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  1. #1
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    Online Bourbon Sales

    Looking to invest in several bottles of Pappy Van Winkle 23 yr. Reserve.
    Anyone know of any good web sites for purchasing bourbon?
    Is Pappy 23yr. old bourbon worth the price?

    Kakaji

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    140

    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    internetwines.com is my preferred source for the balance of selection and price, assuming you're in the US. Not the widest selection going, but enough to keep most people busy for a while and they offer some pretty rare bottlings. samswine.com isn't bad, but prices are a little higher and the bourbon selection on the web is quite poor (though if you call them they'll be happy to tell you what's in stock and let you order by phone), ditto wine-and-liquor-depot.com, who actually have very nice prices on most items. As for the Pappy 23 YO, I don't find it to be worth the price, and wouldn't even find it worth the price of the Pappy 20 or even Old Rip 15. IMO, it's been killed by the wood, and that oaky edge the other Van Winkles have to them has been rounded off.

    Stotz


  3. #3
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    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Ryan,

    Which of the Van Winkles do you like? I've never had any & it's not available here. I was thinking of picking up a bottle when I go to the Bourbon Festival. What do you recommend & how much would it cost?

    Linn S.

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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    140

    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Linn:

    > Which of the Van Winkles do you like? I've never had any & it's not available
    > here. I was thinking of picking up a bottle when I go to the Bourbon
    > Festival. What do you recommend & how much would it cost?

    Not available in VA? I'd move. I'm probably most partial to the Van Winkle ryes (either one, as they taste very similar), but among their bourbons the 15 YO is the most satisfying to me. The huge, resiny oak coupled with some serious phenols from the wheat in the mash is too oppressive for some, but IMO it's perfectly supported by a rich, vanilla informed, pipe tobacco sweetness. It's been my experience that it improves significantly when allowed to open up with a little air, dissipating that oak resin twang just a little. I like both the 10 YO expressions OK, if they're a tad lighter than is optimal for Van Winkle stuff, but the 12 YO (aka Very Special Old Fitzgerald) has a really interesting berry taste that I don't get out of any other VW. The 20 is interesting as a study in wood, but the 23 is such a resiny, sappy mess that I can't really distinguish any tastes in it whatsoever. But in the end, my favorite VW may actually be a 14 YO private bottling done for the Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago. A friend gave me a bottle as a birthday present not long ago and I've since had him send two bottles to replace it. It still needs a little air before it really unfolds, but a slight decrease in the resiny flavor benefits the whiskey greatly, allowing those wheat phenols to come through as smooth, spicy dried fruit. Nice weighty mouthfeel for a wheater, too. If anyone in Chicago is willing to ship you a bottle, take advantage of the offer.

    Costs I'll have to guess at, and assume much cheaper KY prices, but in Oregon, where I live, the 10 YO 107 proof is ~$30.00, the 12 YO is ~$34.00 and the 15 YO is ~$37.00. The Berghoff 14 YO is ~$28.00 at the restaurant, the 20 YO sells at my usual online place for ~$60.00 and the 23 YO can be had for ~$150 - $175.

    To make a long story short, go for the 15 YO.

    Stotz



  5. #5
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    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Thanks for your insight Ryan! 15 YO VW it is then. Are all of the Van Winkles wheated? I haven't tasted a wheated bourbon yet that I like. I've been told that Old Fitzgerald is a wheated bourbon that rye guys might like. Is it sooo very good that I won't even notice that it's wheated? At any rate I'll give it a taste in Bardstown. If I like it I'll buy a bottle. If I like it a whole lot I'll buy two! Yes I'd love to move to Kentucky and work for a distiller. Maybe some one will make me an offer.

    Linn S.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,569

    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    If you haven't tasted Van Winkle or Fitzgerald, what wheated bourbon have you tried? The only other possibilities are Weller and Maker's Mark.

    We know Weller and Fitzgerald are products of the same formula and distillery, and although Julian probably won't admit it, everyone "knows" the Van Winkle bourbons are too, so they are all indeed wheated. That is, after all, his family's trademark.

    I'm going to guess that the wheated bourbon you have tried is Maker's Mark, which is a similar formula but as the product of a completely different distillery, it does have a different taste. Also, there is such a difference between the long aged Van Winkles and everyday Fitzgerald that it is hard to call them the "same." Hey, you want to try everything, don't you? So you owe it to yourself to try a Van Winkle and I can't argue with the suggestion of making it the 15 YO.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  7. #7
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    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    I've tried Maker's Mark, Rebel Yell, and I believe Benchmark is wheated. I didn't like any of them. I had thought that I.W. Harper was wheated untill you enlightened me. I'll never buy another bottle of that. I looked for Old Fitz today but the ABC store does not carry it. Rare Breed was on sale for $27.90 so I bought a bottle of that

    Linn Spencer

    In Happy Little Stuart's Draft Virginia

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Benchmark is not wheated. Rebel Yell may or may not be (not sure what the new owners are doing) but even when it was Stitzel Weller, it tended to be a little rougher than its cousins. Try Old Fitz or W.L. Weller before you make an investment in Van Winkle. If you like them, you'll like the VW even more. If you don't, you probably won't and should spend your money on something else.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    445

    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Linn wrote:
    "Are all of the Van Winkles wheated? I haven't tasted a wheated bourbon yet that I like."

    According to Jim Murray, the 20 and 23 year old Pappys are not wheated. They are rye bourbons from the now defunct Medley distillery. The others are presumably all wheated Stitzel-Weller stock.

    Michael Shoshani
    Chicago IL


  10. #10
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: Online Bourbon Sales

    Thanks for the intel Michael!

    Linn Spencer

    In Happy Little Stuart's Draft Virginia

 

 

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