Bourbon Reviews:




Bottling NameOld Rip Van Winkle
Bottled ByOld Rip VanWinkle / Julian VanWinkle Lawerenceburg,KY
TypeKentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Alcohol content107 Proof
Availability US: No Longer Available Japan: Unknown Duty Free: Not Available Europe: Available
Age15
Views (since 20080612) 18929
Bottling InfoNo Longer Available. It han been replaced by a 15yo version of Pappy Van Winkle. Find it in the database by searching for "Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old" (No quotation marks)

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The same goes for this mature 15 year old bourbon. The extra aging gives this older whiskey the smooth, char 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

"Rated 97 -- the second highest rated bourbon in the world."
- World Spirits Chamionships



Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1504, Created:20090226162028, Updated:20090226162120)
Purchased at:
Info on this bottle:Freshly opened last bottle
Nose:Sweet, sweet.....corn, vanilla, leather, clover, nuts, burnt sugary oak, and what's this? ah, yeah.......a hayfield after a rain. Grabs your nose and won't let her go........just downright wonderful aromas.
Taste:Wow! Thick, thick sweet corny essence with some vanilla and drying oak fighting through some pepper but never losing its grip. The flavors are richly mixed and matched.
Finish:Long as it gets in a wheated bourbon.
Overall:Imo take another sip...........watch me, now, watch me!! You lucky I know I can't sing, else I would break out........guess I could lip sync.........they say most folks on the tube do it........where's my LeadBelly Tape? Y'all ready for this? 'Take this hammer, give it to the Captain'...........oops, sorry, I'll turn on the tape now.

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1286, Created:20080908183904, Updated:20080908184034) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Wherever available
Purchased for:Price is no object
Info on this bottle:Freshly opened bottle
Nose:The oak and the vanilla engage in aromatic fisticuffs and it is only time that settles the fight in favor of..........vanilla, meaning the distillate was not in the barrel too long even at 15 years.
Taste:An almost perfect balance twixt the afore mentioned elements. The alcohol and wood are suitably disciplined by the corny wheat sweetness and softness. There is a rye-like spiciness that emerges to the bring the balance beam back to center.
Finish:Moderately long for a wheat bourbon...........balance is maintained right to the end.
Overall:A classic bourbon that will be well-known as long as bourbon is consumed. Never (to borrow words from TNBourbon regarding WT 12 YO) pass up a bottle of ORVW 15 YO if it comes your way.

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Review from spun_cookie (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1055, Created:20080406003328)
Purchased at:Gift
Proof Of this Bottle:107
Nose:Rich in walnut, maple, corn, sweet and dry no real burn on the nose after it sits for 10 mon. Over more time some maple and brown sugar to go with the Vanilla.. This is getting better with time
Taste:Oh wow.. this is nice vanilla rich maple brown sugar.. oh freaking heaven I want to crawl in here and die I thought this is the 23 yr... but it is not...
Finish:Everything that the taste is.. just a great long finish with heavy vanlla, maple and great oak....
Overall:Rich, full everything I like is a bourbon damn.. taste is great very great Better than the 23 yr "A" or "B".

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 942, Created:20071212150236, Updated:20071212173910)
Purchased at:Anderson, SC
Purchased for:$55
Info on this bottle:Asleep in the woods many years
Proof Of this Bottle:107 Big
Nose:Back your nose away from the glass a bit, the 107 proof alcohol will muscle its way to the front if you allow it. Besides, there are aromas aplenty that can make their way forward if you stand off a bit. Vanilla presents first, followed by caramel and dried wood. Then there are the nuts and the leather that stroll out and make friends with your smeller. This is a wonderfully full and rich companion that pleases, entices, and seduces your nose. I loved it from day one and still do.
Taste:A wonderul soft sweetness, courtesy of the corn, that be's thick, plays to your age old weakness for honey. The spicy, peppery, cinnamony bite owes a bit to the alcohol but....... 'nevermind'...........it takes you down the path to gustatory fullfillment. Lurking on the sides, struggling to make themselves known are a twist of apple and pears............barely able to pull themselves to visibility as the tide of spice rolls in............yet, patience will reveal them.
Finish:Moderate to long with some bite left as it goes down, making its way quickly into your bloodstream and improved self-esteem.
Overall:This is a superb bourbon! I run across it from time to time as I visit out of the way liquor stores and always buy it when I do. I think I have about 5 bottles thrown back. It may be the last whiskey I drink before I go to my deserved resting place upon my demise.............wait a minute, I was hoping for a bit better than I deserved, seeing as how I am eat up with serious flaws..........but I hope to see the merciful God, not the God of vengence, but gee!..........there ain't a whole bunch to be said for my side in this affair.........OUCH!

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 708, Created:20070206143125)
Purchased at:Winder, GA
Purchased for:$56
Nose:ORVW 15 greets you with a sweet temperment. She has vanilla, butterscotch, corn, citrus, nuts (pecans especially), leather, and makes you think somebody poured some heavy cream right into the glass. A rich and marvelous nose that is best described as sensuous.
Taste:I haven't had any ORVW 15 since July, I reckon, and it was high time. Nice robust and creamy sweetness greets the tongue followed by a controlled spice and alcohol flash across the middle that is thick and heavy like a fruit laced cocktail.
Finish:Because of the creaminess the finish is moderately long lasting and very pleasing. It coats the mouth with wonderful taste.
Overall:It was ORVW 15 YO that really opened my eyes to the wonders of bourbon. I used to go out of an evening to my rooftop and sing for all to hear, 'Old Rip Van Winkle 15 Year Old Bourbon'. Eventually, I was shot at and had to quit, but you can see ORVW 15 came as a revelation to me. Why I have left it alone these 7 months is a complete mystery to me. Thank God I have three almost full bottles of this wonderful stuff, since it has not been produced for a while now. If you see it, get it!

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 561, Created:20060807105703, Updated:20060807121402) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Sigman Bottle Shop, Conyers, GA
Purchased for:$50
Nose:ORVW 15 YO has a dark amber color that predisposes you to it right off the mark. If you nose it just after it is in the glass the alcohol is a bit assertive. But you still get the strong vanilla, oak, and butterscotch that are nice, nice. A few minutes in the glass reduces the alcohol and a bit of dark fruit emerges, cherries I think, along with some citrus and corn. A bit more time in the glass and another set of rich aromas sally forth. There is pecan pie in great abundance........I'm thinking my dear old momma, long since gone, is back in the kitchen making pecan pie, one of her specialities. I think she is doing something with Granny Smith apples too. Surely it hasn't escaped you that I enjoy the nose of ORVW 15 way before I sip any. It is rich, deep, complex, and constantly unfolding!
Taste:The vanilla, corn, butterscotch coat the front of the mouth while futher along, pepper and spice come out to play. Some of the apple and cherry tartness is there too, but the taste is not quite the equal of the nose, in my opinion.
Finish:ORVW 15 YO lingers a while in a balanced way. The alcohol is there, but pulls off a spice charade rather effectively. The sweet vanilla and nut flavors remain for a decent spell too.
Overall:Long known as a favorite of many bourbon drinkers, ORVW 15 YO is an absolute standout bourbon. I will quote TNbourbon's comment on another bourbon........'Don't ever pass up a bottle of ORVW 15 YO, just don't'!

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 216, Created:20050719153703, Updated:20060807121222)
Purchased at:Sigman Bottle Shop, Conyers, GA
Purchased for:$50
Nose:Vanilla, candy corn, honey, oak, oiled leather, and warm grain (wheat?).
Taste:Corn and vanilla sweetness creep across the front of the mouth driven by the alcohol, which takes up the rear but never commands.
Finish:A lingering finish wherein the alcohol is managed well by all the other flavors. You know you are drinking a potent spirit but the alcohol is held nicely in check and is never raw.
Overall:A very good bourbon of excellent balance and complexity. When I was young in my bourbon drinking days, I thought this the best bourbon out there. It has lost nothing, but I have gained a better appreciation of other bourbons and no longer claim a favorite. Still a top shelf bourbon though!! Getting harder to find and I only have two bottles left. I will miss it when it is all gone!

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Review from TNbourbon (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 65)
Purchased at:Nashville, TN area
Purchased for:$50
Info on this bottle:Bottle # A5432; bottled in Frankfort, KY (Buffalo Trace)
Proof Of this Bottle:107
Nose:Candy apple, which only grows more prominent in the glass, with undertones of brown sugar.
Taste:This bourbon will make you cry -- it is the epitome of wheat, what Pappy Van Winkle spent his life creating. The taffy apple continues onto the tongue, with no hint of the 107 proof. Its one dimension is so fine there need not be another. The oak of 15 years' seasoning presents itself at the end, like fire nibbling along the edge of a newspaper before the kindling catches in the fireplace.
Finish:Medium in length, this Van Winkle is so smooth that one should never drink it anything but straight.
Overall:Julian Van Winkles states on the bottle: "You may be assured that in our family's three generations of distilling experience we know of no bourbon more intriguing to the taste." He ain't lyin'. Pappy would be proud to serve this bourbon.

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