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View Full Version : Appreciating Van Winkle



Gillman
04-07-2006, 14:27
Recently, in finishing a bottle of ORVW 13 year old rye, I was reminded that whatever is bottled by Van Winkle or bears that name is always of the highest quality. Never have I had a bottle from them that was musty or questionable. Their whiskeys offer a range of flavors on the older end of the spectrum (from 10 years and up) and offer the distinctiveness of being wheat-recipe (except for the rye whiskeys of course and the rare surviving 23 year old Lawrenceburg bourbon). They keep up an old tradition, which is the independent merchant who matures and sells whiskey to the market which bears a house style from what they select and how they age it. Even the arrangement with Trace won't change that because when you buy a VW product you know they selected it and it guarantees the quality they have always offered the public. To me they represent the best of the American whiskey business. Can't wait to try the new 12 year Lot B.

Gary

Ambernecter
04-07-2006, 18:05
Gary has just "distilled" the correct!

The new Lot B will be just as good I hope/pray!

DrinkyBanjo
04-08-2006, 07:18
New Lot B? Please explain more? Is it new to you or is there a new 'batch' coming our way. I know a few places in NJ that have a good supply of the current release.

TNbourbon
04-08-2006, 08:06
New Lot B? Please explain more? Is it new to you or is there a new 'batch' coming our way. I know a few places in NJ that have a good supply of the current release.

Beginning last July, Julian began bottling Lot B with Bernheim wheated bourbon instead of Stitzel-Weller, which had run out at that age. There is no way to tell them apart by the bottling/label itself. So, unless you know that a bottle's been on the shelf since further back than last July, you may be getting either one.
The current Lot B was available to taste at Binny's/WhiskyFest in Chicago last week. I suspect if you put an old one and a new one side-by-side, you'd be able to differentiate. However, either will be satisfy your desire for Lot B.

ratcheer
04-08-2006, 09:44
I think he should call it "Lot C", as it would definitely be from a different lot of whiskey.

Tim

bluesbassdad
04-08-2006, 10:06
Tim,

I once asked Julian here what "Lot B" signified. Answer: Nothing. And no, there was no bottling labeled "Lot A".

He said I was giving the matter more thought than he had, IRCC. :grin:

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

BourbonJoe
04-08-2006, 15:01
I suspect if you put an old one and a new one side-by-side, you'd be able to differentiate.

The newer Bernheim is good whiskey but is still IMO no match for the SW it replaced. Luckily, I have bunkered many bottles of the SW Lot-B.
Joe :usflag:

gothbat
04-08-2006, 23:27
I was really looking to try some PVW20 this weekend and when I found some on Wed. for $75 a bottle at a liquor store I was checking out for the first time I immediately grabbed it of the shelf. As I walked to the register I thought about how this was a lot of money, relatively, for a bottle of whiskey but I bought it anyway. Poured myself a snifter of this yesterday and I must say I really enjoyed it! (I wish I had more refined taste buds to give really nice, descriptive, tasting notes like others on this forum do but the best I can do here is a slight taste of cherry all the way with a bit of wood a little after I swallow, hope that makes sense.) After this I poured myself some RVW10 107 proof. I enjoyed it just as I had the previous times Iíd tasted it but, the alcohol taste aside, it wasnít as flavorful. I even tried a small sip of the PVW20 right after to confirm this. Well, I definitely have no regrets about buying this although I plan to save(savor? :) ) this one for a while since it is after all a bit expensive.
Tonight I popped open the VWSR12 I bought with the PVW20 and found myself even more impressed with this line. A smooth bourbon with a nice, rich maple taste and nose. I was originally planning a comparison of some PVW20 and my current favorite, EC18, for tomorrow while I watch my shows but I think Iím going to have to do a comparison between the PVW20 and the VWSR12 instead to decide just who the challenger should be. One things for sure, after trying this Iím sure that the PVW23 Iíve got tucked away, whenever I decide to open it, will be dynamite!

BourbonJoe
04-09-2006, 03:15
but the best I can do here is a slight taste of cherry all the way with a bit of wood a little after I swallow, hope that makes sense.

I'm glad someone else picked up on the cherries.
Joe :usflag:

Nebraska
04-11-2006, 20:49
Ok, LOT B is mentioned by two different people here. It's ok to say LOT B has no meaning, but appearantly is does to somebody, because it keeps showing up in threads all over the place, top ten choices, etc.

Is lot B just some people's way of saying the second batch in the same year?

Anybody? Or especially the people that used the term?

Thanks in advance,
obviously a Novice,

Mark

luv2hunt
04-11-2006, 20:55
Mark,

Everyone shortens Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 yr old Lot B........to simply Lot B :)

Dawn

Nebraska
04-11-2006, 20:58
Many Thanks,


Mark

Tricky
06-12-2006, 14:27
Comments on 'Lot B' and an introduction.....

I opened up my first bottle of 'Lot B' this weekend and I must say that it would warrant the creation of a new human taste receptor called "deliciousness". I could almost 'feel' the vapors wafting over my face and the aroma left me with the impression that I had a micro-factory in my nose busily manufacturing those trays of dried fruits and nuts, sprinkled with spices. Then the first sip, wow, do I wish I could capture that 1st taste more than once ..... what a wonderful oily feel rolling around my mouth, transitions of sweet maple, caramel, malt and I thought I tasted (ever so slight) butterscotch ..... absolutely superb !!

I signed up to SB.com a few weeks ago and wanted to spend some time perusing the forums before starting to post. I will search before asking questions but apologies in advance if I ask something where an answer has already been posted - I have tried to get up to speed but I am sure I will miss things. As a native highlander it is kind of expected for me to have some experience with scotch (single malt and blended) and drinking such is one of my favourtie past-times. However, since moving to the US in '97 I have taken a keen interest in bourbon and American whiskey. In reviewing the various posts I probably have a majority of what seems to be the more popular/interesting/talked about products including WT Rare Breed, Eagle 10 SB, Eagle 17, GTS spring '05, Saz 18, ETL, JD SB, reg JD, WLW, Woodford Reserve, RHF, EC12, EC18, BT, WT KS, EW SB, Baker's, Booker's and a few others. Some of these I have not opened yet but they are on my 'to do' list and I'll get around to it.

The Lot B I tried was purchased in a PA LCB store and was delivered there in August 2005 - I have several questions about this : (1) would this be the Bernheim or the SW product ? (2) a search did not reveal any comparative 'tasting notes' for both variations of this product, do any of you 'taster's have such notes and/or can you share opinions even if not side-by-side ?


Beginning last July, Julian began bottling Lot B with Bernheim wheated bourbon instead of Stitzel-Weller, which had run out at that age. There is no way to tell them apart by the bottling/label itself. So, unless you know that a bottle's been on the shelf since further back than last July, you may be getting either one.
The current Lot B was available to taste at Binny's/WhiskyFest in Chicago last week. I suspect if you put an old one and a new one side-by-side, you'd be able to differentiate. However, either will be satisfy your desire for Lot B.

BourbonJoe
06-12-2006, 18:35
Tricky,
Whereabouts in SE PA are you located. I'm in Reading. Glad to have you here.
Joe :usflag:

tgriff
06-12-2006, 19:25
Mark,

Everyone shortens Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 yr old Lot B........to simply Lot B :)

Dawn

many thanks from another novice...

Tricky
06-12-2006, 19:42
Tricky,
Whereabouts in SE PA are you located. I'm in Reading. Glad to have you here.
Joe :usflag:

Joe - Thanks for the welcome. I am a "stone's throw" away from you in King of Prussia, right next to Valley Forge National Park. It may interest you to know that in the UK I lived about the same distance from Reading, Berkshire (southern England) as I do now from Reading, PA (small world eh ?). The town of Reading, PA was (as I am sure you know) named by William Penn's sons because the UK Reading was Penn's own county seat. Regards.....Mickey.

pepcycle
06-13-2006, 15:24
OK
This is an out and out hi-jacking.

I've never seen as many deer in one place as a night drive through Valley Forge Park.

Ten Thousand within 100ft of the road.

Most amazing thing I've ever seen.

Tricky
06-13-2006, 19:30
OK
This is an out and out hi-jacking.

I've never seen as many deer in one place as a night drive through Valley Forge Park.

Ten Thousand within 100ft of the road.

Most amazing thing I've ever seen.

aaah ... you are quite correct sir ... strict regulations about "no hunting" in VFNP. It's a bit of a controversy that rears its head every now and then - does not seem to stop folk driving like lunatics through the park at night :mad:

.... and to bring it back on topic - can anyone answer my VWSR Lot B question please ?

smokinjoe
06-14-2006, 12:17
As far as the deer thing goes. I've never seen so many DEAD deer as I saw on a trip up I-71 between Columbus and Cleveland Ohio last May. Just after dawn, over about a sixty mile stretch, I counted over 100 fresh road-kills from the night before. Sadly, mommas with their little ones were involved too. And that was just on the Northbound side. One of the most amazing, while depressing, things I have ever seen.

JOE

Gillman
06-14-2006, 12:52
I have relations in Western New Jersey who say the deer problem is becoming a real headache. There are so many animals coming into areas they avoided in the past. Seems conservation measures have increased their numbers and too many are getting killed on the road (which sometimes injures people and their property too). Good intentions gone awry...?

Gary

DrinkyBanjo
06-14-2006, 14:09
Well the problem is two fold. Yes, conservation efforts have allowed the deer population to flourish therefore their numbers are very, very high.

The second issue is that New Jersey is developing every inch of available land and the deer have nowhere else to go.

luv2hunt
06-14-2006, 14:34
(1) would this be the Bernheim or the SW product ? (2) a search did not reveal any comparative 'tasting notes' for both variations of this product, do any of you 'taster's have such notes and/or can you share opinions even if not side-by-side ?

Let's see if I can get this right for you. The Bernheim Lot B was bottled for the first time in July of 2005. I doubt that you got a Bernheim bottling if you took delivery in August of 2005. Yours is most likely SW....but NO guarantee. (Keep in mind that it had to go through a distributor, who would most likely have been moving stock in the warehouse first...to replace with the new)

To my knowledge, no one has posted a tasting comparison. Julian claims it's "damn fine whiskey".

Dawn

Tricky
06-14-2006, 15:20
Dawn - many thanks for your response .... and yes, it is a "damn fine whiskey".l


Let's see if I can get this right for you. The Bernheim Lot B was bottled for the first time in July of 2005. I doubt that you got a Bernheim bottling if you took delivery in August of 2005. Yours is most likely SW....but NO guarantee. (Keep in mind that it had to go through a distributor, who would most likely have been moving stock in the warehouse first...to replace with the new)

To my knowledge, no one has posted a tasting comparison. Julian claims it's "damn fine whiskey".

Dawn

Virus_Of_Life
06-14-2006, 22:46
Just a little note here, I think I bought my bottle in February of this year which could make it Bern. or leftover SW, but that would have been sitting quite a while for a place like BevMo that does move a decent amount of Lot B from what I have seen. Honestly this doesn't hit me as being a SW whiskey, I am NO expert by any means but I swear I notice a similarity between all the known SW that I have tasted which honestly isn't a lot but a few. Anyway the point here is that my Lot B is quite different than say ORVW15 or Pappy15, but every bit as good, just different...

gr8erdane
06-17-2006, 23:08
In all the bottlings of Lot B I've had, with Randy's single barrel Van Blankle being at the apex of them, I've seldom found much similarity with the other Van Winkle offerings. I've always enjoyed it immensely because it is SO different on my palette than any other bourbons I've tasted, including its siblings.

Sijan
06-24-2006, 03:41
The Bernheim Lot B was bottled for the first time in July of 2005.

So July 2005 was just the bottling date? Hmmm, somehow I had the impression that it had entered distribution in July 2005.

I bought a bottle last summer in Virginia, don't recall exactly when, though it was probably the first half of the summer. I was considering going through my receipts to see if I could figure out exactly when I bought it to see if I could verify that it was S-W Lot B. But it sounds like that may be unnecessary if the new stuff didn't really enter distribution until the fall.

When I picked up that bottle, incidentally, there were at least a dozen more with it and I briefly considered buying a case, but figured there seemed to be so much available that there was no need to hoard. Am kicking myself now over that.

Of course, I haven't had the new stuff yet, so I don't know if it's any better, worse, or different. And, unfortunately, I'm not sure how I can buy a bottle off a store shelf now and know whether it's new or old for taste-testing purposes.

I do have an open pre-July 2005 bottle that I bought a couple years ago, so I could try to taste test to determine new/old, but that's not really an efficient way to do things (not learning what you bought until afterwards, when you've opened it).

BourbonJoe
06-25-2006, 07:38
I do have an open pre-July 2005 bottle that I bought a couple years ago, so I could try to taste test to determine new/old, but that's not really an efficient way to do things (not learning what you bought until afterwards, when you've opened it).

Dan,
Then how are you going to tell? Julian Van Winkle told me that there is a difference in profile between the two but the new stuff was still "damn fine whiskey". I know that I personally have a case of the old SW whiskey, based on when I bought it.
Joe :usflag:

jburlowski
06-25-2006, 16:26
Dan,
Julian Van Winkle told me ... the new stuff was still "damn fine whiskey". Joe :usflag:

good enough for me.

Sijan
06-27-2006, 00:11
Dan,
Then how are you going to tell?
Joe :usflag:

Joe, I imagine it would be efficient if I just bought one bottle, but what if I want to get several, or what if I want to be sure I have one version or the other before I buy it? How do I ensure that I am getting a new bottle before I open it?

If a customer determines that they prefer one version to the other, it's difficult for them to bear the burden of buying random bottles, tasting them, and regretting the purchase of some of them.