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Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 rye


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I was fortunate to find a couple of these in Florida. Thank god my scouts (friends who dont drink what I like) found some for me. I over paid for them but don't really care. I've never seen a bottle on a shelf anywhere and now that I'm in NC all the pappy goes to the restaurants so it's even harder.

Loved the maple and spice on the the rye, mine are all B bottles.

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  • 11 months later...
fussychicken

Howdy all, its been a while, but I did a little more homework, and made an update to the chart. Too bad I haven't been able to get any of this in the last 3 years!!!

post-2056-14489820288909_thumb.jpg

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There were some "c" and "d" bottles released this year.

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I got a C from 2012 so they really stretched out that bottling run. Bottle code is different from the VW bourbons. Mine just says "B1211" Assume this is Nov of 12?

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Howdy all, its been a while, but I did a little more homework, and made an update to the chart. Too bad I haven't been able to get any of this in the last 3 years!!!

Thanks for the original and the update!

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Harlan Wheatley stated that BT rye was already being blended into the VWFRR, perhaps as early as 2012, but certainly last year. Take it for what it is worth. No indication given of the percentages but BT has almost certainly been making rye since before 2004. Handy has been around since 2006 and that one was distilled in 1998 so easily could have 13yo+ rye on hand. Seems reasonable as that would pretty much match up with 2012/2013.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?11718-BTAC-Info-Sheet-Thread&p=158942&viewfull=1#post158942

I have a C from 2012 and a D from 2013 but haven't tried the D yet.

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  • 2 years later...

Has anyone here had some of the more recent E or F bottlings of this?  How do they hold up to the older stuff?  Very different, or is it possible it's still the Medley/CoK blend?

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Anything is possible because they have chosen not to give out any details. Not my preferred course of action but certainly not unusual for an NDP which is essentially is what Van Winkle is. I have not tried any of the more recent bottling's in large part because I have not had the opportunity to purchase one at anything close to what I think is reasonable (and minimal chance at unreasonable prices for the past several years). As I noted above I was told by the master distiller in front of many others including people on SB that BT has been blending BT rye in the VW rye since at least 2013, probably more each year so that the change in profile, if any, is minimal (although it seems likely there would be some change, who knows, maybe for the better!).

 

But we don't even know what BT rye they are blending in! Is it the low 51% rye content Sazerac/Handy rye? Is it the rye from CEHT which is presumed to be a much high rye content (although as far as I know we don't even know the exact rye content of that one either? Perhaps a combination of the two? I don't know because if anyone from BT/VW is talking then they haven't been doing it to me! So there is probably some CoK/Medley in it but it doesn't seem likely it is all CoK/Medley.

 

I do know the "cone of silence" treatment about mashbill's is very annoying! They wouldn't even have to be specific although that would be nice. A ballpark idea would be welcome information. Not like somebody can duplicate it as they aren't using the same stills or warehouses. Hell, MGP and Four Roses have been up front about it for years and it doesn't seem to be doing them any harm!

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Even the VW rye isn't really distilled by VW, right? It was distilled for them under contract by ???. I can't remember the name right now, but I know someone will chime in. I've read it mamy times here.

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11 hours ago, b1gcountry said:

Even the VW rye isn't really distilled by VW, right? It was distilled for them under contract by ???. I can't remember the name right now, but I know someone will chime in. I've read it mamy times here.

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Perhaps some of the longer residents of the board will chime in and some of the details are likely buried in older posts here  from 10-15 years ago but to my knowledge nothing was ever distilled by the current VW company.

 

The VW rye was originally thought to be made by the Medley distillery in Owensboro that has been long closed but recently purchased by Terressentia, the company with the alleged fast aging process (egads!!!), who renamed it the O.Z. Tyler Distillery after the co-inventor of the fast aging process designed to screw up whiskey.

 

After those Medley rye supplies ran low it was blended with Cream of Kentucky rye that was made at the old Bernheim distillery in the 1980's (before it was renovated twice in the 1990's and is now the home of Heaven Hill). I believe that is thought to be some of the same rye that also made up the famous older Willett ryes, the Rathskellar rye and others that were aged for over 20 years.

 

The Van Winkle family hasn't owned a distillery since they sold Stitzel-Weller in about 1972. They have been an NDP who bought whiskey from others since that time. They may say they were acting as a DBA at a distillery (and maybe they were at one point in the past) but that hasn't been the case since they became associated with BT in about 2002.  Everything coming out of BT that goes into VW (10yo Old Rip, Lot B, 15yo PVW and at this point perhaps all of the 20yo PVW and some or all of the 23yo as well) is the same mashbill as Weller. Although it is not clear to me if the whiskey in the 20 and 23yo that is not from the last dregs of the tanked S-W whiskey (which closed in 1992) is from BT (which was known as the George T. Stagg distillery until about 1999), Bernheim before it was owned by HH or some other source.  I would guess it is all BT whiskey but don't know for sure.

 

It is all very confusing! I find it easier to just drink the stuff... :D

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12 hours ago, b1gcountry said:

Even the VW rye isn't really distilled by VW, right? It was distilled for them under contract by ???. I can't remember the name right now, but I know someone will chime in. I've read it mamy times here.

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They don't distill anything. BT contract distills for them. In the case of the rye, these are old formerly unwanted barrels that were purchased by Juian. As Bruce said above, BT has been mixing in some of their own distillate the past few years and without knowing what they are mixing in we don't know if it's regular BT distillate or something custom on contract for VW.

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Stitzel-Weller was what I was thinking of, thanks Bruce. For some reason I can never remember that name.

Thanks for the great posts both of you.

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  • 3 months later...

I was at the party mart release in louisville over the weekend. It was announced that the van winkle rye will not be coming back for a few years. Is there any truth to this? 

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The fellow calling out the lottery numbers and welcoming everyone in line. Im guessing the manager or owner? Preston was standing next to him. It was very loud and there were what seemed like 2000 people there, so it was very hard to hear. Maybe i heard wrong?

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The 'old' rye was a tanked blend. 

 

1. This was done to keep it from aging further when it was determined to be at bottling quality.

 

2. The tanked stock was rationed until the 'new' BT make came into season.

 

The intention was to have no blackout years.  After having gone to all that trouble, I'm going to lean toward you possibly misinterpreting the message they were conveying. 

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BottledInBond

I think a lot of people believe they already started blending in newer BT rye juice. Personally I thought the 2015 F bottles clearly tasted different from even 2014 bottles. And not for the better....

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And to confuse the bourbon nerd world further, the 2016 release bottle code starts with "Z"  They skipped down from "F". Is that a tip of the hat to the last of the tanked stock? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/19/2016 at 0:08 PM, Old Dusty said:

And to confuse the bourbon nerd world further, the 2016 release bottle code starts with "Z"  They skipped down from "F". Is that a tip of the hat to the last of the tanked stock? 

 

Laid eyes on the 2016 release yesterday (4 bottles came in but the case fell off the palate and we're down to 3  :().  I can confirm that the bottle code is indeed "Z" - got my eye on one of these beauties . . . .  :wub: 

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The bottle I got today has a Z prefix as well. I bet this is either to denote the last of the CofK rye or the beginning of Sazerac-distilled rye.

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Got a response already. Z denotes the end of the tanked rye from 2003, thus making this the last year for the Bernheim rye.

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19 hours ago, ethangsmith said:

Got a response already. Z denotes the end of the tanked rye from 2003, thus making this the last year for the Bernheim rye.

 

But is it all Bernheim or is it a blend of tanked whiskey and BT whiskey as has been speculated for a while now? I would guess the later since I think that has been the case for several years now.

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