Is provenance no longer interesting, or even a valid pursuit of inquiry?
The basic question this comes down to is: who do you think knows more about what are in the bottles of Van Winkle product? If you think it is Harlen Wheatley and that JVW is lying, then don't buy the product. If you think it is Julian Van Winkle, then you know what is in those bottles and you can make your purchases accordingly.
Pappy Van Winkle sales aren't going to drop no matter what is in those bottles, so I see no reason for Julian Van Winkle to lie about it.
I think they're both right. Julian is saying what he is releasing, while Harlen is saying what he is bottling.
I beleive the Van Winkles know what they instructed BT to do with their whiskey and Harlen either misunderstood or changed the instruction.
I cannot say for sure what level of responsibility Julian or Preston have over exactly what is bottled. So knowing how the new business model works would shed quite a bit more light.
|-o-| [-o-] |-o-| "I'm on the leader"
The point I've been trying to make is that many people here are basing some pretty strong conclusions on hearsay evidence.
That hearsay evidence is not favored is not a negative reflection on the hearers. Hearsay evidence is unreliable for a host of reasons unrelated to the integrity or skills of the hearers.
But for your consideration, the following. Harlen, due to the nature of his position, thinks more about distilling than anything else. The 'Van Winkle whiskey' being distilled today is the same rye as Sazerac rye, and the same bourbon as Weller bourbon. If you think about what Harlen allegedly said in that context, you can see how what he allegedly said and what Julian said are compatible. These are perspectives anyone can think of, if they're not blinded by their passion to catch someone (anyone) in a falsehood.
It's like the metaphor of the four blind guys that were asked to describe an elephant. Each person touched a different part, and they couldn't agree.
Very good analogy.
I added my 2 cents at the end of the comments on the WA blog. It was really comical to see the VW nerds fight and tussle. Like several have said- it's just whiskey! I would really hate to see these same VW nerds try and start collecting bourbons that are from long-ago shut down distilleries! I made mention that I collect Michter's stuff from Pennsylvania. It's a heck of a lot harder (And often quite a bit more expensive!) to find Pennsylvania distillates than pretty much all VW stuff. If we stay on this fanatical path for a few more years, I can only imagine what will happen to VW products- and their prices!
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
Is the winking face simply implied?