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BOTM, 2/07: Pappy Van Winkle 20yo


jeff
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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

Thanks Kevin! I am heading through Tampa tomorrow coincidentally, so I will be getting myself a bottle of 20 yo.

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I got my first bottle of PVW 20yo the other day and opened it today to get a feel for it since it's the BOTM and WOW, now I see the fuss. I can see why some have issues with the oak, but you don't get to experience that too often and I kinda like the contrast. This is the first foray into a fresh bottle, I'm sure it will evolve some. Going back to get the second bottle being held for me. Definitely unique enough to warrant the purchase(s).

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Good News and Bad News....

First the good: Found my first bottle of PVW 20 yo this weekend in Oklahoma City. Byron's liquour store downtown. Wasn't a very nice part of town but the bottle was "only" $58. Much cheaper than any prices you all have listed. Blanton's was $34 on special and Bookers' was about the same.

Now the bad: I have now put away about 1/3 of the bottle and I just don't get it. I do not like this bourbon very much at all. I trust what you all have written and wonder if the bottle could possibly be counterfeit? My favorite bourbon is RHF, I loved the Booker's, I also like EC18, Baker's, Kentucky Spirit, OGD 114, hell just about every bourbon! Too me this bourbon is nowhere near these to me. It starts smooth but was astringent on the finish. Just not very good at all to me. I like it best over ice which is something I never do with bourbons over $30-40. This was the most expensive bourbon I've had so far (but not by much) and is the biggest disappointment by far and not just because of price. Maybe I just don't like Van Winkle bourbons (sorry Julian, no disrespect to you) as I didn't like the Lot B a whole lot but liked it better than the PVW 20! I cut my teeth on W.L. Weller SR as a kid about 30 years ago so I do like wheated bourbons.

My brother's Hennessy XO won the day that night...despite my protestations. The Booker's was brought out and made a damn good showing of itself.

Wish the bottle had been marked at $90 because I would not have bought it and would have picked up 2 Blanton's instead (which was the second choice).

Please, no flames. At least I found a place where the rest of the legion can find bottles for $30-40 less than most other places!

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There's no reason you should expect to get flamed (which doesn't go on much here at any event). If there is any overriding guiding principle for this entire enterprise it is, "your results may vary."

In fact, there is a rather large community of people who agree with you, not just about Pappy 20 but about the whole category of what I might call "double-digit" bourbons, i.e., anything older than 9 years. Many of the people who agree with you are distillers who believe American straight whiskey really can't take more than 8 or 9 years in wood without topping out and going in the wrong direction.

One such person was Booker Noe, who sincerely believed his Booker's was the ideal age and anything older was too old.

The fact that there is a market for very old whiskey doesn't prove either side right or wrong. There are markets for a lot of things.

So now you know. You probably should avoid not just the Pappys but the BMHs and the EC (at least the 18), Stagg, William LaRue and all the rest. No problem. You'll save some money and someone else will be glad to have your share.

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And besides Booker, Jimmy Russell feels the same way. As he pointed out, when WT asked him to barrel a 15 year bourbon that eventually got bottled as Tribute, he wasn't in agreement as he felt that 10-12 years was the correct aging for bourbon. Little did he know Tribute was in recognition of his 50 years with WT.

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Didn't really expect flames, this has always been a polite board... in fact the whole bourbon industry has been exceptional in my experiences so far. Straightbourbon.com has opened up a whole lot of new experiences for me. It really is a great place and representative of the bourbon community as a whole.

I appreciate the insight you have given on the ages of bourbon and the opinions associate with it. It is this kind of information that has made this board so special. I'm also a firm believer in everyone is different or we wouldn't have so many choices out there!

If any member of SB.com is going to be coming through Western Arkansas, let me know by pm and I will be glad to meet up and share the PVW 20!

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Isoflex I am with you. I prefer the Lot B 12yo over the 20 and the 15. Also I haven't been that impressed with the whole Van Winkle line. I haven't tried my 23yo yet so I will give it another chance. It is strange that different people have different tastes. I am glad there is such a variety in the bourbon world so all can enjoy what they like.

bj

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Isoflex:

I'm curious about the price you paid for your bottle. $58.00?

I'm thinking it might be an older bottle that's been sitting around on that liquor store hself for awhile. Was it bottled in Lawrenceburg or Frankfort?

It could be some pre-SW whiskey.

Let me know.

Thanks

Julian

If you want to respond to my e-mail, it's:

jvanwinkel@oldripvanwinkle.com

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I purchased a bottle of 20 yo for my homecoming from Iraq, which I can't wait to try! Can anyone tell me where I can order some William Larue Weller, Fall 06 Release. I did have access to the internet when it came out and know I can't find it anywhere. Thanks

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Doc,

WLW is getting harder and harder to find. I picked up two bottles last Saturday and the store only had two more left, then it's gone. You may want to Try www.binnys.com, give them a call and see if they can get a bottle for you. I'm not sure if they can ship to NC though since it's a controlled state. Good luck.

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Contact Buffalo Trace. They, at least, will be able to tell you which stores near you got some and they may know who near you, if anyone, still has some.

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I purchased a bottle of 20 yo for my homecoming from Iraq, which I can't wait to try! Can anyone tell me where I can order some William Larue Weller, Fall 06 Release. I did have access to the internet when it came out and know I can't find it anywhere. Thanks

Welcome back, Doc, and thank you for your service! The '06 is hard to find, but I just saw the '05 last week at the Frugal MacDougal's in South Carolina, just south of Charlotte, if you're interested. I-77, (exit 1?). Store is on the right.

Cheers!

JOE

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Welcome home & thanks so much for your service to all of us.

Good luck on finding the WLW '06... it went fast.

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Please accept my belated thanks for your service to our country.

I hope you enjoy the Pappy. IMO the 15 y/o bottling is also superb -- and a better deal for the money.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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  • 1 month later...
Ditto, Tom V

I remember Frugal MacDougal from my time in Charlotte...quite a place with a huge selection. Good hunting, welcome back, and SEMPER FI Doc!!!

USMC 1981-1988, 0311/0321, last: B Co., 2d Recon Bn., 2d Mar. Div., FMFLANT

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  • 2 months later...

Made a good buy on a solar stock a few months ago....

sold it today with a nice gain... decided to celibrate by getting the last bottle of 20y at bevmo. (last bottle in my area as far as i can tell, online.)

yet to open it. just looking at the bottle.... might be one of the last ever.

I will take it in baby steps.

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  • 1 month later...

I posted this on beginner's forum - figured I would cross post here if that is OK:

Well, I'll probably get banned from the board from saying this, but here goes. I went ahead and took one poster's advice and bought the Old Granddad 114. I also got a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20 y/o, because I have heard so many raves about it - it was only $80 at the store I went to. So I did a head to head and added in the Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Well, I am afraid I was a little disappointed with the PVW. It had a great nose - woody and leather, really rich. But the taste was also woody and leather, with some corn and a buttery mouthfeel. I could really taste the oak, which I didn't like. It was like a rich Chardonnay wine, with that buttery oaky taste and feel - unfortunately I prefer a crisp Reisling or Sauvigon Blanc. Maybe I should just pour a dab of PVW once in awhile and just smell it for an hour :)

The Old Granddad on the other hand was really nice - a far fainter nose - burnt sugar/caramel, with a little bit of cinnamon. The taste was similar - I liked it best of these three, I will have to compare it against the Antique next time. I guess I just like cheap booze! The same thing happens with scotch - I buy some expensive stuff to try but I keep going back to Laphroig if I want something peaty or Dalmore if I don't - both are less than $35 where I am. I will try some other suggestions and report back soon.

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No one around here will dispute the proposition that it's possible to over-age bourbon. However, the discussion regarding how much is too much can get interesting.

I happen to prefer the PVW 15 y/o to the 20 y/o. (I don't think it's from the same stock, but that's beside the point.)

I have one bottle of an 18 y/o VW special bottling, which I remember as the best of the lot.

I'm limiting myself to 25 ml. a week right now; I think I'll revisit some of my older VW bottlings during the next few weeks.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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I'm limiting myself to 25 ml. a week right now; I think I'll revisit some of my older VW bottlings during the next few weeks.

Is that 25ml of Pappy? That's understandable.

25ml of Bourbon--that's restraint!:bigeyes:

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