Are you interested in trying a bourbon you may not have ever sampled before? Would you like to stick to a well-known and beloved bourbon but still move past the same few labels you see time and time again? If any of this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Pappy Van Winkle Distillery, also known as the Old Rip Van Winkle distillery. You’ll find out everything you need to know about the history of this label as well as some of their most popular products. Take your time learning about this distillery to determine whether or not its bourbon is right for you!
History of the Distillery
The distillery was founded by Julian Van Winkle, who went by the nickname Pappy. His original plan was simply to make a good quality product, and that is still what the distillery focuses on today, over a hundred years later. This distillery has been handed down from the generations and stayed in the family ever since it was founded, and it continues to pride itself on making delicious, simple, and quality products. Today, the bourbon business is operated by Julian Van Winkle III, who has been in charge since 1981. It operates out of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and is still expanding regularly to incorporate larger facilities.
Popular Pappy Van Winkle Products
The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery and the Pappy Van Winkle line are quite small, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer some great products. Although there isn’t a large variety available from this distillery, the products they do make are crafted with an attention to detail and loving quality that make them stand out among their competitors. Depending on what you’re looking to do with your bourbon, one of these products may work better for you than others. Take your time exploring the line to find out which bourbon is right for you.
• Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye: This upscale rye whiskey is 95.6 proof and has been aged for an unprecedented thirteen years. Most other rye whiskies available on the market are aged for no more than four years, so this product is truly one of a kind. It features a darker caramel color than some of the other products from the label, and it is a smooth and rich taste that is truly unforgettable. The flavor includes hints of leather, dried fruit, toffee, nuts, and a little bit of white pepper on the finish. This elegant whiskey is sure to make a statement as a sipping beverage.
• Old Rip Van Winkle: This delicious, smooth bourbon has been aged for ten years and includes very few additives after the distillation process. It is not barrel proof, but it is close to barrel proof, and only has limestone water added to it right at the finish. The end result is a copper-caramel color with a sweet and spicy aroma you’ll notice right away. This bourbon includes flavors such as dried fruit, toasted nuts, honey, and barrel flavor, and it finishes with a peppery note and a touch of floral taste.
• Van Winkle Special Reserve: This whiskey is 90.4 proof and has been aged for twelve years. The aging process, along with the lighter proof than some of the others on the list, create a light and very drinkable whiskey that is great for newcomers as well as for old fans who are looking to try something a little bit more on the refreshing side. The distillery recommends sipping this drink after dinner due to its relaxing overall feeling. The whiskey is orange in color and includes flavors such as caramel and nuts with a somewhat spicy finish. The drink is very smooth all around.
• Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve: This 107 proof bourbon has been made following Pappy Van Winkle’s original recipe from over a hundred years ago. This is a wheated bourbon, so it’s quite different than some of the other bourbons on the market. It has been aged for 15 years and stored in the heart of the warehouse so it is not disrupted until it’s ready to be bottled and enjoyed. The copper haze of the bourbon tastes spicy and peppery with a powerful caramel flavor at the beginning and an oak barrel note on the end.
• Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20: This bourbon is very similar to the previous Family Reserve label, except that it has been aged for 20 years instead of for 15. This is a special bourbon that embodies the spirit of Pappy himself. The drink is dark orange with strong notes of leather, minerals, and coffee as well as flavors of smoke and cigars. If you’re looking for a true, old-fashioned, classic bourbon that will never disappoint, be sure to give this bourbon a try. It is recommended for use as an after-dinner sipping bourbon or in any situation where you might use cognac.
• Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23: Just like the other two bourbons listed before it, this liquor is also created following Pappy’s old family recipe. However, it has been aged the longest, at 23 years. The barrels have been relatively untouched in the warehouse for 23 years and have helped to create the perfect sipping bourbon. This drink is a dark amber with hints of red in the color, and it features unique flavors including cherry, apple, caramel, and tobacco. It even includes some notes of chocolate and wood, and it finishes sweet. This bourbon should only be sipped neat for the best possible experience with it.
Did you learn something new about the Pappy Van Winkle Distillery? If you’re looking for a delicious bourbon to try and want to branch out a little bit, consider giving this label a chance. The products offered by this brand are high-quality bourbons that are sure to help improve your bourbon cocktails as well as your sipping experiences. And if you’re looking for a quality bourbon to give as a gift, then you can’t go wrong picking up one or more bottles from the Pappy Van Winkle Distillery.