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View Full Version : How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?



PhilsFan
05-02-2008, 17:39
My recently purchased bottle of PVW23 says Frankfort, but it's SW bourbon, my recently purchased ORVW 10/107 also says Frankfort, but it's too young to be SW. I searched forums on bottle numbering for Van Winkle, but it seems as if the numbers don't give a clue as to what is or is not SW.

My question is...when you are bidding on an older bottle of ORVW 10yr on eBay, how can you tell if it's SW or not? Is a Lawrenceburg bottling the only way, or are some older ORVW 10yrs of entirely SW bourbon bottled in Frankfort (like the PVW23)... Is is there another way to tell for sure?

-Joe

mozilla
05-02-2008, 18:26
Others know more than I, but I'll give it my two cents....

SW was sold in 1972. After that....things began to change ever so slightly. Over time the bourbon was a mere shadow of it's former self.

Even the updated version is a great bourbon. This lasted until the stills were shut down in 1992. So the last of the 10 yr ran out in 2002.

I don't recall when the labels switched over to Frankfort.

Seems like there is a bottle date on the squat bottle somewhere, but I don't think you can count on the bottle numbers. I have seen too many duplicates.

ggilbertva
05-02-2008, 19:03
The SW recipe was good up until the distillery shut down in 1992 (I'm not sure what happened to the recipe after that). Any bottle date from '92 or before you can be assured it's SW. From '92 until about '96 was more than likely SW because Bernhiem was introduced into the fold and had matured to the point that it could be used from 96/97 on. I have SW whiskey from 1965 through 1996. Obviously, the earlier whiskey is much better than the later ones. I have a 1991 Prime 80 that is good, not great, but good. The early '80's BIB's are quite good, in fact, they are in my top 3 favorite bourbon. I consider those BIB's probably contain glut whiskey so they are probably more aged than the later bottlings.

All of my SW bottles say Louisville on the label (BIB, Prime and Cabin Still). My bottle of ORVW 15 says Frankfort. One way to tell whether it's SW is to look at the UPC. If it's 88508, that's SW. 88076 could be SW. If the bottle has a tax strip the it will be SW and of course the two digit date on the bottom will indicate the bottling year, if present. Finally, if you find a BIB, DSP-KY16 is SW.

I hope my rambling helped.

mozilla
05-02-2008, 19:44
Greg is right the recipe continues its success.

What I should have said was, that the way that SW was distilled after the Family sold it changed over the years until 1992. Things like distillation & barrel proof, and the yeast formulation were only some of the changes that took place after 1972. Every few years brought more change.

What it changed to, was and is, still a supreme bourbon when compared to contemporaries. Just not the same as the Family made. So, the older the better, but still a leader in any time frame.

My favorite is the Old Weller 107 Louisville, 7 summers old.

TNbourbon
05-02-2008, 20:08
...My question is...when you are bidding on an older bottle of ORVW 10yr on eBay, how can you tell if it's SW or not?..
-Joe

I tell you -- not entirely tongue-in-cheek -- that the surefire way to tell is to drink it, either beside a bottle you know is Stitzel-Weller, or beside one you know isn't. Nose and drink enough of it, and you can just tell...
I realize that doesn't help you while bidding on sight only but, as far as I'm concerned, the bourbon bidding on eBay -- for known rarities such as Stitzel-Weller, in particular -- has gotten crazy. For the prices some of these mundane bottles go for, it doesn't matter who made it or how good it is -- it's just not worth it!
Granted, that's easier to say having gotten a few 'goodies' for $30 or less, shipping included, in past years.:cool:

PhilsFan
05-02-2008, 20:56
as far as I'm concerned, the bourbon bidding on eBay -- for known rarities such as Stitzel-Weller, in particular -- has gotten crazy. For the prices some of these mundane bottles go for, it doesn't matter who made it or how good it is -- it's just not worth it!
Granted, that's easier to say having gotten a few 'goodies' for $30 or less, shipping included, in past years.:cool:

You guys always come through with some great info... Now the bidding on the item is up to $52 (I've been outbid already) with almost 2 days to go, the seller says the bottling is Frankfort...and that there's no date on the bottle... You are probably right--not worth it.

Thanks again, Joe

TNbourbon
05-02-2008, 21:24
Okay, just looked at this guy's listings. I'm guessing he's someone who's either a member here, or a regular lurker. He knows 'facts' that will make his bottles seem more desireable.
But, no, I wouldn't assume this is an S-W bottling simply on his say-so that he purchased it five years ago. Five years ago was 2003, still late enough to be past the 10th anniversary of S-W's closure.
Run!

Luna56
05-02-2008, 22:37
I've learned a bunch just from this thread. You guys are fantastic, thanks a lot.

Cheers!

PhilsFan
05-03-2008, 07:04
Okay, just looked at this guy's listings. I'm guessing he's someone who's either a member here, or a regular lurker. He knows 'facts' that will make his bottles seem more desireable.
But, no, I wouldn't assume this is an S-W bottling simply on his say-so that he purchased it five years ago. Five years ago was 2003, still late enough to be past the 10th anniversary of S-W's closure.
Run!

Thanks Tim - putting on my running shoes now.

-Joe

Special Reserve
05-03-2008, 07:08
All of my SW bottles say Louisville on the label (BIB, Prime and Cabin Still). My bottle of ORVW 15 says Frankfort. One way to tell whether it's SW is to look at the UPC. If it's 88508, that's SW. 88076 could be SW. If the bottle has a tax strip the it will be SW and of course the two digit date on the bottom will indicate the bottling year, if present. Finally, if you find a BIB, DSP-KY16 is SW.

I hope my rambling helped.

My ORVW15 Lawrenceburg UPC code is 089319123723.

http://www.upcdatabase.com/item/089319123723

Both PVW 20 and PVW23 has the 89319 UPC code root.

Neither one of my Cabin Still bottles has a UPC code.

Will

PhilsFan
05-03-2008, 09:09
My ORVW15 Lawrenceburg UPC code is 089319123723.

http://www.upcdatabase.com/item/089319123723

Both PVW 20 and PVW23 has the 89319 UPC code root.

Neither one of my Cabin Still bottles has a UPC code.

Will

The one on my current bottle (not SW) ORVW 10/107 Frankfort is
089319123679.

-Joe

PhilsFan
05-04-2008, 14:36
The guy posted new larger pictures of the bottle of ORVW 10/107...
It's identical to the bottle I bought at Toddy's last week (including UPC code) and he's trying to pass it off as SW whiskey!

Thanks for saving me some money...I would've been really upset opening up that package and finding I had spent about $30 more for the exact same bourbon!

-Joe

cowdery
05-05-2008, 11:14
This may or may not be helpful, but it's not quite correct to say 10-year-old Stitzel-Weller whiskey ran out in 2002, as the whiskey in any age-dated bottle may be older than the stated age. As for changes made after 1972, things didn't really change very much. I don't know that I would draw a bright line at 1972. They probably changed as much as other distilleries did during that time period, but the fear that Norton Simon would trash the place never materialized. Also, recipe is part of it, the distillery itself is the other part. The still had a unique design, for instance.