Review #1570 – Pappy Van Winkle 23yr

The Schtick: This is an annual release from Buffalo Trace/ Van Winkle that is comprised of hand selected barrels blended at a minimum of 23 years of age. This is the 2019 release. Certainly a bourbon hunters dream, this bottle is hard to acquire, and from the looks of the internet, it’s even harder to open. It’s been a while since I’ve had this, so I’m looking forward to diving in. This more or less kicks off a mini series of some limiteds I’ve been writing on, to go along with the Chattanooga test batches, and some other fun stuff in the works. Let’s cut the chatter and get to it.

Review #1570 | Bourbon Review #672

Distiller: Buffalo Trace

Bottler: Buffalo Trace

Brand: Pappy van Winkle

Selection: N/A

ABV: 47.8% ABV

Age: 23 Years

Nose: Sweet cream, rich oak and some toffee. Old musty tobacco, cedar, pine and unsurprisingly…oak. A lot of oak. A ton of oak. Some red berries.

Taste: Medium on the palate, although there is no heat. Sweet cream, red berries, powerful oak and tobacco. It coats the palate nicely, but it immediately leaves a bitter essence behind.

Finish: Short, bitter, tannic and drying. Like a bonkers aggressive Cali cab dialed up to 11, the finish here is so quick to disappate and leave bitter oak and pepper behind without a hint of moisture.

Overall: This is really something, but it’s not for me. Price tag and rarity alone, this much oak is overbearing and manages to sap enjoyment from the notes I do really like by accentuating a bitter oak note that I don’t love. A bummer, but I’ll happily take the 15 year in favor any day. Bourbon is in a weird place where it’s probably preposterous to designate one hyper expensive hyper rare bourbon better than another hyper rare hyper expensive bourbon in preference since neither can truly be easily found, but for a solid yard stick…a good single barrel of Buffalo Trace will top this without much trouble.

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 5

10 Most Recent Buffalo Trace Expressions I Have Reviewed:



0 | Unscored | New Make Spirit or Personal Selection.

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Perfect | Perfect

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