Archive for October, 2010

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old Bourbon Named “Spirit of the Year”

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Oct. 19, 2010) – Wine and Spirits Magazine has named Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey “Spirit of the Year” in its annual buying guide issue.  There are only eight spirits of the year in the issue, and Pappy Van Winkle 23 is the only bourbon.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Wine and Spirits, one of the most respected publications in the spirits industry,” said Julian Van Winkle III. “This caps off an unbelievably successful year for the Van Winkle line as a whole, with major wins for Pappy 15 at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition and Pappy 20 at both the International Wine and Spirits Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.”

The Wine and Spirits annual buying guide issue will be on sale at newsstands October 19th.

About Van Winkle Bourbon

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle

family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery.  The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still.  Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.
After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.
In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.

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Buffalo Trace Releases 2010 Antique Collection

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (October 5, 2010) Whiskey lovers rejoice! Buffalo Trace Distillery is releasing its 2010 Antique Collection. The much-anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here is what ardent fans can expect:

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

The 2009 release was named in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible the “World Whisky of the Year,” making it the best whisky on the earth.  The 2010 release is comprised of whiskey that has been aged on the first floor of Warehouse K. The first floor enables the barrels to age slowly and gracefully. This vintage has a crisp spice, minty sweetness and pleasant oakiness.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a 96 rating by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The 2010 edition was distilled in the spring of 1993 and has been aging in Warehouses C, H, I, K and Q.  With 17 years of aging under its belt, it brings to the table notes of leather, vanilla and tobacco.

George T. Stagg

The perennial favorite and last year’s winner of the “Bourbon of the Year” award by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible, the 2010 George T. Stagg was found in Warehouses H, I, K and L. This uncut, unfiltered bourbon was distilled back in the winter of 1993 and weighs in at 143 proof—some strong stuff! This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee.

William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller is the Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheat recipe bourbon. The 2009 edition was just named the best bourbon in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. The 2010 offering was distilled in the summer of 1998 and aged on the fourth and ninth floors of Warehouses I and P. This William Larue Weller release registers in at 126.6 proof. It tastes of caramel corn, light toffee and pipe tobacco.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2004 and aged on the third and fourth floors of Warehouses K, M and P. It is 126.9 proof.  The flavor is cinnamon and allspice, with a bold lingering finish.

The Antique Collection was introduced a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Malt Advocate Magazine and Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible.

“Last year’s collection won some pretty major awards so it’s somewhat intimidating to follow those whiskies,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “But we think this year’s offerings are just as good, so it will be fun to see if everyone else thinks so too.”

The Antique Collection will be available starting in late October. For more information visit www.greatbourbon.com

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