Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Brand: Van Winkle
ABV: 47.8% ABV
Age: 13 Years
Nose: Leather, old tobacco, dusty book, rye spice and toffee. Intensely sweet, pungent and rich. It smells like an excellent pipe tobacco. There’s a little herbal quality, but it’s pretty tame.
Taste: Thick and rich on the palate. For the proof it coats the palate excellently. Rich and syrupy, with really powerful notes like oak, toffee, pipe tobacco, stewed fruits and almost a cocoa note. Decadent, wonderful, complex.
Finish: Long, more tobacco here, lots of cream and sweetness, pungent rye spice and pepper, faintly herbal.
Overall: This is incredible. Falling just a touch shy of the epic Bernheims I’ve been lucky enough to try, but this is one of the best ryes I’ve ever had, full stop. If there is a single Van Winkle that lives up to any sort of the pedestal they are put on, I think it’s this one. I don’t have any newer VWFRR to review, but I’ve heard tale they aren’t as close to as good as this is, which is a bummer, so I’ll let this be my mental image of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye. It’s a good one.
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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