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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

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RyanStotz

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

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

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.

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RyanStotz

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

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

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.

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cowdery

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

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

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

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cowdery

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

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shoshani

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

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Thanks for the intel Michael!

Linn Spencer

In Happy Little Stuart's Draft Virginia

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

OK Chuck will do. I've a feeling that I'll be doing so much tasting at Bardstown that there is a 100% chance that I will become highly bourbonized and that I will like everything. Except Benchmark; Maker's Mark, Rebel Yell, or I.W.Harper. I know not to ever buy those again. Nor the most foul of all Fighting Cock.

Linn Spencer

In Happy Little Stuart's Draft Virginia

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RyanStotz

Linn:

> Are all of the Van Winkles wheated?

'cept the 20 YO & 23 YO, yep.

> 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?

In the Old Fitz or Van Winkles? The Old Fitz, well, I think it's sooo very good, but it's still noticeably wheated. The 12 YO Very Special Old Fitz isn't quite so wheaty, but still lacks the hard fruit of the rye, and instead has kind of a soft berry taste. It's worth trying both the 12 YO VSOF and the Old Fitz BIB, two of my all-time favorites. As for the VW's, you'll taste the wheat in the 10 YO, and how. A far cry from Maker's Mark, especially in the wood influence (more resin/sugar, less vanilla), but obviously wheated nonetheless.

Stotz

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RyanStotz

Chuck:

> Try Old Fitz or W.L. Weller before you make an investment in Van Winkle.

Yup. Old Fitz 1849 or BIB are good bargains for the Fitz. As for the Weller, the Weller Centennial is really something to behold.

> If you like them, you'll like the VW even more.

You really think so? It's true in my case (though I'd probably take VSOF 12 YO over any VW), but that extra three years in the wood makes such a huge difference in the VWs that the sharp wood edge really puts some people off. It's a taste peculiar to VW, as WT is just as woody but in a much mellower, rounder way.

Stotz

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

If you can go back to Heaven Hill 28yr, old and all of other H>H brands ............Elijah Craig(single-barrel)18yr,old.....Evan Williams (S B)9yr. You will be pleased w/the result.

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

They are from Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, and it comes in 10yr,12yr,15yr,20yr, its class is bourbon but it is a Very rye mix.

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