracker
06-11-2012, 11:34
I pointed out the same discrepancy in a comment posted to Hansell's article. It continues to be "awaiting moderation". As there is a published comment timestamped later than mine, I expect "awaiting moderation" will be its perpetual state.

Well, well. They published it. :cool:

JohnHansell
06-11-2012, 12:03
Boy, do I know that feeling. :lol:


I pointed out the same discrepancy in a comment posted to Hansell's article. It continues to be "awaiting moderation". As there is a published comment timestamped later than mine, I expect "awaiting moderation" will be its perpetual state.

They hate it when you ask questions for which they have no good answer. :searching:

It's up. I am allowed to have lunch, you know. :grin: Only first-time commentors go into the moderation queue. The comment afterwards was from a regular commentor and it went straight through. Your next comment will go straight through. We are waiting to hear back from Julian on the math discrepancy.

JohnHansell
06-11-2012, 12:09
It's pretty simple really. If this one blows up like the last one, then some folks are going to find themselves without posting privileges.

Yeah, I've only canned three people in the many years of my blog. "Harry G" on the Pappy 15 post was #3.

CorvallisCracker
06-11-2012, 12:22
I recall that the claim was made that BT had been contract distilling wheated mash for many years, since 1981, maybe?


Yes, perhaps he meant to say 1981, not 1991. After all, I think JVW III is even older than me and I have trouble remembering anything that occurred over a week ago.


It's up. I am allowed to have lunch, you know. :grin:

You don't have it at your desk, like us high-productivity types?



Only first-time commentors go into the moderation queue.

I've never commented there before? Really? I thought I had...was a couple of weeks ago...



We are waiting to hear back from Julian on the math discrepancy.

We are too. Thanks!

JohnHansell
06-11-2012, 12:55
You don't have it at your desk, like us high-productivity types? I've never commented there before? Really? I thought I had...was a couple of weeks ago...!

Actually, it was a bike ride I took at lunch. (Too much beer, whiskey and food over the weekend...) Normally I eat at my desk too. :frown:

Regarding the moderation thing, I've noticed this in the past, too, where regular commentors get stuck in the queue. Not sure why. I just assumed the person was using a different email or IP address.

cowdery
06-11-2012, 13:54
And, of course, we had to take time out to put the final touches on our plan for world domination. My black helicopter is warming up now. Have I said too much?

CorvallisCracker
06-11-2012, 14:35
Regarding the moderation thing, I've noticed this in the past, too, where regular commentors get stuck in the queue. Not sure why. I just assumed the person was using a different email or IP address.

Previous comment(s) would have been made from my laptop, which uses a different IP address. Also might have been made as "CorvallisCracker" rather than my name, if that makes a difference.

And pardon me if the comment came off as a little paranoid, but that sort of thing does happen. A while ago I was visiting a blog site where a commenter (not me) accused the blogger of posting a certain "tells all" article in an effort to generate more interest in his blog. Said blogger replied that if that had been his goal, he'd have posted pics of naked girls. I checked the hosting organization's TOS, saw that wouldn't be allowed, and posted a comment pointing that out. Comment was never published. :skep: Which does not help my already too cynical nature.

But I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. My apologies.



Have I said too much?

Ask Jim.

Josh
06-11-2012, 17:01
And pardon me if the comment came off as a little paranoid, but that sort of thing does happen. A while ago I was visiting a blog site where a commenter (not me) accused the blogger of posting a certain "tells all" article in an effort to generate more interest in his blog. Said blogger replied that if that had been his goal, he'd have posted pics of naked girls. I checked the hosting organization's TOS, saw that wouldn't be allowed, and posted a comment pointing that out. Comment was never published. :skep: Which does not help my already too cynical nature.

Funny. You did a similar thing to my blog but like John I made sure the comment was posted. Odd.

CorvallisCracker
06-11-2012, 17:21
Funny. You did a similar thing to my blog but like John I made sure the comment was posted. Odd.

It was to your blog I was referring.

What's odd is that I made the comment on May 26, about the same time as Oscar and Ben made theirs. Did not see mine posted, quit checking after three days or so. Having no other reason to visit your blog, I was unaware that my comment was eventually posted with a "June 6" date.

sob0728
06-11-2012, 17:31
Funny. You did a similar thing to my blog but like John I made sure the comment was posted. Odd.

What's really strange is that the only reason I ended up getting into bourbon is because I accidentally ended up on your blog after misspelling nipology.:grin:

Josh
06-11-2012, 17:42
It was to your blog I was referring.

What's odd is that I made the comment on May 26, about the same time as Oscar and Ben made theirs. Did not see mine posted, quit checking after three days or so. Having no other reason to visit your blog, I was unaware that my comment was eventually posted with a "June 6" date.

I apologize for the oversight. I am happy to offer you 100% of the revenue I earned off of my blog last year as restitution, and 8x10 copies of all the pictures of naked women I posted last year, at my expense of course.


What's really strange is that the only reason I ended up getting into bourbon is because I accidentally ended up on your blog after misspelling nipology.:grin:

From what I hear, nipology's viewership has been sagging in recent years.

smokinjoe
06-11-2012, 18:03
Of course, I earned my BS in Nipology at Ball State...

soad
06-11-2012, 18:34
Of course, I earned my BS in Nipology at Ball State...

This thread has gone to hell.....but not in a way that anyone could have envisioned. :grin:

fussychicken
06-11-2012, 18:42
Wow, the ongoing saga continues. This only seems to contribute to the confusion, not help it as this information seems to be different than other previous "official" statements

What I don't understand is what is the motivation for the VW's and for BT to continue this? BT has the ability to be very clear. The BTAC info sheets are proof of this. Why don't the Van Winkle' whiskeys follow the same example? Just create an info sheet for each release. Problem solved.

All this drama does is cause unhappiness and ill will towards the brand.

Why would I want my brand to be associated with such things?

bllygthrd
06-11-2012, 18:43
This thread has gone to hell.....but not in a way that anyone could have envisioned. :grin:

Hey, it made me look up the definition of "nipology".

cowdery
06-11-2012, 18:54
Wow, the ongoing saga continues. This only seems to contribute to the confusion, not help it as this information seems to be different than other previous "official" statements

What I don't understand is what is the motivation for the VW's and for BT to continue this? BT has the ability to be very clear. The BTAC info sheets are proof of this. Why don't the Van Winkle' whiskeys follow the same example? Just create an info sheet for each release. Problem solved.

All this drama does is cause unhappiness and ill will towards the brand.

Why would I want my brand to be associated with such things?

At the risk of, well, who knows ...

What, exactly, is unclear to you? How could it be made more clear? What will remove this stone from your shoe?

White Dog
06-11-2012, 19:00
Wow, the ongoing saga continues. This only seems to contribute to the confusion, not help it as this information seems to be different than other previous "official" statements

What I don't understand is what is the motivation for the VW's and for BT to continue this? BT has the ability to be very clear. The BTAC info sheets are proof of this. Why don't the Van Winkle' whiskeys follow the same example? Just create an info sheet for each release. Problem solved.

All this drama does is cause unhappiness and ill will towards the brand.

Why would I want my brand to be associated with such things?

Exactly. They could easily do this, but they choose not to.:skep:

White Dog
06-11-2012, 19:11
At the risk of, well, who knows ...

What, exactly, is unclear to you? How could it be made more clear? What will remove this stone from your shoe?

Well, how about the point we brought up about the 23yr Pappy? When exactly did BT start making Wheated Bourbon? And how about the fact that Harlan stated that that the Rye included BT juice, but this isn't addressed in your article?

And Fussychicken is right. They could provide spec sheets, but they don't. You yourself stated in a Hirsch Canadian Rye thread that you don't care for secondary bottlers when they don't provide the source, so why play favorites?

In the article on Hansell's Board you state that it's impossible for Julian to be be sure where all the juice comes from. Why not? Don't they keep records??

Someone in another thread stated a desire that use of the term "Straight Bourbon" should be legally changed to also include the distiller who made it. That's a great idea. Many on this board will say that only the quality of the juice matters. I enjoy finding out who made it. It's fun for me. And when I can't find out, well, that bums me out. Is it too much to ask, even if many of you don't care??

sob0728
06-11-2012, 19:17
Well, how about the point we brought up about the 23yr Pappy? When exactly did BT start making Wheated Bourbon? And how about the fact that Harlan stated that that the Rye included BT juice, but this isn't addressed in your article?

And Fussychicken is right. They could provide spec sheets, but they don't. You yourself stated in a Hirsch Canadian Rye thread that you don't care for secondary bottlers when they don't provide the source, so why play favorites?

Someone in another thread stated a desire that use of the term "Straight Bourbon" should be legally changed to also include the distiller who made it. That's a great idea. Many on this board will say that only the quality of the juice matters. I enjoy finding out who made it. It's fun for me. And when I can't find out, well, that bums me out. Is it too much to ask, even if many of you don't care??

So, if he said it to Chuck in an interview you don't believe him, but if he put it on a piece of paper that came with the bottle you would believe him? The source of the information would still be Julian Van Winkle and there would still be conflicting statements out there from Harlan Wheatley. Is it the piece of paper that matters?

White Dog
06-11-2012, 19:25
So, if he said it to Chuck in an interview you don't believe him, but if he put it on a piece of paper that came with the bottle you would believe him? The source of the information would still be Julian Van Winkle and there would still be conflicting statements out there from Harlan Wheatley. Is it the piece of paper that matters?

Please address the 23yr BT blend question. That's my original point. What do you think of that?? And yes, there are no statements from Sazerac employees that contradict the BTAC spec sheets, are there??

sob0728
06-11-2012, 19:36
Please address the 23yr BT blend question. That's my original point. What do you think of that?? And yes, there are no statements from Sazerac employees that contradict the BTAC spec sheets, are there??

That's my whole point, nothing will ever satisfy the Pappy birthers. Even if BT/VWs released a long-form fact sheet with it.

Max Power
06-11-2012, 19:42
That's my whole point, nothing will ever satisfy the Pappy birthers. Even if BT/VWs released a long-form fact sheet with it.

I would like something notarized with a special Pappy watermark to prove that it came from them. Then I would want it 3rd party authenticated. After that, I'd probably maybe be 60% sure they are telling the truth.

callmeox
06-11-2012, 19:43
Please address the 23yr BT blend question. That's my original point. What do you think of that?? And yes, there are no statements from Sazerac employees that contradict the BTAC spec sheets, are there??

The BTAC spec sheets are questionable as well. The Saz 18 is known to have been tanked with each bottling coming from the original mingling yet the evaporation loss information rises and falls each year.

White Dog
06-11-2012, 20:57
That's my whole point, nothing will ever satisfy the Pappy birthers. Even if BT/VWs released a long-form fact sheet with it.

And that's my whole point. If the Van Winkles/Sazerac corp were truly honest, this would not be an issue. If u don't care about any of this, why are you posting?

Special Reserve
06-12-2012, 01:27
nothing will ever satisfy the Pappy birthers

Now that's funny (and honest).

cigarnv
06-12-2012, 02:33
We are talking about a brown liquid here right..... not life and death???:grin:

HP12
06-12-2012, 04:08
We are talking about a brown liquid here right..... not life and death???:grin:

Yep, a brown liquid libation that when news breaks about this beloved bourbon, it catches the interest of many openly proclaimed admirers of the VW line as well as those lurking in the closet.

With this thread not being even 24 hrs old, the replies / views ratio is revealing of the following that the VW mystique brings.

Halifax
06-12-2012, 07:55
I'd be curious to know how many of the Pappy bashers/birthers actually drink, bunker and buy Pappy. You can chose to be a Pappy consumer, or you can chose to pass on it. At the end of the day the choice to buy usually comes down to just a few variables.... Price, availability, and quality. All of that translates into value, and value is relative in general.

There's a reason the GEICO spends millions promoting their 97% customer satisfaction rating. They don't give a rats ass about the other 3% because they don't matter in the equation. Some people just aren't capable of being satisfied. And earning their business and maintaining them as a customer isn't worth the time or money required.

Bottom line... All of this bitching and moaning ain't gonna change nothin'. BT and the Van Winkle's know it. The brand will continue to grow. It will continue to be a quality product. The market has been created, and it will continue to be serviced. One day in the not to distant future most Pappy drinkers won't give a damn about the provenance of the bourbon. PVW will always have the 3% who can't be satisfied... So be it. There are plenty of other bourbons on the liquor store shelf...

falstaff
06-12-2012, 08:54
Thanks to John and Chuck. Interesting and informative.

http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/06/11/what%e2%80%99s-in-that-bottle-of-van-winkle-anyway/

These statements seem to mesh with everything the Van Winkles and Harlan Wheatley have said. Even admitting that the 20/23 have BT juice in them. And the 15 will have some amount (likely small, I would guess) of S-W juice, which was unexpected information (at least to me).

What caught my eye was this:

This fallís Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old will be wheated bourbon made entirely at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort

Would this be the same generation as the original release NAS OWA? Is this the first premium release wheated bourbon made from all BT distillate?
Thanks

cowdery
06-12-2012, 10:07
I thought I had addressed the Pappy 23 question, but I guess I only did so over on the Whisky Advocate Blog.

According to Julian, the Pappy 23 for the next several years is already in bottles and it’s all SW. The next time they bottle it, there will be BT in it. The next bottling of Pappy 20 will include BT. The Bernheim juice in the mix is just from that 1992-1999 window, so it’s 13- to 20-years-old now.

Personally, I’m a Lot B guy and it has continued to be great and, to my taste, virtually unchanged since the SW went out of the mix, so I think the future is bright for the line. The drinking of the last SW, when that day comes, will be notable but not tragic.

As for the Harlen stuff, I think that's already been beaten to death. All Julian was saying about 'not knowing' is that it's impossible to know what someone has, when it was bottled, and what exactly it contains. Except for the rye, it has for the last 10 years been SW, Bernheim and BT in various combinations.

For people who want clear and reliable information, I've done my best as a journalist to provide it. Julian and the BT folks have answered my every request without hesitation. There's nothing I can do about the people for whom that's no enough.

To me, the reasonable thing if you don't like the way somebody is doing business is to do business with somebody else and while it perhaps makes sense to express your dissatisfaction publically, at some point normal people just get on with it.

macdeffe
06-12-2012, 10:07
I buy and consume Pappy and van Winkle's

I also agree with Cowdery about the quality of the Lot B 12yo, its my 2nd favourite in the range, very close to the 20, which I rate slightly higher. I havent tasted the 23yo

If there's a curve up from the 12yo juice until it get 20yo I expect super whiskeys in the future. So van Winkle can't rest on their laurels if they want to meet my expectations :-)

Steffen

clingman71
06-12-2012, 11:18
I thought I had addressed the Pappy 23 question, but I guess I only did so over on the Whisky Advocate Blog.

According to Julian, the Pappy 23 for the next several years is already in bottles and itís all SW. The next time they bottle it, there will be BT in it. The next bottling of Pappy 20 will include BT. The Bernheim juice in the mix is just from that 1992-1999 window, so itís 13- to 20-years-old now.

Personally, Iím a Lot B guy and it has continued to be great and, to my taste, virtually unchanged since the SW went out of the mix, so I think the future is bright for the line. The drinking of the last SW, when that day comes, will be notable but not tragic.

As for the Harlen stuff, I think that's already been beaten to death. All Julian was saying about 'not knowing' is that it's impossible to know what someone has, when it was bottled, and what exactly it contains. Except for the rye, it has for the last 10 years been SW, Bernheim and BT in various combinations.

For people who want clear and reliable information, I've done my best as a journalist to provide it. Julian and the BT folks have answered my every request without hesitation. There's nothing I can do about the people for whom that's no enough.

To me, the reasonable thing if you don't like the way somebody is doing business is to do business with somebody else and while it perhaps makes sense to express your dissatisfaction publically, at some point normal people just get on with it.


Again, thank you. This is the info that we were all asking for during the crazy posts from a few months ago. I don't understand why the griping continues. I've never had any VW that I didn't like. The lot B and OR 10/107 that I've bought over the last year or so have all been excellent.

timd
06-12-2012, 11:31
This equation is fairly binary:

buy it, or don't

Is it "worth" the work to get, I think is the real question... and that's ultimately a very personal decision.

If it's not as good as "it used to be" - then find something else (there's a LOT of great Whiskey out there to try!).

I, personally, have given up on trying to get a straight answer - Julian/Preston have said as much: they do not know what's in each & every bottle.

They are blenders, not distillers. They paint with the barrels at their disposal, and when this steamroller got going, they - nor many other folks in the process - realized how big of a deal "SW juice" and it's provenance would be to the rabid hobbiests among us.

For me, this "conclusion" is kind of like what happened with the TV show "Lost:" there are far too many questions that there simply aren't answers to. Not because they are obfuscating or lying, but because... they simply don't know! Some of what we find out, we don't want to know, and other stuff will just be part of the mystery of the universe.

Bummer. But, I still like "Lost" and I still like (some) VW whiskey.

yountvillewjs
06-12-2012, 12:08
they - nor many other folks in the process - realized how big of a deal "SW juice" and it's provenance would be to the rabid hobbiests among us.

This.

On a larger scale, this is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. I'd guess most buyers of PVW, don't know thing one about Stitzel-Weller -- just that it is 'the best' and something that they want to buy. Hell, even on this site there are but only a small minority truly inflamed about the opaqueness of the provenance.

I bought a 'new' PVW 15 last year. Opened it, didn't like it. Let it sit for a few weeks - came back to it, loved it. Loved it knowing full well it didn't have blood nor mythology of S-W. And given the opportunity, I'd buy it again. That said, I'm over trying to beg retailers and duck massive mark-ups to meet my next fix. If I find some, I'll buy it. If someone offers a reasonable trade, I'll make it. If I die an old man, with only the handful of PVW I have bunkered, I'll die happy, fulfilled.

unclebunk
06-12-2012, 12:20
... If I die an old man, with only the handful of PVW I have bunkered, I'll die happy, fulfilled.

I don't want to die with any whiskey bunkered. I plan to drink the stuff while I still can.:grin:

White Dog
06-12-2012, 12:28
I'm actually not as angry as people think. And I do appreciate the work that Chuck has done in regards to trying to clarify this.

I do buy and drink Van Winkle products. I like the 10yr 107 quite a bit, love the 20yr, and I'm addicted to the Rye. The 15yr is not as good as it once was, IMHO, but I love having it around for guests who are amazed that I always have some on hand.:grin: And FWIW, I do not care for the 23.

At the end of the day, I love aged wheaters, and it's a shame that Kentucky has not done enough to fill this niche, IMHO. Weller SR and OWA have lost their age statements, I can rarely find Weller 12, MM is blah, Old Fitz sucks, Vintage 17 will soon be gone, and sometimes Larue strikes me as a bit young. What's next? An NAS from HH? I just hope it's good.

Oh well, pass me some 4R.

clingman71
06-12-2012, 12:28
I don't want to die with any whiskey bunkered. I plan to drink the stuff while I still can.:grin:

Well said, and hopefully many years off!

yountvillewjs
06-12-2012, 12:31
I don't want to die with any whiskey bunkered. I plan to drink the stuff while I still can.:grin:

good catch - although I hope to leave a few bottles behind, as some of my favorite memories with people no longer with us are over a drink. and funerals are always such a bummer, why not let those amazing souls that showed up drink (and hopefully remember) well? Maybe not PVW well, but well nonetheless

cowdery
06-12-2012, 12:33
The folks at HH tell me the John E. Fitzgerald "Larceny" will be some good stuff. I'm hopeful.

CaptainQ
06-12-2012, 12:34
Oh well, pass me some 4R.

Amen to that brother! :toast:

unclebunk
06-12-2012, 12:38
good catch - although I hope to leave a few bottles behind, as some of my favorite memories with people no longer with us are over a drink. and funerals are always such a bummer, why not let those amazing souls that showed up drink (and hopefully remember) well? Maybe not PVW well, but well nonetheless

I'm with ya, man. It would actually be nice for someone in my family to walk in one day and feel like they'd hit the jackpot. And they could remember me with each sip from a special bottle. Bummer as they may be, I've had some extremely memorable occasions at Irish wakes, celebrating a departed friend's life with drink, stories and endless laughter. So I guess there really is a silver lining.

AaronWF
06-12-2012, 13:26
Oh well, pass me some 4R.

I say that a lot. It's actually quite appropriate in many, many situations, if not all situations.

My team lost! Oh well, pass me some FR.
It's raining! Oh well, pass me some FR.
I lost my job! Oh well, pass me some FR.
I just got a speeding ticket! Oh well, pass me some FR.
They called me in to work on my day off! Oh well, pass me some FR.
But I'm an airline pilot! Oh well, pass me some FR.

CorvallisCracker
06-12-2012, 13:40
I say that a lot. It's actually quite appropriate in many, many situations, if not all situations.

My team lost! Oh well, pass me some FR.
It's raining! Oh well, pass me some FR.
I lost my job! Oh well, pass me some FR.
I just got a speeding ticket! Oh well, pass me some FR.
They called me in to work on my day off! Oh well, pass me some FR.
But I'm an airline pilot! Oh well, pass me some FR.

This would explain a couple of videos I've seen recently.

dridge11
06-12-2012, 13:55
The folks at HH tell me the John E. Fitzgerald "Larceny" will be some good stuff. I'm hopeful.

Shhhh on the Larceny ;)

I'm with Will. PVW was sort of the gateway bourbon, now there are lots of other shiny balls to chase. If I find it (or it finds me) I'll grab some. But I have a few bunkered and prefer the variety. It's great, but there is a lot of great stuff out there.

Mickbourbon
06-12-2012, 15:00
I thought I had addressed the Pappy 23 question, but I guess I only did so over on the Whisky Advocate Blog.

According to Julian, the Pappy 23 for the next several years is already in bottles and itís all SW. The next time they bottle it, there will be BT in it. The next bottling of Pappy 20 will include BT. The Bernheim juice in the mix is just from that 1992-1999 window, so itís 13- to 20-years-old now.

Personally, Iím a Lot B guy and it has continued to be great and, to my taste, virtually unchanged since the SW went out of the mix, so I think the future is bright for the line. The drinking of the last SW, when that day comes, will be notable but not tragic.

As for the Harlen stuff, I think that's already been beaten to death. All Julian was saying about 'not knowing' is that it's impossible to know what someone has, when it was bottled, and what exactly it contains. Except for the rye, it has for the last 10 years been SW, Bernheim and BT in various combinations.

For people who want clear and reliable information, I've done my best as a journalist to provide it. Julian and the BT folks have answered my every request without hesitation. There's nothing I can do about the people for whom that's no enough.

To me, the reasonable thing if you don't like the way somebody is doing business is to do business with somebody else and while it perhaps makes sense to express your dissatisfaction publically, at some point normal people just get on with it.

Thanks for the information Chuck. I guess this explains why the 3 bottles of 23 I purchased from last fall have an 08 date on them, this must have been going on for a while then I assume?

mosugoji64
06-12-2012, 15:09
The folks at HH tell me the John E. Fitzgerald "Larceny" will be some good stuff. I'm hopeful.

Chuck,
Any word on when it will hit shelves?

cowdery
06-12-2012, 17:19
Chuck,
Any word on when it will hit shelves?

I'm told there will be an official announcement in a month or so, leading me to believe it will be September, but maybe sooner.

I also learned a new term, but I won't say where: "COLA troller."

Note that's "troller," as in "to fish by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat," and not "troll," as in "an ogre who lives under a bridge."

Lazer
06-12-2012, 17:32
I'm told there will be an official announcement in a month or so, leading me to believe it will be September, but maybe sooner.

I also learned a new term, but I won't say where: "COLA troller."

Note that's "troller," as in "to fish by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat," and not "troll," as in "an ogre who lives under a bridge."

Some people like coming attractions. :grin:

sutton
06-12-2012, 18:20
Cheers to Pappy and what he created - Julian and Preston have to feel enormous pride in what Pappy accomplished.

They must also feel a bit awed by the responsibility of carrying it forward, knowing that so many are watching every detail!

Lost Pollito
06-12-2012, 20:17
Chuck,
Any word on when it will hit shelves?
My source...Distributor, says Fall releases only going forward. No more spring dribblers.

cowdery
06-12-2012, 20:27
Some people like coming attractions. :grin:

I'm one of them, and it's great for me when somebody else does all the work and just points me at the interesting stuff like "Larceny."

Bmac
06-13-2012, 11:12
The information is interesting and we should be thankful for Chuck's connections and that he is providing the info for free.

I honestly wish I could get more excited about it, but i have resigned to the fact that I will never be able to purchase any Pappy product so the info is practically useless to me except for trivia.

However, I can hope for the day that there is a market shift and people stop flipping it on eBay and then maybe I can buy a bottle at a reasonable price.

Lost Pollito
06-13-2012, 11:23
My source...Distributor, says Fall releases only going forward. No more spring dribblers.
Sorry...this was only about the VW's, not Larceny.

macdeffe
06-13-2012, 11:47
No posts in this thread for 14Ĺ hours. I thought the world internet had broken down :-)

Steffen

clingman71
06-13-2012, 12:01
My source...Distributor, says Fall releases only going forward. No more spring dribblers.

Is this all VW? Or just PVW?

Lost Pollito
06-13-2012, 17:49
Is this all VW? Or just PVW?

They told me it was for all of them. Perhaps that's just Chicago though.

Restaurant man
06-13-2012, 18:37
Atlanta too on fall only according to sazarac

politely
06-13-2012, 22:36
Well, I'm not a birther and I appreciate the disclosure, but I like honesty about what I'm drinking. There's been a lot of confusion, and frankly, it seems to me it could have been (and is) easily preventable. Also, with the recent prices of the PVW's, particularly the 23, I think it's a bit disingenuous to say that provenance doesn't matter. The rarity clearly plays a role in how much people are willing to pay. For example, imagine a single malt for which the bottler isn't willing to confirm the distillery, or for that matter, any grand cru. While not entirely apples to apples, it surely makes a difference. Would I be willing to pay more for a highly regarded whisky irrespective of distiller? Yes. Does knowing the scarcity play a role in how much I'll pay, how much I'll buy and when I'll buy? Yes. And, to be clear, more specifically, would I be willing to pay more for SW juice, knowing that there will never be more? Yes.

PaulO
06-14-2012, 06:14
I don't mean for this to sound too cynical, but I think it will be great when it's all nothing but BT product, and much of the soap opera can end. Knowing it's from some of BT's better barrels, I would probably consider buying some ORVW, or Lot B, if it's available, and close to a reasonable retail price. I have in the past, purchased two bottles of ORVW 90, on different ocasions, at the same store. I have to say, the first bottle was much better. The second bottle was ok, but drier, and less flavor overall. It didn't inspire me to go on some big quest to find more. The funny thing is, I had the exact same experience with Weller 12. The Weller 12 I bought in Chicago a few years ago was some of my most favorite bourbon ever. The recent version I've tried is good, but not spectacular. I don't think it's my imagination. I could name several other brands that seem to have been more consistant, and others that are variable.

timd
06-14-2012, 07:31
The funny thing is, I had the exact same experience with Weller 12. The Weller 12 I bought in Chicago a few years ago was some of my most favorite bourbon ever. The recent version I've tried is good, but not spectacular. I don't think it's my imagination.

Did you buy it at Binny's? If so, it was likely a single-barrel store pick of the W12. They had one a few years back that was a-maz-ing.

Could easily explain the difference if that was your source.

cowdery
06-14-2012, 14:16
Are you a Van Winkle fan who is feeling put-out by facts you recently learned about the brand?

If so, please contact me by PM. I'd like to ask you a few questions for an article I'm doing.

Brisko
06-14-2012, 14:18
I'm told there will be an official announcement in a month or so, leading me to believe it will be September, but maybe sooner.

I also learned a new term, but I won't say where: "COLA troller."

Note that's "troller," as in "to fish by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat," and not "troll," as in "an ogre who lives under a bridge."

Even that might be overstating it a bit. More like (in this case, anyway) "bored at work and looking at the recent COLAs out of idle curiosity."

clingman71
06-14-2012, 18:08
Are you a Van Winkle fan who is feeling put-out by facts you recently learned about the brand?

If so, please contact me by PM. I'd like to ask you a few questions for an article I'm doing.

What if you're put out by the work that buying it has become? What was once an hour drive to CnB with VW on the shelf at reasonable prices has become a time consuming process to acquire one or two bottles at 2-3X the cost. It would be easier to stop if it weren't so damn tasty.

cowdery
06-14-2012, 20:04
What if you're put out by the work that buying it has become? What was once an hour drive to CnB with VW on the shelf at reasonable prices has become a time consuming process to acquire one or two bottles at 2-3X the cost. It would be easier to stop if it weren't so damn tasty.

I'm happy to hear about any dissatisfaction anyone has with the Van Winkles themselves or the Van Winkle brand. Either PM me or post it here.

PaulO
06-15-2012, 05:37
Did you buy it at Binny's? If so, it was likely a single-barrel store pick of the W12. They had one a few years back that was a-maz-ing.

Could easily explain the difference if that was your source.
Yes, I bought it at Binny's. That could explain it.

clingman71
06-15-2012, 06:29
I'm happy to hear about any dissatisfaction anyone has with the Van Winkles themselves or the Van Winkle brand. Either PM me or post it here.

I have no dissatisfaction with either, just being grumpy about availability, or lack thereof, even Old Rip. The product is wonderful, no matter the source, and they have always been quick and gracious in replying to emails.

BarrelChar
06-16-2012, 11:06
Chuck wrote half an article.

Where is the interview with BT's Master Distiller, Harlen Wheatley? Nowhere to be found. Instead it's another "take the Van Winkles at their word" puff piece. Sure, it contains some useful information (the Bernheim blending finally being confirmed), but it's not exactly investigative journalism.

Remember, this story broke when two SB members were told directly by Harlen that the PVW 20 was mostly BT juice and and 23 was a mix too. He also said the Van Winkle Rye was BT and not the tanked Medley/CoK. These statements directly contradicted previous statements by the Van Winkles on this forum and in interviews. When asked about it, they released ambiguous statements until Sku (RecentEats Blog) finally asked them for clarification.

Are we supposed to be shocked that the Van Winkles are sticking to their story yet again? Did we expect them to say, "Yeah, we've been manipulating enthusiasts, but now we need to clear our conscience! OK, here goes, Chuck!"

A proper story would try to get the other side too. But nobody has ever bothered to ask Harlen why he made those statements, or talk to other BT insiders about his contentions (like BT contract distilling wheated juice since the early 1980s that's been used for years by the VWs). Or ask other distillers in Kentucky what they know. It's a small community, I'm sure the industry folks have some insight.

Yes, we get it. It's still good bourbon, no matter the origins. And frankly, I think the ultra-aged Bernheim wheated juice from 1993 onward is often better than the SW counterpart. That's not the point.

Instead, this latest chapter is just more of that "nothing to see here, move along" type of attitude, and anyone who dares to remain skeptical is met with incredulity and slurred as a "birther" by the SB peanut gallery. And the author, who has loudly extolled the virtues of clarifying a bourbon's origins and bashed KBD/Willett and others for not doing so, once again cuts the Van Winkles an immense amount of slack.

Extremely disappointing.

hectic1
06-16-2012, 11:50
Yes, I bought it at Binny's. That could explain it. The Binny's stuff was an entirely different bourbon then the current Weller 12. Binny's bottled a 14.3yr Bernheim barrel vs. the current BT version of Weller 12. I love the Binny's bottle and bunkered enough to last me for a while and when those are gone, so is my drinking of Weller 12.

T Comp
06-16-2012, 12:09
The Binny's stuff was an entirely different bourbon then the current Weller 12. Binny's bottled a 14.3yr Bernheim barrel vs. the current BT version of Weller 12. I love the Binny's bottle and bunkered enough to last me for a while and when those are gone, so is my drinking of Weller 12.

And the difference between the two is quite noticeable...I just tasted both. The current BT W 12 has appreciably more char...almost a bitter soot taste which is absent or I guess integrated in the Binny's Bernheim. I am not a fan of the current Weller 12 for this reason and prefer OWA solo versus the SB blend as I still get that soot bitter taste without it adding complexity from the W 12. I know call me crazy.

clingman71
06-16-2012, 12:16
The Binny's stuff was an entirely different bourbon then the current Weller 12. Binny's bottled a 14.3yr Bernheim barrel vs. the current BT version of Weller 12. I love the Binny's bottle and bunkered enough to last me for a while and when those are gone, so is my drinking of Weller 12.

I would like to see more current BT Weller 12 barrel selections. I have two CnB Weller 12s, #3 is an old label Bernheim and is excellent. #6 is a new label BT and is also excellent. To me, the comparison of Bernheim to BT is almost irrelevant now. How was the regular Bernheim W 12 compared to the Binnys's? My CnB #6 is considerably better than new regular W12. So again, how about some more barrel selection BT W12, whether Binnys, TPS, CnB, or whoever?

clingman71
06-16-2012, 12:18
And the difference between the two is quite noticeable...I just tasted both. The current BT W 12 has appreciably more char...almost a bitter soot taste which is absent or I guess integrated in the Binny's Bernheim. I am not a fan of the current Weller 12 for this reason and prefer OWA solo versus the SB blend as I still get that soot bitter taste without it adding complexity from the W 12. I know call me crazy.

Have you tried adjusting the vattings? I'm pretty happy with 50/50. You might want to try 2or3:1. Just a thought.

Halifax
06-16-2012, 12:22
...I am not a fan of the current Weller 12 for this reason and prefer OWA solo versus the SB blend as I still get that soot bitter taste without it adding complexity from the W 12. I know call me crazy.

I was not overly impressed with my last SB vatting, or the current Weller 12 for that matter. The bottle with the embossed wheat stalks seems to be lacking in comparison. Not sure what is going on, but something is amiss.

BarrelChar
06-16-2012, 13:08
Can I ask why Harlen Wheatley wasn't interviewed? Or will that post get deleted?

hectic1
06-16-2012, 14:28
I would like to see more current BT Weller 12 barrel selections. I have two CnB Weller 12s, #3 is an old label Bernheim and is excellent. #6 is a new label BT and is also excellent. To me, the comparison of Bernheim to BT is almost irrelevant now. How was the regular Bernheim W 12 compared to the Binnys's? My CnB #6 is considerably better than new regular W12. So again, how about some more barrel selection BT W12, whether Binnys, TPS, CnB, or whoever?
I doubt this will happen as Weller 12 isn't part of the barrel program that is currently offered by BT.

As far as the Bernheim W12 vs. Binny's W12 I haven't done that one...quite possibly in the near future though. I'll wait until Thad and Aaron are available for that to happen. ;)

CoMobourbon
06-16-2012, 14:52
Chuck wrote half an article.

Extremely disappointing.


Everybody seems to be doing a great job resisting the urge to reward this post with a response, but I guess I will bite.

This is basically my response: Of course you're right (about almost all of it), but so what?

Of course the inconsistencies and maybe even deliberate obfuscation about the origins of a bourbon is frustrating. Regardless of QPR, we are always buying histories and stories when we buy bourbon, and so it is a valid cause for interest and skepticism when the verity of these histories and stories comes into question. (QPR is important, but you're kidding yourself if you really think that is ALL there is to bourbon). Of course the Van Winkles have an interest in cultivating a mystical history for their brand truth notwithstanding, and of course that interest leads one to be suspicious.

Of course Chuck has an interest in maintaining good terms with industry contacts, and of course that interest might lead one to be a little apprehensive about a more or less one-sided piece.

And of course the insistence that there is "nothing to see here" in a situation like this (the events leading to the thread, the situation described above, etc.) involves a certain amount of dishonesty, especially lying to oneself.

So what? Frankly, I think the kind of dishonesty that leads to deliberate blissful ignorance is not necessarily a terrible thing. Sure, there are lots of stupid sheeple who simply believe things outright. But there are also lots of people who thoughtfully consider their options and decide that they would rather not really worry too much about the impossible-to-resolve questions like that of a bourbon's authentic origins. Especially when the presented history makes the whiskey taste better. Maybe the suppression of dissent can be a little nasty sometimes, but it is not entirely unjustifiable.

Like really every person and certainly every writer in the history of the world, Chuck is not a plumed truth crusader but rather is providing a service that people want. He has drawn a "good enough" line for the verity of his source material that serves his purposes. If your line is somewhere else (and often mine is), then it is ridiculous to lambast him for not toeing your line. None of this makes him a bad person.

And the Van Winkles are running a business (specifically, they are managing a brand) in which revenue/profit is a function maintaining a mystique of authenticity. Obfuscation becomes an understandably useful tool. Hell, even controversy about authenticity becomes a useful tool when it draws attention to a brand whose basic quality is unquestioned. In their shoes, I (and probably you) would do the same thing. Does this make me incurably skeptical? Of course. Does this make me upset? Of course not; why would it?

So, I think it is completely reasonable to be skeptical but not so much to be "extremely disappointed." The same factors that lead to your skepticism should prevent you from being too shocked or outraged. And there is really nothing but self-gratification at stake in treating happily and knowingly resigned people like sheeple.

Halifax
06-16-2012, 15:34
I was not overly impressed with my last SB vatting, or the current Weller 12 for that matter. The bottle without the embossed wheat stalks seems to be lacking in comparison. Not sure what is going on, but something is amiss.

Meant to say without...
Can't seem to correct now.

White Dog
06-16-2012, 19:14
Everybody seems to be doing a great job resisting the urge to reward this post with a response, but I guess I will bite.

This is basically my response: Of course you're right (about almost all of it), but so what?

Of course the inconsistencies and maybe even deliberate obfuscation about the origins of a bourbon is frustrating. Regardless of QPR, we are always buying histories and stories when we buy bourbon, and so it is a valid cause for interest and skepticism when the verity of these histories and stories comes into question. (QPR is important, but you're kidding yourself if you really think that is ALL there is to bourbon). Of course the Van Winkles have an interest in cultivating a mystical history for their brand truth notwithstanding, and of course that interest leads one to be suspicious.

Of course Chuck has an interest in maintaining good terms with industry contacts, and of course that interest might lead one to be a little apprehensive about a more or less one-sided piece.

And of course the insistence that there is "nothing to see here" in a situation like this (the events leading to the thread, the situation described above, etc.) involves a certain amount of dishonesty, especially lying to oneself.

So what? Frankly, I think the kind of dishonesty that leads to deliberate blissful ignorance is not necessarily a terrible thing. Sure, there are lots of stupid sheeple who simply believe things outright. But there are also lots of people who thoughtfully consider their options and decide that they would rather not really worry too much about the impossible-to-resolve questions like that of a bourbon's authentic origins. Especially when the presented history makes the whiskey taste better. Maybe the suppression of dissent can be a little nasty sometimes, but it is not entirely unjustifiable.

Like really every person and certainly every writer in the history of the world, Chuck is not a plumed truth crusader but rather is providing a service that people want. He has drawn a "good enough" line for the verity of his source material that serves his purposes. If your line is somewhere else (and often mine is), then it is ridiculous to lambast him for not toeing your line. None of this makes him a bad person.

And the Van Winkles are running a business (specifically, they are managing a brand) in which revenue/profit is a function maintaining a mystique of authenticity. Obfuscation becomes an understandably useful tool. Hell, even controversy about authenticity becomes a useful tool when it draws attention to a brand whose basic quality is unquestioned. In their shoes, I (and probably you) would do the same thing. Does this make me incurably skeptical? Of course. Does this make me upset? Of course not; why would it?

So, I think it is completely reasonable to be skeptical but not so much to be "extremely disappointed." The same factors that lead to your skepticism should prevent you from being too shocked or outraged. And there is really nothing but self-gratification at stake in treating happily and knowingly resigned people like sheeple.

This is not an attack on Cowdery, but do you feel the same way about journalists who cover wars or government malfeasance? Are they simply providing a "service that people want," or are they actually trying to seek out the truth, regardless of how many toes they step on? Should they just be "good enough?" Just saying.

And yeah, the Rye question in regards to Wheatley's statements is a glaring omission.

tommyboy38
06-16-2012, 20:27
This doesn't answer all my VW questions....Does Julian wear boxers or briefs?

Lost Pollito
06-16-2012, 20:31
This doesn't answer all my VW questions....Does Julian wear boxers or briefs?

.......exactly. :cool:

stevegoz
06-16-2012, 20:58
This doesn't answer all my VW questions....Does Julian wear boxers or briefs?

Depends who you ask. :lol:

Restaurant man
06-16-2012, 23:13
Chuck wrote half an article.

Where is the interview with BT's Master Distiller, Harlen Wheatley? Nowhere to be found. Instead it's another "take the Van Winkles at their word" puff piece. Sure, it contains some useful information (the Bernheim blending finally being confirmed), but it's not exactly investigative journalism.

Remember, this story broke when two SB members were told directly by Harlen that the PVW 20 was mostly BT juice and and 23 was a mix too. He also said the Van Winkle Rye was BT and not the tanked Medley/CoK. These statements directly contradicted previous statements by the Van Winkles on this forum and in interviews. When asked about it, they released ambiguous statements until Sku (RecentEats Blog) finally asked them for clarification.

Are we supposed to be shocked that the Van Winkles are sticking to their story yet again? Did we expect them to say, "Yeah, we've been manipulating enthusiasts, but now we need to clear our conscience! OK, here goes, Chuck!"

A proper story would try to get the other side too. But nobody has ever bothered to ask Harlen why he made those statements, or talk to other BT insiders about his contentions (like BT contract distilling wheated juice since the early 1980s that's been used for years by the VWs). Or ask other distillers in Kentucky what they know. It's a small community, I'm sure the industry folks have some insight.

Yes, we get it. It's still good bourbon, no matter the origins. And frankly, I think the ultra-aged Bernheim wheated juice from 1993 onward is often better than the SW counterpart. That's not the point.

Instead, this latest chapter is just more of that "nothing to see here, move along" type of attitude, and anyone who dares to remain skeptical is met with incredulity and slurred as a "birther" by the SB peanut gallery. And the author, who has loudly extolled the virtues of clarifying a bourbon's origins and bashed KBD/Willett and others for not doing so, once again cuts the Van Winkles an immense amount of slack.

Extremely disappointing.

I would love to have a drink with you one day :cool: But 3 drinks.... The dude would not abide. I like to get paid for that much thinkin'

sutton
06-17-2012, 04:26
I'll dip a toe in here, but will say in advance I don't really have a dog in this fight. There are some questions that simply won't have a direct answer and you decide how much that will bother you (me, not so much in this case).

Again, only speculating, but isn't it possible that both the VWs and HW aren't purposely being misleading? HW is on the production side of things, and the VWs have said they bottle long in advance of release (for instance, the one bottle of PVW15 I have I got last year, in a state where all of this stuff is on allocation and does not sit on shelves) - that had a bottling date of 2009.

So couldn't they both be right? HW sees the bottling/production and says it has BT in the mix. VWs say that PVW20 and PVW23 are still SW because that is what they are releasing, the remaining sits in their inventory waiting for future release.

I'm already sorry I wrote this ... not trying to start this up all over again, I just prefer to give both sides the benefit of the doubt - and there is plenty of doubt here.

soad
06-17-2012, 05:00
So couldn't they both be right? HW sees the bottling/production and says it has BT in the mix. VWs say that PVW20 and PVW23 are still SW because that is what they are releasing, the remaining sits in their inventory waiting for future release.


I think you hit the nail on the head. If you look back at the statements from the original thread (:rolleyes:), and then look at this most recent interview one can objectively see that both side are telling us the same thing, but from their particular point of view.

Now :hot: if someone could guarantee me that OWA is safe, I could stop my obsessive hoarding!!!

fishnbowljoe
06-17-2012, 05:36
We stayed at a Days Inn last night. I guess we should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. :grin:

CoMobourbon
06-17-2012, 06:48
This is not an attack on Cowdery, but do you feel the same way about journalists who cover wars or government malfeasance? Are they simply providing a "service that people want," or are they actually trying to seek out the truth, regardless of how many toes they step on? Should they just be "good enough?" Just saying.



Like really every person and certainly every writer in the history of the world, Chuck is not a plumed truth crusader but rather is providing a service that people want. He has drawn a "good enough" line for the verity of his source material that serves his purposes. If your line is somewhere else (and often mine is), then it is ridiculous to lambast him for not toeing your line. None of this makes him a bad person.

Every writer (journalists included)provides a service, every writer draws a "good enough" line, and no writer in the history of the world has been an uncompromising truth warrior.

I would hope that journalists who cover subjects like war would extend their "good enough line" further than those who cover whiskey. But that does not mean I expect these war journalists to never stop until they achieve absolute truth; in fact I am pretty sure it is impossible to convey absolute truth in writing. Eventually, every writer has to shape facts into a story; eventually, every journalist has to stop searching for truth and publish his/her article. This is not unreasonable.

And definitely every journalist considers his audience carefully and writes to provide a service to that audience. While audiences of war journalists demand different (more exacting?) services than those of whiskey journalists, war journalists still don't prioritize truth for its own sake. They write primarily to satisfy their audience. This too is not unreasonable.

Any specific commentary on Chuck's case would be really presumptuous and speculative, but I feel like his article is justified by the above explanations. There was no reason for him to interview every possible party to satisfy his audience. He provided information that people wanted from the source materials that people were interested in. If he had included more information from more sources, would his article have been more accurate and informative? Of course. However, he knew (or at least expected) that most of his audience would be satisfied with a reporting of new statements from the Van Winkles. Again, nothing unreasonable here; in fact, none of this even makes him dishonest or evil.

And frankly, I generally find "should" questions pretty uninteresting. With a few exceptions, everybody knows the answer to every "should" question at the age of 5. "Should" anybody ever ever ever stop searching for the absolute truth? "Should" anybody ever ever ever present anything as truth when they don't know the whole story? Of course not; any 5 year old knows this. But, since both of these imperatives are totally impossible and would make the world non-functional if binding, I usually don't stop with "should." Personally, I find it much more interesting to consider what people do and why they do it and then judge them accordingly.

CoMobourbon
06-17-2012, 06:50
Man, I really wish I could have seen this legendary "other thread." Was it more fun than this one? It seems like we have way too few pot stirrers here.

Lost Pollito
06-17-2012, 09:14
Man, I really wish I could have seen this legendary "other thread." Was it more fun than this one? It seems like we have way too few pot stirrers here.
It was a classic. :cool:

luther.r
06-17-2012, 11:28
Man, I really wish I could have seen this legendary "other thread." Was it more fun than this one? It seems like we have way too few pot stirrers here.

It's still around; It just got moved to PR&C. You might want to set aside an hour and a couple pours of something good before you embark.

White Dog
06-17-2012, 17:58
Holy s--t. For a second time this commie pinko agrees with Brad.:shocked: :shocked:

And it's always amusing that as soon as you question the party line from a major distiller, you're called both a "birther" and a 5-yr old. Oh well. I guess we should all just shut up and toe the line.

sob0728
06-17-2012, 18:26
Holy s--t. For a second time this commie pinko agrees with Brad.:shocked: :shocked:

And it's always amusing that as soon as you question the party line from a major distiller, you're called both a "birther" and a 5-yr old. Oh well. I guess we should all just shut up and toe the line.

If Julian Van Winkle and Harlen Wheatley released a joint statement on Buffalo Trace letterhead that said what was in Chuck's piece is the truth, would you believe it? Or would you think it was a BS PR move? That's my point, if you wouldn't believe that statement then no amount of information will satisfy you, that's where the birther comment came from.

White Dog
06-17-2012, 18:35
If Julian Van Winkle and Harlen Wheatley released a joint statement on Buffalo Trace letterhead that said what was in Chuck's piece is the truth, would you believe it? Or would you think it was a BS PR move? That's my point, if you wouldn't believe that statement then no amount of information will satisfy you, that's where the birther comment came from.

Hello? Have you not read my Rye question, which was not addressed in the Cowdery piece? Actually, Rye was addressed, but Wheatley's comments on the Rye being BT-make were not addressed. That's all I'm looking for.

sob0728
06-17-2012, 19:47
Hello? Have you not read my Rye question, which was not addressed in the Cowdery piece? Actually, Rye was addressed, but Wheatley's comments on the Rye being BT-make were not addressed. That's all I'm looking for.

It addresses the rye situation directly by saying exactly what it is. I don't think Chuck is going to come out and say Harlen was wrong, but you can read between the lines.

BarrelChar
06-17-2012, 20:16
It addresses the rye situation directly by saying exactly what it is. I don't think Chuck is going to come out and say Harlen was wrong, but you can read between the lines.

Chuck didn't call Harlen Wheatley and therefore his article amounted to little more than a thinly-veiled press release for the Van Winkles. It wasn't journalism, it was guerrilla marketing.

He could have call Harlen. He conspicuously avoided doing so. Why?

When Harlen spoke with two members of SB, he said the PVW 20 (and possibly 23) contained BT juice and the VWFRR was 100% BT juice. Those are multiple, direct contradictions with the continued claims (or denials) by the Van Winkles. But pointing out those discrepancies makes one a crackpot? How absurd.

Check out John Hansell's responses to my posts at the end of the PVW 15 review thread on WhiskeyAdvocate. It tells you everything you need to know about their journalistic standards and willingness to ruffle industry feathers. Nevertheless, John and Chuck jumped into this story (finally) and now, after giving us only one side, are sneering at anyone who thinks they botched it.

Look, I get it: it's just whiskey, not Watergate. And yes, Bernheim and BT made some great wheated juice. That's not the point. By now, this isn't only about clarity from the bottlers of the Hottest Whiskey in America, but moreover, a whiskey enthusiast community that is still falling over itself to bury any questions; while hypocritically holding the micros and KBD to different standards of disclosure. And that, more than anything, is what's most disappointing.

bigtoys
06-17-2012, 21:00
I like that Chuck interviewed Julian. The info makes sense, too. As noted, only a few will enjoy this whisky, but I intend to be one of them and, for this iconic brand, I'd like to know its origin (and to some degree feel entitled to know it).
That said, it would be nice to see some comment by HW regarding his previous quotes.

macdeffe
06-17-2012, 22:46
Anyone ever done a vertical of the last 5 or 10 batches of the 15 or 20 ?

Thats the kind of thing I would do, and is doing with a lot of whiskies.

Steffen

CoMobourbon
06-18-2012, 03:43
This is basically my response: Of course you're right (about almost all of it), but so what?

...it is a valid cause for interest and skepticism when the verity of these histories and stories comes into question. (QPR is important, but you're kidding yourself if you really think that is ALL there is to bourbon). Of course the Van Winkles have an interest in cultivating a mystical history for their brand truth notwithstanding, and of course that interest leads one to be suspicious.

...Sure, there are lots of stupid sheeple who simply believe things outright. But there are also lots of people who thoughtfully consider their options...

...Like really every person and certainly every writer in the history of the world, Chuck is not a plumed truth crusader but rather is providing a service that people want. He has drawn a "good enough" line for the verity of his source material that serves his purposes. If your line is somewhere else (and often mine is), then it is ridiculous to lambast him for not toeing your line. None of this makes him a bad person.

...Does this make me incurably skeptical? Of course. Does this make me upset? Of course not; why would it?

So, I think it is completely reasonable to be skeptical but not so much to be "extremely disappointed." The same factors that lead to your skepticism should prevent you from being too shocked or outraged.


Every writer (journalists included)provides a service, every writer draws a "good enough" line, and no writer in the history of the world has been an uncompromising truth warrior.

...And frankly, I generally find "should" questions pretty uninteresting. With a few exceptions, everybody knows the answer to every "should" question at the age of 5. "Should" anybody ever ever ever stop searching for the absolute truth? "Should" anybody ever ever ever present anything as truth when they don't know the whole story? Of course not; any 5 year old knows this. But, since both of these imperatives are totally impossible and would make the world non-functional if binding, I usually don't stop with "should." Personally, I find it much more interesting to consider what people do and why they do it and then judge them accordingly.



And it's always amusing that as soon as you question the party line from a major distiller, you're called both a "birther" and a 5-yr old. Oh well. I guess we should all just shut up and toe the line.

Hey brother, sometimes I totally feel the same cynicism. Before you throw me under the 'almost everyone is full of shit' bus, though, I invite you to read what I actually wrote.

It should be clear from my posts that I am as skeptical of the "party line from a major distiller" as the next guy (probably more so). My point of disagreement with Senor Barrel consisted in my response to that skepticism; having doubted the party line from the beginning, as I assume he did, I was not "extremely disappointed" or outraged or anything like he was.

If the "toe the line" phrase in your post refers to it's appearance in mine, then that doesn't make a lot of sense. In my post, I am suggesting that it is unreasonable for skeptics (like me and Barrel), who have a relatively higher "line" for truth than other people sometimes, to expect those other people to "toe their line" (maintain the skeptic's standards).

And then there is the whole question of "should" and "5 year olds" (man, if this thread doesn't get flagged for some shady child-related shit, I will be surprised). I can understand how you could equate "5 year old" with 'insult', but a quick review of the section in question should clear things up. In short, it is not the 5 year old who asks the "should" question but rather the 5 year old who knows the answer - which is to say, pretty much everybody. Really, I was just calling you out for using a rhetorical question that I thought unfairly advanced your point (with which I disagreed). You seem to suggest that the answer to your 'should' question - 'yes', of course - would necessarily support your point about the need for continued investigation and possibly more righteous condemnation of the Van Winkles. I disagreed and tried to argue that there is more than black/white ethics at play here. You very well might have known that there was more than straight right and wrong involved, but you didn't mention it, so I decided to point this out.

So yeah, sometimes I too feel like a hero in the Crucible - a rare honest man surrounded by sickening conformist BS - but you've got to stop regularly for perspective. Nobody is out to get you here, I think/hope. I know I'm definitely not. And I'm sorry to have offended you over the whole '5 year old' reference; I was trying to make a point and didn't consider how someone might take it as personal/condescending. Poor choice of words.

CoMobourbon
06-18-2012, 04:13
He could have call Harlen. He conspicuously avoided doing so. Why?

By now, this isn't only about clarity from the bottlers of the Hottest Whiskey in America, but moreover, a whiskey enthusiast community that is still falling over itself to bury any questions; while hypocritically holding the micros and KBD to different standards of disclosure. And that, more than anything, is what's most disappointing.

I still feel like the disappointment, as well as the sense that Chuck "conspicuously" avoided further questions, are still more about misplaced expectations than anything.

It is only disappointing and conspicuous avoidance if you expect Chuck to have the same objectives you do (and which I often do): the whole, comprehensive, clear, hard truth. For reasons that do not necessarily make him immoral, this is not, I think, Chuck's objective at all. He is writing to satisfy his audience, which apparently is not you and me. He didn't have to avoid a HW interview because, I speculate, it wasn't on his list of things to do at all. He knew people wanted a reporting of new statements from the Van Winkles, and he gave them what they wanted.

Same logic applies to the original info discrepancy with HW and the VW's. It makes sense to be really disappointed only if you really expected to have received straight whole truth before the revelation. A shrewd skeptic like you should not have expected this, and I assume that you probably didn't.

Does that mean that there is no injustice/manipulation involved here? Of course not. But crying out against unjust inconsistencies from high level whiskey PR reps is like crying out to the universe at the injustice of death. It is totally understandable to rage rage against these things, but it isn't rational. It is especially satisfying to rage rage against these things to other people, but at a certain point, you have to respect their desire (misguided or otherwise) to not hear it.

IowaJeff
06-18-2012, 07:26
Well this thread took a swift turn into Chuck bashing. I don't know that Chuck has been unfair to micros, or played any favorites with the big boys. But even if that's your opinion, isn't it unfair to assume its because of some pecuniary interest or resulting from some type of cronyism?

I don't know Chuck, but even if I initially perceived uneveness in reporting (which I really don't), upon further reflection, and prior to posting something on a message board, I would conclude that it boils down to this: trust.

Trust is earned. An upstart micro has no trust to begin with, unless its someone with a reputation and history in the industry. An upstart micro that starts out with half-truths and evasiveness has substantially hindered the chance of developing trust.

A big boy, say BT or Jim Beam, has built up a level of trust through the years. Like any relationship there are breaches here and there, but usually the trust earned through the years warrants the benefit of the doubt.

Those big boys have been in the industry, with Chuck, for a long time-some level of trust has developed. It's the same with me - if a Joe Schmo Micro tells me he made a bourbon that is the best he's tasted, I'll take it with a monster grain of salt. If the BT master distiller tells me he made a bourbon that is the best, I'm lining up at the door. He's earned my trust through past products.

Again, I don't know Chuck at all, but from a purely writer-reader relationship, he's certainly earned my trust, and I have no reason to believe any uneveness in reporting some of you perceive is anything more than those whom earned his trust v. those whom have not.

Brisko
06-18-2012, 07:42
Hello? Have you not read my Rye question, which was not addressed in the Cowdery piece? Actually, Rye was addressed, but Wheatley's comments on the Rye being BT-make were not addressed. That's all I'm looking for.

Well, I look at it this way. The Van Winkles have said, many times, on the record, that the rye is still the CoK/Medley vatting from the tank, and they confirmed it again in this interview. So I guess that means that Wheatley was wrong.

cowdery
06-18-2012, 10:14
There are many good reasons why hearsay evidence is generally not admissible in court. The main one is that it is unreliable. If I began a conversation with Harlen with, "so-and-so says you said such-and-such at this event on this date" he'd laugh at me and he'd be right. I've said before that I respect the people who made that report, but there's nothing to be gained by trying to dissect it and reconcile it with other things that other people have said at other times. I haven't talked to Harlen directly about this but I know him well enough to know his reaction. He'd sniff, shrug his shoulders, and maybe roll his eyes, or chuckle. This happens all the time.

So a couple of people want to puff themselves up by bashing me. I've had worse.

I've never done any of this to call attention to myself, although some of that is inevitable. I don't make a lot of money from it. That's certainly not my motive. I just find this stuff interesting and I find marketing spin frustrating, so I try to get to the truth as best I can. I've been doing this for awhile and I watch other people. The shrill attention-seekers often get attention but they don't often come away with the truth. I treat people with respect and they generally do the same with me. The world just works better that way.

I've had conflicts with people like David Perkins and Drew Kulsveen, but we usually work it out to the point where we can at least be civil with each other. In the cases of David and Drew, I'd say the relationship is friendly, if maybe a little guarded. That's how life is.

Ultimately with publications or individual writers, all we have is our integrity and the reader's assessment of that. If you don't think I'm playing straight then you probably shouldn't waste your time reading me. If instead you dissect every word in order to shine a spotlight on yourself, well, that's about you, that's not about me.

Let me give you an example. I like Tom Bulleit. He's a very nice man and good company. I think the whole Augustus Bulleit story is fiction. So do most other people who study the history side of things. There is zero supporting evidence for any of it. Tom always looks uncomfortable when you ask him about it but he has what is, in a way, a bullet-proof (pardon the expression) answer. It's what his father told him. At that point you just say, well, okay. I'll certainly never report any of the Augustus Bulleit stuff as fact, because I don't believe it, but that doesn't mean I have to go on a crusade about it. And, oh yeah, there's no evidence that Jack Daniel's was the first registered distillery and ample evidence to doubt that claim. I've reported that, many times, but am I a bad journalist if I don't have a screaming fit about it?

timd
06-18-2012, 14:35
Can this be over now?

I now officially wish that Winston and I had never reported on what HW said here and simply kept it to ourselves as a point of interest among our little group of whiskey lovers/fanatics.

It went from "wow, this is really interesting" to "whacko conspiracy theories" (I'm eagerly awaiting the movie...).

It's not unicorn pee...

You mean "production" disagrees with "marketing" with regard to the end product? Oh.my.God. Stop the presses! THEY probably don't even know who is right/wrong and no amount of "journalistic sleuthing" is going to get the answer - the parties involved can't actually provide a straight answer to a lot of these questions because the don't actually know the answers themselves (Julian & Preston have admitted to not knowing 100% what's in all their bottles)! I'm guessing at this point that HW was either wrong about OWA going away, was terribly premature, or it was a "thought bubble" floated to unsuspecting mooks like me & Winston to see what the reaction would be - or all of the above.

Is HW a more "credible" source than the VW's? Heck if I know - I've only met each of them a couple of times. I thought Julian was hella more fun to hang out with than HW... but HW seemed like more of a straight-shooter and had more of a business-like approach, Julian just wanted to talk about whiskey and mash bills and such...

I don't believe either of them are dumb enough to risk outright lies to people in the whiskey fan/hobbiest community much less writers with blogs and retail outlets. So... realize, if they were wrong, they either (a) have an agenda or (b) far more, likely were just mis/uninformed

Thanks.

unclebunk
06-18-2012, 14:55
It's not unicorn pee...


Or is it? Hmm. The mystery continues...:lol:

darylld911
06-18-2012, 15:01
Personally, Iím a Lot B guy and it has continued to be great and, to my taste, virtually unchanged since the SW went out of the mix, so I think the future is bright for the line. The drinking of the last SW, when that day comes, will be notable but not tragic.

I couldn't agree more. The master distillers blend barrels until the desired flavor profile is met - and this holds true whether what went into the barrel came from BT or SW. I'm not insinuating that the distillates are indifferent - only that the end product will be extremely comparable if not indistinguishable.

Just my thoughts :)

soad
06-18-2012, 15:04
It's not unicorn pee...



Unicorn pee tasted a lot better back in the day.

timd
06-18-2012, 15:31
Unicorn pee tasted a lot better back in the day.
Yeah, when it comes to unicorn urine, I really only like the old stuff.

But the poop, regardless of age, always tastes like skittles...

cowdery
06-18-2012, 18:14
Thanks, Tim, for the words of wisdom. Well said. I would only add that this hobby is supposed to be fun. When it stops being fun, check yourself, because you're doing it wrong.

White Dog
06-18-2012, 20:08
I don't think there's a posting member on here that doesn't gain immense joy and fun from Bourbon/Rye. (And I gain immense joy and fun from hearing the various viewpoints.)

But maybe there's a difference between casual and serious enjoyment?

fussychicken
06-19-2012, 23:24
It's not unicorn pee...

Sure is priced like it...

ILLfarmboy
06-20-2012, 07:22
Hello? Have you not read my Rye question, which was not addressed in the Cowdery piece? Actually, Rye was addressed, but Wheatley's comments on the Rye being BT-make were not addressed. That's all I'm looking for.

"Who made it is an interesting question because it's a good straight rye." --Chuck Cowdery speaking of Templeton Rye


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?9694-Templeton-Rye-produced-in-Indiana!


Is provenance no longer interesting, or even a valid pursuit of inquiry?



.

sob0728
06-20-2012, 08:49
Is provenance no longer interesting, or even a valid pursuit of inquiry?



.

It is interesting. That is why he asked the question. The question was answered by Julian. If you choose not to believe that it's not Chuck's problem.

The basic question this comes down to is: who do you think knows more about what are in the bottles of Van Winkle product? If you think it is Harlen Wheatley and that JVW is lying, then don't buy the product. If you think it is Julian Van Winkle, then you know what is in those bottles and you can make your purchases accordingly.

Pappy Van Winkle sales aren't going to drop no matter what is in those bottles, so I see no reason for Julian Van Winkle to lie about it.

SMOWK
06-20-2012, 09:12
I think they're both right. Julian is saying what he is releasing, while Harlen is saying what he is bottling.

Bmac
06-20-2012, 09:43
It is interesting. That is why he asked the question. The question was answered by Julian. If you choose not to believe that it's not Chuck's problem.

The basic question this comes down to is: who do you think knows more about what are in the bottles of Van Winkle product? If you think it is Harlen Wheatley and that JVW is lying, then don't buy the product. If you think it is Julian Van Winkle, then you know what is in those bottles and you can make your purchases accordingly.

Pappy Van Winkle sales aren't going to drop no matter what is in those bottles, so I see no reason for Julian Van Winkle to lie about it.
I think that's a good point. There is no motive for VW's to lie. I have discovered in my line of business how one group understands information given is often times different than the intended message.

I beleive the Van Winkles know what they instructed BT to do with their whiskey and Harlen either misunderstood or changed the instruction.

I cannot say for sure what level of responsibility Julian or Preston have over exactly what is bottled. So knowing how the new business model works would shed quite a bit more light.

cowdery
06-20-2012, 11:27
The point I've been trying to make is that many people here are basing some pretty strong conclusions on hearsay evidence.

That hearsay evidence is not favored is not a negative reflection on the hearers. Hearsay evidence is unreliable for a host of reasons unrelated to the integrity or skills of the hearers.

But for your consideration, the following. Harlen, due to the nature of his position, thinks more about distilling than anything else. The 'Van Winkle whiskey' being distilled today is the same rye as Sazerac rye, and the same bourbon as Weller bourbon. If you think about what Harlen allegedly said in that context, you can see how what he allegedly said and what Julian said are compatible. These are perspectives anyone can think of, if they're not blinded by their passion to catch someone (anyone) in a falsehood.

PaulO
06-21-2012, 05:35
It's like the metaphor of the four blind guys that were asked to describe an elephant. Each person touched a different part, and they couldn't agree.

cowdery
06-21-2012, 11:33
Very good analogy.

ethangsmith
06-22-2012, 18:28
I added my 2 cents at the end of the comments on the WA blog. It was really comical to see the VW nerds fight and tussle. Like several have said- it's just whiskey! I would really hate to see these same VW nerds try and start collecting bourbons that are from long-ago shut down distilleries! I made mention that I collect Michter's stuff from Pennsylvania. It's a heck of a lot harder (And often quite a bit more expensive!) to find Pennsylvania distillates than pretty much all VW stuff. If we stay on this fanatical path for a few more years, I can only imagine what will happen to VW products- and their prices!

White Dog
06-22-2012, 22:23
Is the winking face simply implied?

CoMobourbon
06-23-2012, 07:56
Is the winking face simply implied?

Whoa. Is that some kind of brilliant meta-joke/pun on the Van Winkle name, or just a clever way of asking ethan if he was being sarcastic? Or both? Or some totally different and possibly inside reference that I didn't get at all?

Mind = Blown.

cowdery
06-23-2012, 12:47
You may want to take steps to shield your head from breezes. Your mind seems too easily blown. (smileyface implied)

CoMobourbon
06-23-2012, 20:13
Your mind seems too easily blown.

Exactly.

(more characters to meet 16 character requirement)

White Dog
06-24-2012, 09:05
My point was an Ethan/glass-houses one.

StraightNoChaser
06-26-2012, 07:45
I still maintain, based on my taste buds AND Harlan's statements, that the VWFRR is ALL or MOSTLY BT rye. If there's any old stock in there it's just a little bit.