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Most users ever online was 294 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:33 am


Where is your Pappy from? Get the straight whiskey!

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Where is your Pappy from? Get the straight whiskey!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Where is your Pappy from? Get the straight whiskey! Reply with quote
 
Where is your Pappy from?
Van Winkle bourbon has sparked controversy over the last several years as dates of bourbons, closure of Stitzel-Weller Distillery and production at Buffalo Trace start to conflict.
The worst part is that answers in the bourbon industry are about as straight as the local creek. Recently Whisky Advocate and Chuck Cowdery try to separate the fact from fiction. But did they get all the skeletons out of the closet?
First you need to read what was said:

Chuck Cowdery via John Hansell

A few weeks ago, when I posted my review of Pappy Van Winkleís Family Reserve 15 year old here, a big discussion ensued about the source of this whiskey (and other Van Winkle expressions). I noted at the time that the comment thread on my review was neither the time nor place to discuss something as in-depth as this. I wanted to focus on the quality of the whiskey, not the politics behind it.

We approached the person who we feel knows as much about the subject as anyone, Whisky Advocate contributor Chuck Cowdery. He went directly to Julian Van Winkle for the facts, and hereís his report.

Itís no secret that the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery isnít a distiller. Itís a marketing company, and a brand, run by Julian Van Winkle III and his son, Preston, with partners the Sazerac Company.

Van Winkle, as a brand name, was retained by the Van Winkle family when Julianís father sold the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in 1972. Julian took over after his father died. The company continued to operate as a non-distiller producer, mostly selling whiskey made at Stitzel-Weller, which stopped distilling twenty years ago.

About ten years ago, with whiskey from Stitzel-Weller no longer available, the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with the Sazerac Company to secure a future supply. Sazeracís Buffalo Trace Distillery made wheated bourbon sporadically between 1991 and 1999, and in earnest after 1999. When Sazerac acquired the W. L. Weller brand in 1999, it received stocks of wheated bourbon made at the new Bernheim distillery between 1992 and 1999.
Thatís where things stand now.

Because the Van Winkle whiskeys are so rare, esteemed and costly, there is always a great deal of interest in where they were made. Sources changed over the years and it can be hard to keep up. It is impossible for anyone, even the Van Winkles, to say with certainly what any given bottle contains, though except for the rye, everything in recent years has been Buffalo Trace, Bernheim, or Stitzel-Weller, individually or in combination. They create a profile prior to bottling, based on what they have available and how much whiskey they need, then dump barrels accordingly.

Here, specifically, is the make-up for the upcoming (Fall 2012) bottling. This information comes directly from Julian Van Winkle.

The Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye has long been a 50/50 combination of Medley (Owensboro) and Cream of Kentucky (old Bernheim in Louisville) rye whiskey. The whiskey was all dumped into stainless steel tanks years ago. Each fall, some of it is withdrawn and bottled.

This fallís Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old will be wheated bourbon made entirely at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.

Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 year old (ĎLot Bí) will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort and the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville.

Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at Buffalo Trace, Bernheim, and Stitzel-Weller; every bottle will contain some whiskey from each distillery.

Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old and Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller.

Eventually, as current stocks are depleted, everything will become Buffalo Trace.

ĖChuck Cowdery


I still see a gap of production from United Distillers closing of Stitzel-Weller in '92 and the production (or lack of) of wheated bourbon by Buffalo Trace before 1999. And according to an un-named source there is definitely inconsistencies in statements from all parties involved that do not account for this gap.

However, at the end of the day should anyone even care. I've always said "If the whisk(e)y is good then it's good, nothing else matters". But maybe Pappy, himself, said it best:



Tell me WHAT YOU THINK!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
What do I think?

I don't know.

I've only tasted one Stitzel-Weller bourbon, the Jefferson's 18, and I remember being pretty "wowed" by it. Still haven't bought a bottle though. I have purchased and enjoyed the regular 10yo Buffalo Trace offering.

Maybe once the Pappy stocks all become BT distillate the furor around this bourbon will die down and we'll actually see some of these bottles on the shelf.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
it's not what distillery it comes from it what in the bottel that counts
but were can I get some ....my supply is real low

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
Speaking of Pappy, any word on a lottery for purchase...seems to me other states have already started to distribute. I am very interested in getting my hands on a bottle of 15 year...or two. Very Happy I don't want to miss out on a chance.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
For me it is more about the quality and taste of what is in the bottle than where it came from. I understand that certain distilleries have better reputations than others, etc. But every distillery has their best and their worst - and the best of a 'low rep' distillery may well be much better than the worst of a 'high rep' one.

If you enjoy it and it is worth the sticker price to you, that's all that matters. No one else's opinion really matters in the end if you find pleasure in it.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
Many brands are managed by non-distiller producers such as Van Winkle, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

For many drinkers who do not pay attention to the business side of whisky, and don't know about this, may consider it to be a downside to their enjoyment to drinking that brand. A great part of their enjoyment of drinking is visualizing the distillery in which their libation emerged, such as what can be done with a single malt Scotch.

For me, the bottom line is the craftsmanship that results in a balanced great tasting whisky.

Pob Lwc.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
Spanky wrote:

Speaking of Pappy, any word on a lottery for purchase...seems to me other states have already started to distribute. I am very interested in getting my hands on a bottle of 15 year...or two. Very Happy I don't want to miss out on a chance.

Now is your chance - the new lottery is up.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
Yes and I am hopeing for some good luck!! Thanks for your help..

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
 
Hoping Laughing

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