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  1. #1
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    BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    It's that time again. Yes folks, another chapter in the saga of "BOURBON OF THE MONTH'

    Let's here your thoughts on ORVW 10/90. I will refrain from commenting on this BOTM at this time. It's been a while since I had the pleasure of a bottle of it, and my memory ain't quite what it used to be. CRS Baby!

    Have fun. Cheers! Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  2. #2
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    i haven't had it in a while either - i always opt to buy the 107 proof.

    my main comment about this and the other pappy products: scarcity and the fall/spring pappy chase is wearing very thin. i'm happy i got a few bottles of the various pappy's when they weren't as popular. and oh yeah, still SW.

  3. #3
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    I only have bottles of 107 as well (which I think is fantastic btw) but a friend of mine picked up a bottle of the latest release 90 and was supremely disappointed. I didn't try it, but I don't really understand why the 90/107 split. Just make it all 107 and have more available. I think anyone seeking out Van Winkle is probably looking for the higher proof version anyway. Does anyone know the logic behind offering 2 proofs?
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  4. #4
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    The whiskey is delicious to me. Much like weller 12. The price is more due to the "scarcity". It's a shame they can't find more worthy barrels. Of course I do prefer the 107 and hopefully we will be seeing more 107 when the ninety gets dropped this year.
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  5. #5
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    I have only done the 107 also and that not for a few months just got lucky and got one bottle last year.

  6. #6
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    I picked ORVW 10/90 as BOTM for two reasons.

    #1. It hadn't been BOTM before.

    #2. It was the first "Pappy" I was able to find.

    Long story, but it really got my attention way back in 08. Since then, like many others, the 10/107 has appealed more to me. Of course, that's not taking into consideration, Pappy 15, Pappy 20, and Pappy 23. What can I say? I do the best I can.
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Feb 2012
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    Just finished my last drop (sob, sob) of ORVW 10/90 last night. My wife tried to get me PVW 15 for Christmas and was unsuccessful but was able to get the ORVW for me. I am a big Weller fan, especially Weller 12 and OWA. I must say for $36 the ORVW 10/90 is a good deal, too bad it is so dang hard to get.

    As much as I like Weller 12, the ORVW 10/90 is superior. It has a creamy sweetness about it with very little "hotness". The Weller 12 can be a little hot. The sweetness in ORVW 10/90 is a maple syrup like sweetness that is different from the brown sugar sweetness in the Weller 12/OWA.

    I'd buy the ORVW 10/90 regularly if I could.

  8. #8
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    For me, the biggest difficulty this board has caused me is the death of the value pour. If I've got an amazing bottle (or 5) open, it's really, really hard for me to go for something less. I guess that's just my personality. I want the best, always. I got the best in a lot of ways: my fiancee, my friends, my music, my food ... and yeah, my bourbon.

    I've been looking for a while for something that doesn't seem second best. I rely on the board favorite value pours for that (Ritt BIB, various Wellers, VOB BIB) but even these usually leave me wanting more. I'm a snob, I'm an elitist. It's all y'all's fault (when it comes to bourbon)!

    I have found a lot of ORVW 10/90 on the shelves. A shit ton of it. And where I've found it, I've found a lot of 10/107. Again, a shit ton, but a shit ton that's now in my basement. As I've gone back slowly to collect all the 10/107's, I've slowly started to collect the 10/90s. In most places, it's less than $30. And as I've gathered up more 10/90s, I've come to really enjoy it, especially bottles from 08 or prior.

    It's become my daily "value" pour. I'm a snob, I already admitted it, so don't look at me that way for calling a $30 bottle my "value" pour, OK? I work hard for my money. You can barely find a "value" scotch for anything near that. OK, oops, referencing the snobby "dark side" isn't helping me much.

    In any event, when I find ORVW 10/90, I now no longer look at it with disappointment that it's not the 10/107. There's no benefit in that worldview, because in that sense, finding 10/107 would only make you feel sad that it's not the PVW 15, etc.

    The 90 is freakin' awesome. Creamy, "smooth" (god, I hate that descriptor), a bit of cherries, a bit of tingle on the finish. Of course it would be better at 107 proof. But I'll tell ya, if I see it, I'm scooping up all of it.

  9. #9
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    My dilemma is two-fold

    1) I can't find any ORVW product. Ever. Even when you put your name on the list, the store managers only really want to get the PVW line and only ever receive 1 bottle each of ORVW.

    2) I got BT's version of VWFR 12yr Lot B. It barely had an edge over W.L. Weller 12yr. This makes me think the 10yr expressions won't be any better than standard W.L. Weller 12 yr that I can find is MASSIVE abundance all over Dallas, at any time of the year for 1/3 the price.

    When i really think about it, BT can't afford to have the Weller line out-perform the Van Winkle line being that it's practically the same product.

    The Van Winkle stuff is probably small batch so they can concentrate on a particular flavor profile.


    With all that said, I wish I could have a taste of ORVW 10/90 BT or SW juice. Anyone know a bar in Dallas that might serve it?

  10. #10
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    Re: BOTM 3/12: Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90 proof

    I'm too tired to actually debate it, and I guess debating is really irrelevant when it comes to individual tastes, but the ORVW = almost Weller (ORVW 10/90 = Weller SR, ORVW 10/107 = Weller Antique) and Lot B = Weller 12 arguments just fall totally flat in my experience.

    The Van Winkle products kick the tail of the Weller products to the curb, and I've tasted various vintages against each other -- blind -- and guess what, the ORVW always wins. And the Lot B always wins over Weller 12, even the fabled Binny's Weller 12 (Burnheim 13.5 year).

    What's weird about ORVW to me is that I think there's a large amount of variability in terms of flavor profile -- newer ORVW 10 is sweeter than prior batches. But I think ORVW knocks its companion Wellers (when comparing proof) out of the water. Maybe I just have a bunch of good botles?

    But I'd also say that the changes in flavor profile are largely related to this being such a small scale product. If, say, Weller "?"/107* or Weller "?"/90* were to drift slightly more sweet or slightly more dry, you'd probably get 3-4 bottles before you'd really notice the change. The blending of barrels would probably account for the flavor differences, and the high volume would mean you wouldn't experience a jarring change in flavor profile.

    Yet with all VW products, they're released, at most, 2x yearly, so you're just bound to find a substantial change when you compare releases.

    OK, also, don't get me started on Lot B being no better than Weller 12. Hypocrite alert: I'm on record here for saying the exact same thing, but I hereby rescind that statement.

    Of course, there is the question of provenance. Julian just told me via email that current Lot B is Burnheim, which makes the whole Weller 12 is the same as Lot B argument totally bunk. Don't believe me? All I can do is forward the damn email, so PM if you're dubious.

    But Julian saying that does make me think that what's ACTUALLY in ORVW isn't as simple as you think, especially if you go back to some of the dusty bottles I've found.

    Of course, what I wish is that Julian would just tell us when each expression changed from SW to Burnheim to BT and how we can tell. I doubt this will happen, but I think he should consider it only because it would help him show enthusiasts that the true core value of the brand is barrel selection, not mythical "closed amazing distillery" mojo.

    The fact is, Julian picks some freakin' awesome barrels. So: credit where due. And, I think: the more we know about what it is he does, the higher his star (and that of his company) will rise.

    BTW, and I think I'm gonna "blog" on this: why don't we harness the collective power we have in terms of how we discuss various bourbons in order to make a political statement against NAS whiskeys? Why not put a question mark to designate age because it is, really, totally unknown. Putting the question mark in there is a way for us enthusiasts to say that we don't like age statement downgrades and we don't like NAS in general. Doesn't putting the ? and scare quotes around the age statement for Weller -- hey, we should be talking about age when comparing it with ORVW, because it is age stated, right? -- make it look bad? When I say I'm comparing Weller "?"/107 with ORVW 10/107, do you not get a sense of scorn? Maybe it won't make a difference but, hey, you never know. Anyway, I'll be doing so from henceforth.

 

 

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