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  1. #1
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    How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    I was invited by 'Squire' to post my results after tasting these two drams side-by-side. I stated my guess (untested as yet at the time) that Old Weller Antique 107 and Old Rip Van Winkle 107 might be essentially the same juice in different bottles, in the thread about what you've bought in Fall, '13. Well, here's my findings:

    While I can't say unequivocally that they are the same stuff, I will say, after tasting the two side by side, that they are exceedingly similar. Granted, my palate is not as well-trained or discriminating as many of you folks, so please take this evaluation as just one man's opinion. The extra 3 or 4 years of aging didn't (IMHO) change the ORVW (10-years old by the label) very much compared to the OWA. Both were very aromatic, and sweet on the nose, as I find many wheaters to be. I did pick up a slight note of barrel char from the Old Rip that I didn't get from the OWA, and I picked up a very slight maple hint from the OWA, not noted in the Old Rip. The color, and the legs of each were identical (rich copper/amber with red highlights, medium-long and thin legs). The mouthfeel of each was a bit thin, but decent; very nearly identical with a smidgen of an edge to the Old Rip. I also found the OWA just a tad hotter to the tongue, but in only a very miniscule way. The balance of vanilla, toasted oak and slight brown sugar flavors was a little better in the Old Rip, which gave it a very slightly mellower quality. The finish of each was quite similar; both being about medium-to-long, and warm; with fading sweetness. I found both to have a slightly astringent quality in the mouth. Not uncommon in wheaters, in my experience. Soooooo, there you have it! I don't know that I'll purchase any more Old Rip (for almost $20 more), just to get the very minor differences that I detected. I don't KNOW that the mashbills are identical; but these two individual bottles certainly suggest they might be.

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Thanks for the review! Reports like these are what makes this forum so valuable. Those unable to obtain the ORVW can take comfort in knowing that something much more readily available may be just as enjoyable.
    -Brian-

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

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    Columbia. South Carolina
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richnimrod View Post
    I was invited by 'Squire' to post my results after tasting these two drams side-by-side. I stated my guess (untested as yet at the time) that Old Weller Antique 107 and Old Rip Van Winkle 107 might be essentially the same juice in different bottles, in the thread about what you've bought in Fall, '13. Well, here's my findings:

    While I can't say unequivocally that they are the same stuff, I will say, after tasting the two side by side, that they are exceedingly similar. Granted, my palate is not as well-trained or discriminating as many of you folks, so please take this evaluation as just one man's opinion. The extra 3 or 4 years of aging didn't (IMHO) change the ORVW (10-years old by the label) very much compared to the OWA. Both were very aromatic, and sweet on the nose, as I find many wheaters to be. I did pick up a slight note of barrel char from the Old Rip that I didn't get from the OWA, and I picked up a very slight maple hint from the OWA, not noted in the Old Rip. The color, and the legs of each were identical (rich copper/amber with red highlights, medium-long and thin legs). The mouthfeel of each was a bit thin, but decent; very nearly identical with a smidgen of an edge to the Old Rip. I also found the OWA just a tad hotter to the tongue, but in only a very miniscule way. The balance of vanilla, toasted oak and slight brown sugar flavors was a little better in the Old Rip, which gave it a very slightly mellower quality. The finish of each was quite similar; both being about medium-to-long, and warm; with fading sweetness. I found both to have a slightly astringent quality in the mouth. Not uncommon in wheaters, in my experience. Soooooo, there you have it! I don't know that I'll purchase any more Old Rip (for almost $20 more), just to get the very minor differences that I detected. I don't KNOW that the mashbills are identical; but these two individual bottles certainly suggest they might be.
    Excellent notes. I agree totally. I have a bottle of each and cannot consistently pick them.

  4. #4
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    May 2013
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    675

    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richnimrod View Post
    I was invited by 'Squire' to post my results after tasting these two drams side-by-side. I stated my guess (untested as yet at the time) that Old Weller Antique 107 and Old Rip Van Winkle 107 might be essentially the same juice in different bottles, in the thread about what you've bought in Fall, '13. Well, here's my findings:

    While I can't say unequivocally that they are the same stuff, I will say, after tasting the two side by side, that they are exceedingly similar. Granted, my palate is not as well-trained or discriminating as many of you folks, so please take this evaluation as just one man's opinion. The extra 3 or 4 years of aging didn't (IMHO) change the ORVW (10-years old by the label) very much compared to the OWA. Both were very aromatic, and sweet on the nose, as I find many wheaters to be. I did pick up a slight note of barrel char from the Old Rip that I didn't get from the OWA, and I picked up a very slight maple hint from the OWA, not noted in the Old Rip. The color, and the legs of each were identical (rich copper/amber with red highlights, medium-long and thin legs). The mouthfeel of each was a bit thin, but decent; very nearly identical with a smidgen of an edge to the Old Rip. I also found the OWA just a tad hotter to the tongue, but in only a very miniscule way. The balance of vanilla, toasted oak and slight brown sugar flavors was a little better in the Old Rip, which gave it a very slightly mellower quality. The finish of each was quite similar; both being about medium-to-long, and warm; with fading sweetness. I found both to have a slightly astringent quality in the mouth. Not uncommon in wheaters, in my experience. Soooooo, there you have it! I don't know that I'll purchase any more Old Rip (for almost $20 more), just to get the very minor differences that I detected. I don't KNOW that the mashbills are identical; but these two individual bottles certainly suggest they might be.
    Great notes and information! Thanks for sharing!
    - H

  5. #5
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Thanks for the notes nimrod. I have had similar results in side by side tastings with those 2 and I will add PVW 15 to that list. You should do a side by side of OWA, ORVW, and PVW15 (all current bottlings.) They are all very similar. Between the 3 I don't know if I could pick out any of them specifically other than the OWA and even then it would have to be a new bottle of OWA. The old OWA from about a decade ago and back could easily replace the other 2. I still prefer the 10yr. out of the currently produced BT wheaters (not including WLW - my favorite). Although, I can't say that it's worth 2 to 3 times the price of OWA.
    Last edited by smknjoe; 11-12-2013 at 14:15.
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  6. #6
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Good notes, well thought out and very clearly expressed. The mash bill would be the same though because BT was making contract whisky for SW (using their formula and yeast) years before the Van Winkle connection.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #7
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Good notes, well thought out and very clearly expressed. The mash bill would be the same though because BT was making contract whisky for SW (using their formula and yeast) years before the Van Winkle connection.
    Thanx for confirming that for us Squire!
    I was fairly sure that was the case. It absolutely tastes that way. I like 'em both pretty well, though I wouldn't want a steady diet of just these two wheaters, rather than a variety including lots of different mashbills. Different days find me in different moods, and often a palate seeking a variety of flavors.

  8. #8
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Great notes Rich, er Dad! I'm looking forward to doing this same comparison. On the one hand, ORVW was my first VW anything, and I remember my first bottle as being really special (and that was a 90 proofer!) May have just been romanced into those notions, but at the time I thought it stood out (note - this was just a couple years ago, so no "dusty" influence). And there's nothing wrong with enjoying a bottle more because of the bottle/label/name! But knowing if the nose/palate are very similar to something more readily available is great information to have!
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  9. #9
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    Dayton, OH
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    I find a 2/1 OWA/W12 ratio in the SB blend gets really close to Old Rip.

  10. #10
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    Re: How Close is OWA 107 to ORVW 107?

    Great notes there...I would certainly agree that there have been some OWA's bottled in the last couple years that would rival and even edge ORVW 10/107 and possibly Pappy 15...it's all the same bourbon just with different age on it. The OWA program used to have 9yr barrels available for selection and those were every bit as good IMO as the ORVW's that I have here.
    You can find me in chat most nights on days ending with the letter y!

 

 

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