Van Winkle is likely the most praised bourbon brand in the 21st Century. It is hard to believe now, that in 1972 due to lack of demand the family had to sell their shares in Stitzel-Weller Distillery and start operating as independent bottler.
Since 2002 the brand has been produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery according to the original W.L. Weller recipe – 75% corn, 20% wheat and 5% malted barley. Stitzel-Weller Distillery closed in 1992 and its stock has dried. Demand for Van Winkle bourbon exceeds supply many times over and we see no change to reverse that relation in the near future. The current Van Winkle line includes five expressions ranging from 10 to 23 years old.
Nose: fruity, apricots, apples, cherries, vanilla, caramel syrup, honey, marzipan, cocoa powder, hints of tobacco and beeswax and toasted oak.
Palate: honey, vanilla, milk chocolate, cappuccino, cherries, apricots, cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, mixed nuts and well-integrated oak.
Finish: pretty long, bittersweet, with notes of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, dried fruit and oak.