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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