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jeff

BOTM, 2/07: Pappy Van Winkle 20yo

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jinenjo

I most definitely have to add my (first) posting to this BOTM. Funny, that today I bought my first bottle of Pappy 20! What serendipity. After learning more about Stitzel Weller (I have, in trade, an original "Weller 12yo" on it's way) my curiousity got the best of me--for the better. I had to get some Pappy. My bottle cost me $79+tax. There was the 15 for $36, which I'm heading back for after my next paycheck.

At any rate, on to the bourbon. The chocolatey goodness just exudes from this spirit! I think I prefer the older stuff. Now if I can only muster up the dough for the 23.

Cheers to Julian! :bowdown:

-Lear

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HighTower

I was looking for an excuse to open my Pappy 20 this weekend, and I think I just found it. Maybe later on tonight!!

Scott

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cowdery

Don't panic!

The main thing about any whiskey that says "Van Winkle" on it is that Julian picks them and until he gives me a reason not to, I will trust his palate.

There is no reason to assume that Bernheim whiskey will have to be in the mix, ever. BT didn't just start making wheated bourbon when Julian got there, as the existence of 1991 vintage BT wheat confirms. That's also not to say that Bernheim whiskey is something necessarily to be avoided.

There is still a lot of "dusty" S-W whiskey out there, often at bargain (i.e., original) prices. Some of it's so-so, some of it's good, some of it's great. That's the adventure.

I'm as responsible as anyone for making S-W whiskey some kind of holy grail and, yes, it will run out and, yes, having some in your bunker for enjoyment in your golden years is a good strategy if you have the means. As with all good things, you can never have enough.

Another point. S-W is still there. It hasn't been dismantled. Diageo owns it. Smart people who love bourbon and love this industry keep looking for ways to get it going again. That still looks like a long shot, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

So let's all take a deep breath and enjoy our S-W.

Drink 'em if you've got 'em.

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heatmiser

Drink 'em if you've got 'em.

How do I know if I have SW bourbon or not? I have a Pappy 15 I bought 2 months ago and a Pappy 20 I bought about 3 months ago. I also have 6 Pappy 15's on their way from Binny's as we speak. This last purchase was based on Julian's response to me on 1/31/07 that the Pappy 15 would contain SW bourbon through the end of this year and maybe into 2008 as well. Now I have no clue what I have in my bottles....

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FlashPuppy
How do I know if I have SW bourbon or not? I have a Pappy 15 I bought 2 months ago and a Pappy 20 I bought about 3 months ago. I also have 6 Pappy 15's on their way from Binny's as we speak. This last purchase was based on Julian's response to me on 1/31/07 that the Pappy 15 would contain SW bourbon through the end of this year and maybe into 2008 as well. Now I have no clue what I have in my bottles....

The Pappy 20 is SW. The Pappy 15's.... Nodbody knows. Nobody can tell you. Not even Julian.

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Stu

By chance I found a bottle of Pappy 20 yo last month in Little Rock. Now it's the BOTM. I agree with all the good things said about it. When I had some on the day I bought the bottle, I got notes of a candy - not so much chocolate, more like wild cherry cough drops. Today I'm getting chocolate covered cherries. I've filled a couple of 50ml empties with this to take to KBF this year. Last year Julian gave me a pour from a bottle that his Granddad made - I think it was VVOF, but I'm not sure. At the time I told him it was the best bourbon I ever tasted. If he brings it again this year I want to compare it with the RVW 20. I've been wondering how to expand my knowledge of bourbon. I think I'm going to buy whatever the BOTM is each month, that should increase my bourbon supply and increase my knowledge at the same time. One exception is that I'm on the lookout for RVW 23 yo. So I don't have to much sticker shock, how much should I expect to pay for the 23 yo?

Stu

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FlashPuppy
So I don't have to much sticker shock, how much should I expect to pay for the 23 yo?

Stu

$200-$300.

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jeff

$185 in Lexington, though it usually sells out in a matter of hours. Get to know a retailer on a personal level, that's your best shot.

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mythrenegade

Ever since the Thirsty Traveler raved about this stuff I wanted to try it, and about a year ago I picked up a bottle. I generally keep this for special occasions for obvious reasons. While in a side by side tasting this is not my favorite pour, it is an excellent bourbon and I enjoy it every time I pour it.

I agree with another poster who said "wild cherry" with oak and vanilla.

The only reason I won't buy this again is the price. There is nothing wrong with the price, obviously it is priced appropriately based on the supply available and the demand. On the other hand, I can't really afford to spend this kind of coin on bourbon on a regular basis. This is the reason I have never tried any of the Hirsch products...

Joel

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chilidawg7

anyone know of a good place to order the Pappy 20yo online? None of my favorite Florida retailers carry this particular brand.

thanks in advance for your help!

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Stu

Jeremy & Jeff,

Thanks for the info. If I seee a bottle I'll give it a try. If there's a much difference between the 20 and 23 as there is between the 15 and 20 it will be worth the price difference.

Stu

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Empty Glass

Since the cold snap hit northeast this week I've gone through my bottle of Pappy 20 never realizing that it was the BOTM. I'm happy that it was selected for this honor and that I'm able to chime in and say that it is by far one of the finest bourbons (realize my limited exposure to the 100's of bourbons on the market to date) that I've had the pleasure to drink, only surpassed, slightly,by its older brother Pappy23. While I enjoy the rotation through the many open bottles of other good bourbons I would be delighted if PVW20 was the only bottle I could have if I could only have one. I trust no one was ever disappointed with their purchase of a PVW20. $72 cheapest internet+$15sh/ $80 locally +tx. Think globally shop locally.

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HighTower
anyone know of a good place to order the Pappy 20yo online? None of my favorite Florida retailers carry this particular brand.

thanks in advance for your help!

binnys.com have it...

$89.99 for the 20yo

Scott

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SBOmarc

After tasting this obviously very fine bourbon I am left with the conclusions that...

1. It has all of the characteristics that I would expect from a Van Winkle offering at a price point that does make me pause.

2. It prooves to me that American whiskey can stand that time in the wood.

3. It is not twice as good as Lot B.

Conclusion, I like it and I appreciate it,which is what the BOTM is all about for me. Will It be ever present in my small collection? This bottle that is 1/2 gone will most likely be the last for long time.

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doubleblank

I thought I'd go a little "old school" and taste the original Pappy 20 bottled in Lawrenceburg. Not SW whiskey, but a rye whiskey from the Boone distillery. IMHO, you won't confuse the two. This issue has a slight rye earthiness while the current version has a much sweeter finish. The earlier one is drier.....both somewhat dry from the years in wood. A good whiskey for sure, but I prefer Julian's younger bottlings myself.

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Pappy's Friend

I'm so glad to see this as the BOTM. I never was much of a bourbon fan until May of 2005, when I made my first visit to Louisville. My colleagues introduced me to PVW 20 year at the Maker's Mark Tavern downtown. Since then, I've been hooked! I love the smooth taste of this bourbon. As you can tell by my screen name, I'm a true friend!

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Ambernecter

I remember Julian saying that the 20YO is one you don't want to miss, when I asked for suggestions a couple of years back. How right he was!

I can't put my finger on it but every time I've had Pappy 20 it's been a sunblime experience. Smooth vanilla taste, not a jot of harshness anywhere and a whiskey I would drink much more if the price was lower. I agree that the 15 YO has more "character" and I guess "individuality" but it's simply not cutting the mustard IMO next to the Pappy 20.

Man I love this whiskey!

I bought a bottle for my mate Dave this Xmas. He is very, very impressed with it to say the least! It's nice I can repay him as he's the guy who got me all the WT 12YO when he worked abroad.

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jeff
I agree that the 15 YO has more "character" and I guess "individuality" but it's simply not cutting the mustard IMO next to the Pappy 20.

I agree. Though I enjoy the 15yo, it's not in the same league as the 20yo IMHO. It's not priced there either though.

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Ambernecter

Good point on the price front Jeff!

In fact to continue on the Pappy 15 theme...

I think Pappy 15 is the most "harsh" of all the VW family with (to me at least) a very dry finish and it's virtually leval pegging between Lot B and Pappy 20 for the smoothest easiest drinking whiskey in existence. Pappy 20 pips Lot B but again price comes into the equation.

The battle between RHF and Pappy 20 for my all time fave has yet to take place - RHF has been my champ since 2003/2004 but Pappy 20 is a more than legit contender for best of all time.

Man I love this whiskey - did I say that already?

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gothbat

I’m glad to see some responses that indicate they tasted cherry and vanilla. I don’t consider myself to be very good at “tasting†as I can seldom pick out anything I recognize in what I’m drinking. They all taste different to me and I can taste distinctions in the flavors the liquor contains but usually can’t label them or see similarity to other things/tastes/smells. This is one of the few bourbons where I was actually able to pick out more than 1 very distinct flavor and those two were it. I thought it was just my brain playing tricks with me or that I was trying too hard or something. :)

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scopenut
anyone know of a good place to order the Pappy 20yo online? None of my favorite Florida retailers carry this particular brand.

thanks in advance for your help!

You might want to try Totalwine (www.totalwine.com). Looks like the store closest to you is Tampa. Pappy's 20 is $80 + tax. They have a pseudo-online page for their Tampa store, but they do not deliver. They don't carry everything, but have a good selection, and their prices are the best I've found.

-Kevin

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scopenut

Pappy's 20 was my 2nd super high-end bourbon, after Hirsch 16. I almost broke my wrist getting my wallet out to pay for it. Needless to say, I was blown away as to how good a bourbon could be. I never tasted that depth of nose, palette, and finish before.

Since then, I've come to prefer Pappy's 15, most for its seemingly added complexity. It is a bit hot at 107, but very delicious, esp. for its price. But depending on the mood, the 20yo can offer a bit more refinement and elegance.

The entire Pappy's line is to me the finest bourbon out there. Only GTS gives it a run for the not-insignificant money.

-Kevin

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ggilbertva

Hmm..I'm jealous. I've not had the pleasure of trying either one. My plan is to pick up both the 15 and 20 year PVW next month while out of town (visiting a non-controlled state that carries PVW). My question, if I'm going to knock out $400 in Bourbon, should I go for 3 bottles of 20 and 1 bottle of 15? The price point of the 15 year is $42 and the 20 year is $84. What say you????

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TNbourbon
...if I'm going to knock out $400 in Bourbon, should I go for 3 bottles of 20 and 1 bottle of 15? The price point of the 15 year is $42 and the 20 year is $84. What say you????

Personally, I'd buy three 15s and two 20s. That way, you have a backup of each, more bottles total, and higher numbers on the bottle from which the currently-used bourbon stocks will disappear first.

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ggilbertva
Personally, I'd buy three 15s and two 20s. That way, you have a backup of each, more bottles total, and higher numbers on the bottle from which the currently-used bourbon stocks will disappear first.

Thanks Tim.

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