Van Winkle Bourbon, My Notes

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All distilled by Buffalo Trace and famously limited.

OLD RIP VAN WINKLE, 107 proof
A gorgeous array of aromas and flavors including notes of candied orange peel, old malmsey, hazelnut and pecan shells, longpepper, toasted pan bread and old saxophone reeds.

VAN WINKLE SPECIAL RESERVE, 12 YEARS OLD LOT “B”, 90.4 proof
The prettiest of all the Van Winkle bourbons, there is a dimension of muscat and mashed poppy seeds here. Charcoal and cream sensations join cherries and spice while leading to a long, marzipan-scented finish.

PAPPY VAN WINKLE’S FAMILY RESERVE 15 YEARS OLD
Aromas and flavors of naturally sweet boiled peanuts raked over smoldering cedar woodchips. Cocoa, coconut husk and cinnamon candy cola make startling refreshment in the midpalate before finishing with a sensation of lemon peel preserved in vanilla and a hot jawbreaker burn.

PAPPY VAN WINKLE’S FAMILY RESERVE 20 YEAR, 90.4 proof
This isn’t so much about the flavors as it is about how they are shaped and proportioned. The vanilla is a wide open breeze. The toasted nut flavors seem to be macerated in sercial madeira. The charcoal-scented burn on the finish is immense, powerful, and exquisitely beautiful.

PAPPY VAN WINKLE’S FAMILY RESERVE 23 YEARS OLD
The leanest and most architectural of the Van Winkle bourbons. It’s like walking into a vast timbered cathedral with impossible angles. The usual rewarding botanical bourbon sensations – cherries, caramel, nuts, spice – are like deeply stained shadows.

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