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bourbonmed

Van Winkle's 13y (and older) rye

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bourbonmed

I have this from a trusted source and it has been posted on another whiskey forum. Nevertheless, I hope Julian sees and confirms it:

The legendary Van Winkle 13 yr old rye is no more. Finished.

And what's left on the shelves is actually much OLDER than the 13 years stated on the label. Apparently, the 13y rye was all made in 1985 and has been bottled now for the past five years. But now it's gone.

Which means that if your liquor store has recent stock (2002), that whiskey is really 17 years old. The 2001 bottles are 16 years old, and so on. Only the '98 edition was 13 yo at time of bottling.

So be a pal. Grab what's still left on the shelves, pack securely and send it Priority Mail to me here in Florida. Thanks guys! Your generosity leaves me speechless.

Omar

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cowdery

I hope your source wasn't just extrapolating, knowing that new bottlings have been released. It's possible that all of the 13-year-old was dumped at the same time expressly to prevent additional aging, but is only being bottled as needed.

All I know is that I bought a bottle recently for my dad and need to get one for myself. It's damn good stuff.

By the way, when I was home over Father's Day I noticed that Dad's liquor stock looked pretty depleted. He blames evaporation. Also, the scamp poured a bottle of Mattingly and Moore blended whiskey into an empty Maker's Mark bottle, just to see if my brother and I would notice. We did.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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bobbyc

Did it work, Chuck? Oh I've posed the question too soon. Being a father myself there are things that one does from time to time to the hapless offspring . Did you and your brother , good sons that you both no doubt are , set about to get the old man's liquor stocks replenished and in order so that he will not have to pull that again?

Bobby Cox

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cowdery

I did what any good older brother would do. I told my younger brother to do it after I had left.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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bobbyc

Good thinking Chuck!

Bobby Cox

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texascarl

Count your blessings, friends. I wish I had me a little brother. If I tried that stuff on my little sister, she'd go buy some good whiskey, send ME the bill and then bill me $50 an hour for her time buying the jug. And tell me that at $50 I'm getting a family discount rate. They're a cruel, hard bunch, these little sisters.

Back OT, I just bought some last month, but I'll pick up an extra bottle of VW 13 Yr. Rye this weekend. This stuff's too good to see it all disappear from the shelf.

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cowdery

I bought a bottle at Sam's last week and there was only one more left on the shelf, but I choose to believe that doesn't mean anything.

Last night I poured some of this rye into a snifter and let it sit for awhile. Not deliberately, but I was doing something else. When I finally sat down and raised it toward my face, the aroma almost knocked me out, but in a good way. As a rule, I have not been that crazy about ryes. Old Overholt, WT Rye, and Beam Rye all seem to have a muddy taste. I don't mean that as a metaphor. I mean they taste literally like mud. The Van Winkle is completely different, rich, deep, spicy, sweet. In short, great. I'll keep buying it as long as I can.

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bluesbassdad

Chuck,

Yesterday, while in a Knob Creek fog, I set aside my concerns about the cost overrun in my whiskey budget and ordered the ORVW 13 rye from Sam's (along with a few other things, if only to keep the shipping carton from being unbalanced wink.gif ).

Let's hope that 1) they are able to fill my order, and 2) they can restock afterward. (Is there anything worse than finding a new favorite after they have stopped making it?)

I've been slowly getting acquainted with Old Overholt during the last couple of months. All I have noticed is the zingy contrast to the bourbons I've tasted lately (not counting Old Grand Dad, which seems to bear a family resemblance). I am surprised at your reference to a muddy taste. (I know mud; I grew up in the riverbottom country of extreme southern Illinois, home of the aptly named Big Muddy River. smile.gif )

I assume that you have tasted ryes for many years, perhaps before the field dwindled to its present sparsely populated condition. Is the muddy taste associated with ryes of the past as well as those of the present? Or does ORVW represent a return to former glory for a misunderstood spirit?

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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cowdery

I don't have a personal memory bank of many more ryes than are on the market now. The heyday of rye was before even my time. My dad, however, says he remembers rye whiskey tasting like rye bread, which he also likes. He likes the Van Winkle best of the ones I have gotten for him. Unfortunately, so do my brother and I, and we have to be careful about depleting his supply.

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CL

I just joined this discussion group last week. I was also in Louisville last week, but didn't read this thread until I was back home. :-(

Fortunately, I had picked up two bottles last week. But, after reading this thread, I called my sister in the Louisville area. Yesterday, she picked up three more bottles for me. :-)

I also had her pick up a couple extra liters of Buffalo Trace. When I first drank this bourbon on the rocks, I didn't like it near as well as Elmer T. Lee Single Barrell. But, after I got home and put it in a snifter, I liked the bourbon much more.

Right now, all the bottles are on the way back from Louisville to WV with my parents (who were visiting Louisville last week as well). The goods are ready and waiting for me next time I visit my parents.

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bluesbassdad

Chuck,

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />

It's possible that all of the 13-year-old was dumped at the same time expressly to prevent additional aging, but is only being bottled as needed.

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bobbyc

Dave, If I may. There is a whiskey AH Hirsch that is owned by the Hue family of Kentucky. It was distilled in 1974 Some of it was dumped from the barrels at 16 Yo that would have been 1990 It is in a stainless steel tank at Buffalo Trace some of it was allowed to age to 20 Yo and the same thing except it has all been bottled . This is not a common practice , It only seems to be employed on superlative whiskies. I had read somewhere that some of the whiskey at Mitchners Where the hirsch is from was condemned and destroyed by the state because it posed a fire hazard. Mitchners had overproduced and subsequently went belly up . The deal with that is there will never be anymore of it , period. When it's gone it's gone. Julian VanWinkle bottles the Hirsch . So it's not too far out of the realm of possibilities that he may have done the same with some of his own stock. The Ryes he has was a find , I guess maybe some lost inventory , and a lot of guesswork has been employed to locate a source. He isn't telling. From time to time reports show up on here that it is running out etc. This was a response Chuck made to that , someone posted that what is being bottled now may have been aged to 14-15 Yo . In all likelihood it probably was dumped at the same time. Who knows, maybe a few select barrels are being monitored as they age further. I seriously doubt if this has been done to Wathens because it is single barrel so that would preclude using 1 big tank , I suppose Charles Medley could use a 50 gallon tank for each barrel . You can be assured that if it was I would not be able to afford it. Instead of 25-27 dollars a 750ml you would see the Hirsch and Pappy prices of 75 -200 Dollars smirk.gif a 750ml.

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bluesbassdad

A reply to myself? Sure. Why not? At least I'll have no one but myself to blame if the conversation turns boring.

Today I finally opened my Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, 13 y/o, bottle no. D3712. This is marvelous stuff. It bears little resemblance to my memory of Old Overholt or Old Grand Dad, though more to the latter than the former.

It is everything all of you have said about it, spicy, fruity, highly aromatic, and amazingly smooth for its 95.6 proof. The flavors seem to dance lightly on the tongue and then swell to a controlled crescendo at the finish.

I don't taste anything that reminds me of rye bread. Of course, I never was all that sure which taste came from the bread and which came from those bug-like seeds (caraway?) stuck on the outside of the loaf.

I really intended to drink only a half ounce or so, but it tasted so good I just had to have a full two ounces... and then another... Will I stop at two? Damn, this is delicious. How come people (in the main) stopped drinking rye, anyway?

I bought this bottle as an educational experiment, almost hoping I wouldn't like it. Now I'm fighting the urge to order another four bottles from Sam's while it's still available, even if I can't afford it.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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cowdery

I don't think it's a particularly common practice. I first heard of it being done in the case of Hirsch. It might be just as easy to dump and bottle, then warehouse the bottles, rather than warehousing the whiskey in a stainless steel tank. The one advantage of the tank over the bottles, of course, is that you can decide what it will be (i.e., brand name, etc.) down the road.

The practice makes perfect sense if you have whiskey in wood that you think will not benefit from additional aging.

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cowdery

"How come people (in the main) stopped drinking rye, anyway?"

I was told once that prior to Prohibition, rye had been the dominant domestic whiskey. Therefore, during Prohibition, illegal whiskey was usually claimed to be "rye" because that's what people wanted. In fact it was some sort of pig wash, and it gave rye a bad name. The same thing happened with Irish, so that after Prohibition people tended to reject rye and Irish in favor of bourbon and s____h.

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cowdery

As you suggested, single barrel bourbons are dumped into a small tank for bottling.

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bluesbassdad

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />

Now I'm fighting the urge to order another four bottles from Sam's while it's still available, even if I can't afford it.

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bobbyc

You probably did the right thing It will run out sooner or later , I was at Liquor Barn the other day and they had about a case of 13 and 6 or 8 of the 12. I missed buying another bottle of 12Yo WT they had some and I did get one bottle and I also thought it was a little on the high side 48 bucks. but then I thought I'd like another and now it's too late. I may do some hunting and find it . Or I could forget it and just get 2 bottles of RR. grin.gif

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bluesbassdad

I've never had the WT 12 y/o. It's certainly hard for me to believe that it's better than Kentucky Spirit, which is about the same price. If it is better, then I am probably not worthy. tongue.gif

Of course, two bottles of Russell's Reserve is one of the better second choices you'll ever encounter. cool.gif

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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bobbyc

They introduced it a few years ago and now all of it is going to Japan.

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cowdery

I just returned from Sam's with another bottle. Since this thread started and prompted me to try it again, my cupboard has never been without a bottle of this wonderful whiskey. It's great stuff and hats off to Julian, because he probably could have gotten a higher price for it.

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bluesbassdad

Would it be heresy for me to suggest that I might enjoy this bottling more than any bourbon in the house right now? (That would include Kentucky Spirit, two expressions of ORVW 107, Blanton's, and Rock Hill Farms.)

I didn't really expect it to live up to my memories when I tried it for the second time; if anything, it was even better than I remembered.

Are any of Julian's ryes in continuing production?

Is any rye that comes close to this one in continuing production? (I have yet to try Wild Turkey and Sazerac.)

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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Blackkeno

I think Sazerac 18 is in the same ballpark as VW13, although I marginally prefer the VW13. I think Sazerac would qualify as still being in "production," but I'm not exactly sure where it comes from.

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bobbyc

Buffalo Trace

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texascarl

Dave,

IMHO, rye is the finest smelling of spirits and the Sazerac rye SMELLS even better than the VW 13 yr...but nothing tastes better to me than Julian's best. The Sazerac tastes pretty woody to me, but YMMV, I'm just not big on 'many years in the oak' flavors. The Wild Turkey Rye is a VERY GOOD rye, my second favorite tasting rye after the VWFRR13yr. But remember, rye and bourbon aren't the same drink, not at all. If it doesn't suit you to sip, try it in a Sazerac cocktail (swirl 1/2 teaspoon of Herbsaint or Pernod in a glass, add 2 dashes of Peychauds bitters, ~ an oz. of simple syrup and 2 oz of rye). Or mix 2 oz of rye with a bottle of Stewarts ginger beer for an old fashioned Rye and Ginger.

smile.gif

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