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Thread: ORVW 15yo

  1. #1

    ORVW 15yo

    Yesterday, I ventured to a liquor store in Central Ohio that I had never been to before, trying to find something that the other dozen stores I've been to didn't stock. I found absolutely nothing new (I can't find any ryes other than Old Overholt around here!!!) until I got to the very end of the shelf.

    Two bottles of ORVW 15 year old.

    I have never come across any of the Van Winkles around here, so this quickly caught my eye. I then noticed the condition of the bottles. They were quite dusty and the label was extremely aged. The numbers on the bottles were L4249 and L4246 and they were going for just under $40.

    Can anyone tell me about this bottling (when they were bottled, quality compared to other bottlings, etc...) and if they are worth shelling out for? I have read many great reviews here of all things Van Winkle, but I rarely venture above the $30 mark.

    Thanks in advance for any information.

    -BCS

  2. #2
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Van Winkle Rye (15 year) is no longer made. I would suggest picking up those bottles as they represent some of the finest rye whiskey available. I know I am partial, as the Buffalo Trace Distillery is the producer of Van Winkle whiskies. However, the bottles in question came from Lawrenceburg. These were barrels Julian picked out several years ago.

    Ken

  3. #3
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Ken Weber, who is vastly more knowledgeable than I, has already responded, but I'm not sure he interpreted your question correctly.

    Indeed, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 y/o may be the finest whiskey I've ever tasted. (I have only three bottles left, IIRC, and I haven't tasted it in nearly a year. Perhaps it's not really as marvelous as I remember.) If you happen to find it, buy one bottle regardless of price. If you find it under $40, buy all you can afford. I believe either Ken or Julian Van Winkle has stated in this forum that all of Julian's stock has now been bottled. It will be a few years before rye produced by Buffalo Trace will be bottled as Van Winkle. I'd bet it will be good, but it won't be the same.

    However, you referred to ORVW 15yo (Old Rip Van Winkle), which is a different bottling. It's not only a bourbon rather than a rye; I believe its mashbill contains no rye whatsoever. This bottling, too, is no more, but at least it has been replaced by a similar one (in a redesigned bottle). I'd recommend you spring for one bottle, but not with quite the same urgency as with the VWFFR.

    One of my first experiences with premium bourbon was its younger sibling, ORVW 10yo/107, which for a while I thought was the better of the two. Over time my fondness for longer-aged bourbon has increased, and I now slightly favor the 15 yo.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  4. #4

    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Aw, hell, buy 'em both -- whatever else they are, they're Van Winkle. There's a good chance you'll love 'em. If not, let me know -- I'll take them off your hands.

  5. #5
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    You are correct! I saw the word rye in the first paragraph and ......... Mea culpa!

    Ken

  6. #6
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Van Winkle Rye (15 year) is no longer made. I would suggest picking up those bottles as they represent some of the finest rye whiskey available.
    Now I'm confused. 15yo Van Winkle Rye? Is the 13yo Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye still being made?

  7. #7
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    There was a slight mixup identifying the various Van Winkle bottlings in this thread, and you talk of a 15 year van winkle rye, which doesn't exist... so, a primer on what various components of your query do actually exist..

    The Van Winkle 13 year rye is formally named "Van Winkle Famiy Reserve Rye". This is a fine rye whiskey, and unfortunately, there is no more barrel stock left; It is indeed "all done" and it's wise to buy up any you see if you like this whiskey. AFAIK, there are no more bottlings scheduled for this expression.

    The 15 year Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon in the squatty bottle with the extended neck (abbreviated as ORVW 15 yo) is also on the way out, but it's replaced by a new Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 year whiskey that is packaged in a tall wine style bottle with some absolutey gorgeous labels (kudos to the person who designed the Pappy 15 package... it's absolutely amazing, yet traditional)

    This whiskey tastes significantly different than the ORVW15 whiskey, but it's made by the same folks, so there's another possible source of confusion. But, relating to your original question, it's not rye whiskey.


    My summary: all of the stuff you're talking about is darn good whiskey, and if you're wondering whether to buy and try a bottle, then just go ahead and do it. Any of this stuff I've mentioned is good enough and priced well enough, so whatever the heck you ran into, it's worth buying, opening and enjoying without delay.

    Please tell me what bottle you have in front of you

    Cheers,

  8. #8
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Wonderful bourbon..... We just finished our bottle of ORVW 15yo last night .Off to the spirit shop today to get some more... .I'm going to buy 2 because I understand they've changed the bottling to the tall VW bottle and I kinda enjoy the squat bottle with the antique label....Besides its a dam fine sippin bourbon.....We pay between $36 and $40.....Enjoy

  9. #9
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    I agree any VW is worth buying.Here's a picture of just the ones I had in my
    bar.The picture is taken by my cellphone so I will write what is on the labels.
    From right;Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 90P,VWFR Rye 1985 100P
    non chill filtered no age,VWFR Rye 13Y 95.6P,Hirsh Rye 13Y 95.6P
    They are all from Lawrenceburg Julians Old Commenwealth days.
    Maybe I'm wrong but I think the last two bottles contain the same Rye ?
    I love em all,I love the Sazerak rye too Ken.

    Koji
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Re: ORVW 15yo

    Koji,

    IIRC, Julian has stated here that, indeed, those two bottlings, the VWFR and the Hirsch at the same proof, contain the same whiskey.

    However, that fact did not keep me and at least one other person here from imagining we tasted a slight difference -- just because of the power of suggestion, I suppose.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

 

 

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