Bourbon Reviews:

Bottling NameOld Rip Van Winkle
Bottled ByOld Rip VanWinkle / Julian VanWinkle Lawerenceburg,KY
TypeKentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Alcohol content107 Proof
Availability US: Available Japan: Unknown Duty Free: Not Available Europe: Available
Views (since 20080612) 16081
Bottling Info<From Julian's Website>

The extra aging gives this older whiskey the smooth, mellow flavor that blends well with the barrel proof. The wheat in the recipe is quite obvious as this delightful bourbon passes over your tongue.

"A whiskey connoisseur's bonanza,... remarkable find,... ranks with the best whiskeys,"
-- Paul Pacult's SPIRIT JOURNAL

Review from BourbonDave (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1556, Created:20090514210232, Updated:20090519181508)
Purchased at:Lexington, KY
Purchased for:$30
Nose:Lots of caramel, some vanilla and oak.
Taste:Definitely a flavorful explosion. Very sweet, thick and spicy. I'm getting cherries and some nice oak. It tastes like Weller Antique without the heat. One ice cube and this baby really opens up. Very nice silky mouth feel to this bourbon.
Finish:Longer than some have described. But I agree the smokey taste lingers a bit. Somewhat dry.
Overall:I'm still getting to know this bottle. I've only had the ORVW 90 and the 107. I notice many people drink the 107 version. I'm trying to like it, but for the same price I'd prefer WTRB or maybe even OWA for half the price. The jury is still out on this one....

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Review from kystormwatch (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1461, Created:20090205202630) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Westport Whiskey and Wine (12/2008)
Purchased for:$32
Info on this bottle:No. A5503
Nose:This one is potent enough to justify letting the glass breathe for a minute or two to avoid alchohol overload. When done, your reward will be sweet caramel and vanilla and oak that is pleasant but not overpowering for its 10 years in the stuff.
Taste:The sweet nose didn't come through quite as much as expected in the taste. There is a definite dry quality to this bourbon and a spicy note as well - leaning towards cinnamon.
Finish:The spiciness gives way to noticeable wheat overtones. Stays on the tongue for a while ("chewy")
Overall:The Van Winkle bourbons are, in my opinion, the top of the line. This one represents the brand well, but is my least favorite - at least when talking about drinking neat. It's just a little too hot at 107 proof and despite its 10 years of aging, it just hasn't mellowed quite enough for me.

For those comparing the 10 y/o at 107 proof to the Pappy 15 y/o at 107 proof, I can attest that those extra years do make a difference. A far more mellow product at 15 yrs, even at the higher proof.

Adding a splash of water to this bourbon changes the mix greatly. In my opinion it moves it much closer to the excellence of the rest of the line.

Final notes? For those looking at the "value" end of the Van Winkle line, I'd probably recommend the 90 proof 10 y/o or paying a bit more for the 12 y/o Special Reserve (if you can find it). But you can do far worse than this 107 proof 10 y/o if looking for something special. Value? Everything Van Winkle is going for a premium, it seems. This would seem to be a bit overpriced, but the laws of supply and demand combined with the tremendous (and mostly deserved) press given to the rest of the VW bourbons is going to make this a tough find. If it's the only VW you can find, buy it. If you have other VW options within your budget, you might consider them first.

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Review from bourbonv (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 440, Created:20060401085814, Updated:20060517041941)
Purchased at:Bourbon's Bistro Bar
Purchased for:8.00
Info on this bottle:Standard Bottle
Proof Of this Bottle:107
Nose:Sweet vanilla and caramel with a little pecan and oak wood.
Taste:Caramel and pecans with a little oak wood and tobacco - very smooth with only a little alcohol heat.
Finish:Long and sweet with caramel and oak tannins and smoke.
Overall:Very nice neat - very good with chocolate after dinner

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Review from JoeBourbon (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 283, Created:20050930174805)
Purchased at:PALCB Wine & Spirits Shop
Purchased for:19.08
Info on this bottle:Bottle 56253
Nose:Not much sweetness detected. Wheat spicyness prevails. Faint Cinnamon.
Taste:Awesome middle palate. Dried fruits predominate. Not overly sweet. Very Balanced. Viscous mouth feel.
Finish:Fabulous long fruity and spicy finish.
Overall:Probably not Stitzel-Weller whiskey but extremely good. Another great achievement by the Van Winkles and the price is right!! Highly Recommended

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Review from abcgroup (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 278, Created:20050926204039)
Purchased at:Green's (Atlanta, GA)
Purchased for:28.99
Info on this bottle:T5815
Proof Of this Bottle:107
Nose:Caramel overtones mixed with a faint hint of leather...more sweet than pungent.
Taste:I just can't say enough. I love this damn bourbon. It's got a nice sweet taste with a robust wheat flavor. This is not a bourbon for beginners, but it's not big dog bourbon either. It's a fine introdcution (I guess) for "real bourbon," but I tend to think that one should ease their way into this.
Finish:Somewhat bitter finish but heavy on the burn and the wheat opens up most in the finish.
Overall:This is just a damn fine product. Light years apart from its 10 year old 90 proof counter part. Distribution sucks for this in Georgia so I savor it when I can get my hands on it. Drink up and won't be sorry.

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