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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    So I found a bottle of VWFRR recently. Got it home and saw these weird glue stains on the bottle. Now, it would be pretty perverse for someone to fake a bottle of VWFRR, especially at the price I paid for it, but I was worried.

    Went to the Van Winkle website, went to "contact us" and, lo and behold, there's Julian's email. Sent him a photo of the bottle. Now it's 10 pm, and I'm just cracking the bottle.

    Meantime, I put it up against baby Saz, Saz 18, and Rit BIB. The "VWFRR" kicked each one from here to next Sunday.

    The next day, Julian writes me back. He evaluated the photo and tells me of some issues w/ label attachment he had last year. So that explains the weird glue stains.

    This response just blew my mind. I knew Julian is active on forums, I know he's just a totally straight up guy, but the fact that he took the time to respond to my slightly paranoid email really was phenomenal.

    The takeaway for me is that, while some of us rightly bitch about Pappy worship, we need to keep in mind that the Van Winkles built their reputation day by day through interactions like this. Totally honest, dedicated to customer service, and, above all, focused on quality product.

    In what other industry could anyone expect such phenomenal customer service?

    So totally classy. I tip my hat to Julian.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    Great story. I had a similar experience to yours when I purchased a bottle of the Pappy 23. The bottle did not have a back label so I emailed Julian a photo of it and he confirmed it was legit and sent me two back labels in the mail that week. How's that for customer service! I was so damn impressed I had to ask for one more favor. I really wanted an autographed copy of Sally Van Winkle's book, "But Always Fine Bourbon". Julian said no problem he'd sign a copy for me next time he was at BT. A couple weeks later I had my book, signed and all. Julian Van Winkle, one of the great gentlemen of bourbon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    SE Minn

    Re: VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    I recently bought two bottles of this, and one each one the front label was practically coming right off!! It was only holding on by a little dab of glue in the center. Good to hear that there have been some issues. Never thought of contacting them.

    Good to hear of such a great customer service response. Especially from a company we all love to do business with. And it's even more impressive when it comes the the top!


  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    West Pennsylvania

    Re: VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    A several years ago I emailed an up and coming band that I liked. I got a personal response from the lead singer. That is not a surprise when someone is "small" and still on the way up. But for someone as established as the Van Winkles to personally respond is special indeed.

    Stories like this make me happy.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Northern Colorado

    Re: VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    Thanks for sharing the story, its nice to see some good personable customer service still around today; it can sometimes be a rarity. Oh, and glad that everything is okay with the bottle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: VWFRR labels, and CLASS / AWESOMENESS lessons

    I've had the labels come off a bottle or 2 of the recent release. I'm not in the least bit worried about it. A small bit of Elmers can go a long way.

    I have another customer service story about Julian. I sent him an email looking for a particular non bourbon item, asking if he knew where I could find such a thing. He sent me an email back with a picture of the exact item I was looking for on his desk asking if that was it. I replied yes and inquired where I could look to purchase said item. He said, why don't you mail me a check and I will just send this one to you.

    I think many American CEOs could learn some valuable information as to how run and operate a company from Mr. Julian Van Winkle. He has definitely earned my business for life and I'm quite certain I'm not the only one.



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