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marco246
06-19-2008, 17:05
I have a 2006 copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible in which he rates several wheated bourbons. On page 279 he refers to:

--"Old Rip 12 Years Old" tasting of "lots of rye spice prickles about."

--"Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Years Old" tasting of "wonderful rye and associated fruitiness."

--"Old Rip Van Winkle 12 Years Old" tasting of "harder rye and soft corn" and finishing with "liquorish and some gritty rye."

On page 280 he refers to:

--"Pappy Van Winkle 23 Years Old" tasting of "forests of oak somehow tempered by the likes of green peppers and sprawling rye."

So I am confused. I thought all the bourbons above had wheat instead of rye on the mash bill. Is it possible to taste rye where there is no rye? I wonder if later versions of the Whisky Bible have the same tasting notes for these bourbons?

Cheers,
Mark

mozilla
06-19-2008, 17:14
As far as I know, all but the original Pappy 23 have been wheaters, barring Julians ryes of course. Most of it distilled at SW the rest at new Berheim or BT. I guess Jim made a little oops.

OldJack
06-19-2008, 17:22
I feel better knowing that the giants in the field occasional miss on their tasting notes. That makes me feel better about the clumsy, amateurish attempts at tasting notes I write.

Of course, it also points to the greatly subjective nature of tasting whiskey.

In my mind, it also raises some questions about the influence of expectations on the process. If someone didn't know they were sipping a wheater, I can see how they'd mistake any spicy note as being caused by the rye most of us typically expect in a bourbon.

mozilla
06-19-2008, 17:36
In the books I have read through....there have been lots of errors.

sku
06-19-2008, 18:09
Great catch!

Of course, he also tastes plums, treacle, etc and all kinds of other things that aren't present in the whiskies he reviews.

Does VW have no rye at all or just a smaller portion than other Bourbons?

TNbourbon
06-19-2008, 18:57
It may not be an error. The first Pappy 23yo WAS a rye-recipe bourbon, not Stitzel-Weller. Murry generally doesn't take old tasting notes out of his book with each new issue, just adds more recent ones -- thus all the letter and number footnotes in the lengthier ones. Thus, it's possible the note you read was relative that first 1999 Pappy 23yo release, and would be entirely appropriate and accurate.
That said, I'll repeat what I've posted here on several occasions: one of the pleasures of good S-W bourbon is that is has some notes most often associated with rye-recipe whiskey added to its 'wheat-ness', and thus I've referred to it more than once as "the rye of wheaters".

JohnHansell
06-19-2008, 19:05
Hi Guys,

I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.

TNbourbon
06-19-2008, 19:11
Hi Guys,

I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.
You're quite right, John. Julian has acknowledged that Boone Bros. Distillery was the source of that original ryed 20yo. For reasons known only to himself, he's been coy about the origin of the first 23yo, though he HAS said it, too, is rye-recipe.

mozilla
06-19-2008, 19:16
Hi Guys,

I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.

Yep. Mistakes are not only made by authors :grin: ....I stand corrected.:rolleyes:

marco246
06-19-2008, 19:17
Thanks, fellas, for the enlightenment.

Good point, sku. If I can taste cherries in Fighting Cock, Murray ought to be able to taste rye wherever he pleases.

Cheers,
Mark

mozilla
06-19-2008, 19:18
Tim,
Did that first Pappy 23 come out in 1999? If so, had it been tanked or strait from the barrel?

TNbourbon
06-19-2008, 19:20
Tim,
Did that first Pappy 23 come out in 1999? If so, had it been tanked or strait from the barrel?
Yes, regarding 1999. I don't know about either its provenance or storage to that point.

mozilla
06-19-2008, 19:24
Do the ryed 20 and 23 taste similar? I have not tasted either one, yet.

TNbourbon
06-19-2008, 20:12
Do the ryed 20 and 23 taste similar? I have not tasted either one, yet.

I've tasted the rye v. wheat 20s side-by-side, and the rye v. wheat 23s side-by-side, but not either combination of the 20 and 23 side-by-side (that I recall, anyway).
In both cases of rye v. wheat, I had a sense of deeper flavors in the green glass (rye), with less oak influence.
Funny, wheaters are known for their ability to stand lots of aging, but I found the oak more prominent in their tastes, too. Drier, vs. the fruitiness of the ryes.
(Please don't ask me to be more specific -- these recollections are 2-3 years old, and I can't afford to go back and re-purchase similar bottles:bigeyes:!)

mozilla
06-19-2008, 20:23
Thanks! How can you recognize the ryed 20? Is it green glass as well? Or should I look for Lawrencberg?

TNbourbon
06-19-2008, 20:30
Thanks! How can you recognize the ryed 20? Is it green glass as well? Or should I look for Lawrencberg?

Both. There were later 20s from Lawrenceburg that contained wheated bourbon. They are ALL in clear glass. (By the way, the 'green' were very lightly tinted. It's very hard to tell them apart unless looking at 'green' and 'clear' side-by-side.)

BourbonJoe
06-19-2008, 20:31
The 20 Lawrenceburg (ryed) is green glass as well.
Joe :usflag:

mozilla
06-20-2008, 06:31
Thanks TIm and Joe.....and sorry to hijack the thread. Hope we didn't stray too far.