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  1. #1
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    Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    I urge you guys to give this podcast a listen. It's from K&L Wines Spirit Journal, done weekly by David Driscoll. This week he has Harlen Wheatley, MD of Buffalo Trace.

    It's particularly interesting around 20 minute mark. David asks Harlen about Pappy. Harlen is very open and honest in this interview, which I sure appreciated. And while Harlen doesn't speak in 100% absolutes because he didn't have all the numbers in front of him (his words), he does outline the following:

    -The ORVW 10 year old and Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 year old (Lot b) is Buffalo Trace product, not Stitzel-Weller I think this has been commonly known and reported by many, but I'm not aware of either Julian Van Winkle, Harlen, or anyone else this close to the situation confirming this before.

    -The 20 year old and 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons are still all Stitzel-Weller stock. The rumors of 20 year old being close to dry was not addressed but Harlen mentions "being close" in terms of having product around that age.

    -The 15 year old wasn't talked about in absolutes but Harlen mentions that he believe it to be a mix of stock between Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller. This was the interesting one to me because I was thinking it was still S-W reserves. Very cool to hear. Again, this is one where he wasn't able to confirm 100%, but thought it was a mix.

    Check it out.

    http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/kl...-wheatley.html

  2. #2
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    Quote Originally Posted by jmpyle View Post
    -The 15 year old wasn't talked about in absolutes but Harlen mentions that he believe it to be a mix of stock between Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller.
    I believe this to be true as well based on what I have heard from a couple sources, and my taste buds....
    Cheers,

    Scott

    Reality is an illusion created by a lack of alcohol.

  3. #3
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    At around 18 minutes while discussing the Van Winkle line he says, "...he does have a 10yr, I think."

    I may be an ass, but hey Harlen, are you really that unaware of the 2 Old Rip labels?? Gimme a break. Can Kentucky Bourbon makers ever just be honest?? (Later on he states that the Old Rip 10yr is certainly BT.)

    New flash to Kentucky, when the Baby Boomers are all gone, you better start being more honest with consumers, or it will hurt your bottom line.
    Last edited by White Dog; 03-10-2011 at 23:05.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    Quote Originally Posted by White Dog View Post
    At around 18 minutes while discussing the Van Winkle line he says, "...he does have a 10yr, I think."

    I may be an ass, but hey Harlen, are you really that unaware of the 2 Old Rip labels?? Gimme a break. Can Kentucky Bourbon makers ever just be honest?? (Later on he states that the Old Rip 10yr is certainly BT.)

    New flash to Kentucky, when the Baby Boomers are all gone, you better start being more honest with consumers, or it will hurt your bottom line.
    Buffalo Trace makes about 30 different bourbon brands with multiple expressions within those brands so should Harlen have them all top-of-mind? I don't think so.

  5. #5
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    I listened to it, and I'm not sure he wasn't grouping all the wheated bourbon together, so went he talked about the "10 and 12" being all BT he wasn't talking about Weller.

    Not that it matters, because we know no S-W whiskey is that young, unless someone dumped it ten years ago.

    I also doubt that Wheatley is involved directly in the selection or bottling of the Van Winkle whiskeys. Julian does that. And, come on, asking him so much about S-W whiskey is like asking an engineer at Ford about how cool the old Dodge Charger was.

    I also don't know what message boards the interviewer reads where people argue a lot and spread a lot of disinformation. It's certainly not this one.

    I wish he'd pushed on the future Taylor releases. That would have been interesting. They also touched on the regular Taylor bourbon. I would have asked what they are going to use for it once the stock from Beam runs out.

  6. #6
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    I also don't know what message boards the interviewer reads where people argue a lot and spread a lot of disinformation. It's certainly not this one.
    I certainly don't think this board is spreading disinformation, but obviously there's a lot of speculation out there. When speculation comes from informed, intelligent people that know their stuff, it can sometimes be spread as gospel. Many (all over the internet) have speculated about the 15 year old S-W being out. Some have said it's been dumped and held in stainless holding tanks. Contradictions abound around the 15, and Harlen didn't really hesitate to say that it's a mixture of S-W and BT. I haven't heard anyone officially confirm that the 10 and 12 are from one or the other. Harlen confirms they are BT.

    Anyway, perhaps disinformation is a strong word and a more appropriate one is "lack of confirmed info". While he clearly didn't have figures in front of him and stumbled over the 10/12 comment, who would know better than the guy in charge of distilling and aging BT products?

  7. #7
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    Example #1 - this message board indeed (but no real arguing - that's another big site)

    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...ad.php?t=14926
    Last edited by David D; 03-12-2011 at 10:06.

  8. #8
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    Quote Originally Posted by David D View Post
    Example #1 - this message board indeed (but no real arguing - that's another big site)

    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...ad.php?t=14926
    Help us out...point out the disinformation in the thread.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  9. #9
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    The point with that thread is the you have multiple posters who had all been under the impression that something else was the case. One person writes "I remember reading somewhere...". My point on the podcast is that if you spend enough time reading about van winkle whiskies on the internet, you'll find conflicting information from people who thought they had the correct info.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Harlen Wheatley talks BT and Pappy

    That's why it's good that people like you do intelligent, in-depth interviews with people who know what they're talking about, and also with me.

 

 

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