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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2011
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    Tokyo, Japan
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    Question Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    I finally found a store in my area that carries nearly the full line of Van Winkle products. This is extremely rare, and I was actually hyperventilating when I left the store!

    Now I'm plotting my return visit and how I'm going to blow my next paycheck. I'll probably have to make some painful choices, so I was wondering: from the following list, which do you consider most essential?

    Old Rip Van Winkle 10 y.o. (sorry, didn't check the proof on it)
    Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
    Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 y.o. "Lot B"
    Pappy Van Winkle 15 y.o.

    And, from the above list, is there any one of those products you'd feel most comfortable leaving on the shelf?

    By the way what does "Lot B" refer to?

    (Note: I'm not so immediately interested in the 20 y.o. or 23 y.o. for the time being, as they are more easily obtainable in my area.)

  2. #2
    Apprentice
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    Jan 2011
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    Louisville KY
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    Get all of the 15 year you can. The others can all be found just about anytime year round.
    aut viam inveniam aut faciam

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Arlington, TX
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    I like the 15yo, closely followed by the Lot B and the rye. I did not like the one bottle of Old Rip VanWinkle that I tried because of its 'mediciny' taste, although it mixes well with eggnog.
    Mark Edwards - Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2010
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    Take this with a grain of salt, as I have had the Lot B, the 10, the 15, and the 20, but never the rye (I have two bunkered that I have not opened yet).

    Also, please jump in with other opinions or corrections as needed (like I need to ask... SB is not exactly comprised of shy wallflowers when it comes to opinions or corrections)

    However, I'd say the priority would be the rye, as there is a finite supply of it. The 10 and the Lot B are being made at BT and it's pretty safe to say they will be in production for a while.

    The 15 is either entirely made up of SW make, or is a combination of BT and SW, and that is finite, too. But, I believe BT is in the process of making and aging stuff that will be at least similar to the 15 in bottles today. Personally, I highly doubt that I could differentiate between a 15 yr old BT Van Winkle 107 wheater, and pure SW VW 107 wheater. Blind, I guarantee I could not. Maybe others could.

    The question is, then, is there a rye being made now that will replace VWFRR with the same mashbill, aging, etc in the same way they are seeking to replicate the wheaters? I have not heard that they are, but I could certainly be wrong.

    Release the hounds.
    There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. - GK Chesterton

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2010
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    Take this with a grain (or a spoonful) of salt, as I have had the Lot B, the 10, the 15, and the 20, but never the rye (I have two bunkered that I have not opened yet).

    Also, please jump in with other opinions or corrections as needed (like I need to ask... SB is not exactly comprised of shy wallflowers when it comes to opinions or corrections)

    However, I'd say the priority would be the rye, as there is a finite supply of it. The 10 and the Lot B are being made at BT and it's pretty safe to say they will be in production for a while.

    The 15 is either entirely made up of SW make, or is a combination of BT and SW, and the SW is finite, too. But, I believe BT is in the process of making and aging stuff that will be at least similar to the 15 in bottles today. Personally, I highly doubt that I could differentiate between a 15 yr old BT Van Winkle 107 wheater, and pure SW VW 107 wheater. Blind, I guarantee I could not. Maybe others could.

    The question is, then, is there a rye being made now that will replace VWFRR with the same mashbill, aging, etc in the same way they are seeking to replicate the wheaters? I have not heard that they are, but I could certainly be wrong.

    Release the hounds.
    There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. - GK Chesterton

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    181

    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    I'd load up on the 15 and the Rye and try to squeeze in a bottle or two of the 10yr, provided that it's the 107 proof version.

    If you still had $$ after that, Lot B is never a bad idea. I just think it's a little less-essential than the other options...

  7. #7
    Guru
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    The Pappy 15 and VWFRR are my favorites of the bunch by a long shot and, as others have noted, in finite supply. If possible, you may wish to pick up a few of each and leave the others for a rainy day when you've got a few dollars burning a hole in your pocket.
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

  8. #8
    Guru
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    I would rank them in the following order (accounting for price):

    1. Old Rip 10/107
    2. Pappy 15/107
    3. VW Family Reserve Rye
    4. (distant) Lot B (15 y/o)
    5. Pappy 20
    6. Old Rip 10/90
    7.Pappy 23
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2010
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    221

    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    You're not buying Picassos - it's made to drink. Buy what you like. If you haven't drunk these whiskies, get one of each. Open it - taste it. If you like it, buy as much as you want. That is the whole of the law and the prophets.

    The 15 year is a "dead man walking". Once it's gone, you'll never see it again. The rest of the line will be available in one form or another, for many years to come. (Until, all of a sudden, they aren't...)

    Remember, if you don't want them, someone else will. Never a bad idea to have desireable trading stock on hand.
    "Brown eyed women and red grenadine...
    the bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean." -Jerry Garcia

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    Seattle
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    626

    Re: Sorting through the Van Winkle line: priorities?

    Rob,

    Here's how I would buy if I were you:
    #1 top priority-Pappy 15(like others have said once it's gone , it's gone for good)(well liked by nearly everyone here on SB)
    #2-the rye(it's on its last days, old stock)
    #3-the 10/107
    #4-TIE between Lot B 12 year old and the Pappy 20.

    Good luck, I know how you feel.
    Last edited by CaptainQ; 04-10-2011 at 18:20.

 

 

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