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  1. #1
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    How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    My recently purchased bottle of PVW23 says Frankfort, but it's SW bourbon, my recently purchased ORVW 10/107 also says Frankfort, but it's too young to be SW. I searched forums on bottle numbering for Van Winkle, but it seems as if the numbers don't give a clue as to what is or is not SW.

    My question is...when you are bidding on an older bottle of ORVW 10yr on eBay, how can you tell if it's SW or not? Is a Lawrenceburg bottling the only way, or are some older ORVW 10yrs of entirely SW bourbon bottled in Frankfort (like the PVW23)... Is is there another way to tell for sure?

    -Joe
    "I think the most un-American thing you can say is 'You can't say that' " - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Others know more than I, but I'll give it my two cents....

    SW was sold in 1972. After that....things began to change ever so slightly. Over time the bourbon was a mere shadow of it's former self.

    Even the updated version is a great bourbon. This lasted until the stills were shut down in 1992. So the last of the 10 yr ran out in 2002.

    I don't recall when the labels switched over to Frankfort.

    Seems like there is a bottle date on the squat bottle somewhere, but I don't think you can count on the bottle numbers. I have seen too many duplicates.
    Last edited by mozilla; 05-02-2008 at 17:32.
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  3. #3
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    The SW recipe was good up until the distillery shut down in 1992 (I'm not sure what happened to the recipe after that). Any bottle date from '92 or before you can be assured it's SW. From '92 until about '96 was more than likely SW because Bernhiem was introduced into the fold and had matured to the point that it could be used from 96/97 on. I have SW whiskey from 1965 through 1996. Obviously, the earlier whiskey is much better than the later ones. I have a 1991 Prime 80 that is good, not great, but good. The early '80's BIB's are quite good, in fact, they are in my top 3 favorite bourbon. I consider those BIB's probably contain glut whiskey so they are probably more aged than the later bottlings.

    All of my SW bottles say Louisville on the label (BIB, Prime and Cabin Still). My bottle of ORVW 15 says Frankfort. One way to tell whether it's SW is to look at the UPC. If it's 88508, that's SW. 88076 could be SW. If the bottle has a tax strip the it will be SW and of course the two digit date on the bottom will indicate the bottling year, if present. Finally, if you find a BIB, DSP-KY16 is SW.

    I hope my rambling helped.
    Last edited by ggilbertva; 05-02-2008 at 18:22.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
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  4. #4
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Greg is right the recipe continues its success.

    What I should have said was, that the way that SW was distilled after the Family sold it changed over the years until 1992. Things like distillation & barrel proof, and the yeast formulation were only some of the changes that took place after 1972. Every few years brought more change.

    What it changed to, was and is, still a supreme bourbon when compared to contemporaries. Just not the same as the Family made. So, the older the better, but still a leader in any time frame.

    My favorite is the Old Weller 107 Louisville, 7 summers old.
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  5. #5

    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
    ...My question is...when you are bidding on an older bottle of ORVW 10yr on eBay, how can you tell if it's SW or not?..
    -Joe
    I tell you -- not entirely tongue-in-cheek -- that the surefire way to tell is to drink it, either beside a bottle you know is Stitzel-Weller, or beside one you know isn't. Nose and drink enough of it, and you can just tell...
    I realize that doesn't help you while bidding on sight only but, as far as I'm concerned, the bourbon bidding on eBay -- for known rarities such as Stitzel-Weller, in particular -- has gotten crazy. For the prices some of these mundane bottles go for, it doesn't matter who made it or how good it is -- it's just not worth it!
    Granted, that's easier to say having gotten a few 'goodies' for $30 or less, shipping included, in past years.
    Tim

  6. #6
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    as far as I'm concerned, the bourbon bidding on eBay -- for known rarities such as Stitzel-Weller, in particular -- has gotten crazy. For the prices some of these mundane bottles go for, it doesn't matter who made it or how good it is -- it's just not worth it!
    Granted, that's easier to say having gotten a few 'goodies' for $30 or less, shipping included, in past years.
    You guys always come through with some great info... Now the bidding on the item is up to $52 (I've been outbid already) with almost 2 days to go, the seller says the bottling is Frankfort...and that there's no date on the bottle... You are probably right--not worth it.

    Thanks again, Joe
    "I think the most un-American thing you can say is 'You can't say that' " - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7

    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Okay, just looked at this guy's listings. I'm guessing he's someone who's either a member here, or a regular lurker. He knows 'facts' that will make his bottles seem more desireable.
    But, no, I wouldn't assume this is an S-W bottling simply on his say-so that he purchased it five years ago. Five years ago was 2003, still late enough to be past the 10th anniversary of S-W's closure.
    Run!
    Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    I've learned a bunch just from this thread. You guys are fantastic, thanks a lot.

    Cheers!

  9. #9
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    Okay, just looked at this guy's listings. I'm guessing he's someone who's either a member here, or a regular lurker. He knows 'facts' that will make his bottles seem more desireable.
    But, no, I wouldn't assume this is an S-W bottling simply on his say-so that he purchased it five years ago. Five years ago was 2003, still late enough to be past the 10th anniversary of S-W's closure.
    Run!
    Thanks Tim - putting on my running shoes now.

    -Joe
    "I think the most un-American thing you can say is 'You can't say that' " - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
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    Re: How can you tell if it's SW bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva View Post
    All of my SW bottles say Louisville on the label (BIB, Prime and Cabin Still). My bottle of ORVW 15 says Frankfort. One way to tell whether it's SW is to look at the UPC. If it's 88508, that's SW. 88076 could be SW. If the bottle has a tax strip the it will be SW and of course the two digit date on the bottom will indicate the bottling year, if present. Finally, if you find a BIB, DSP-KY16 is SW.

    I hope my rambling helped.
    My ORVW15 Lawrenceburg UPC code is 089319123723.

    http://www.upcdatabase.com/item/089319123723

    Both PVW 20 and PVW23 has the 89319 UPC code root.

    Neither one of my Cabin Still bottles has a UPC code.

    Will

 

 

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