Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon Review (90 Proof)

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon, 45% abv (90 Proof), $35/bottle

Color: Deep Amber/Gold

Nose: Ripe banana, vanilla, toffee, rum, dried dark fruits, backed with reasonably significant toasted oak aromas.

Palate: Again, a solid oak backbone presents itself. Big, rich mouth feel reveals toffee, vanilla, sweetened coffee, roasted nuts, and burned sugar/caramel. Sweet, rich, and everything a “wheater” should be.

Finish: Excellent length in comparison to other wheated whiskeys in the 10 year and under range. Burned sugar, toast, cinnamon, and barrel flavors remain.

Overall: ORVW 10 is a wheated recipe, a little brother to Pappy Van Winkle 15. Essentially the same recipe just 5 years junior. For those that cannot get a hold of Pappy 15, give this one a try! It’s an outstanding whiskey, and one of the richest wheated bourbons under 12 years I’ve had. The 107 proof packs more whallop, but this 90 proof offering is no slouch. I highly recommend it.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.8 (Superb/Outstanding)


  1. Joe Serapilio says:

    Jason,Excellent review on Old Rip 10/90.The 107 version is more avaliable in my area.As is the 12 year Lot B.All the VanWinkle products are superlative in my opinion.Always keep these in the ‘”bunker”You literally have to get them when you can.Take care, Joe

  2. So true Joe. When I see ORVW and PVW products on the shelf, I do not hesitate to “buy”. Great stuff!

    Thanks for the comment!


  3. Drew says:

    Jason, I have recently gotten my hands on a bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve, 12 year old, Lot B. There were only 2 bottles in the store at $55 so my buddy and I each got a bottle. Having watched your review on Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old and Old Rip Van Winkle. I was wondering what your thoughts and opinions are on this bourbon since I don’t know very much about it. This will be my first venture into of any of the Van Winkle family of bourbons.

  4. Andrew, “Lot B” is a special whiskey. It’s fantastic stuff and I think you will enjoy it. The 10 year old, Old Rip Van Winkle products, comes in a 107 and 90 proof. I think Lot B is better than both of those (I rated the later an 8.8). Some in fact feel that Lot B has a lot of the depth and character of Pappy 15 with out as much of the oak. It’s also smoother, and therefore many prefer it. I’m not one of them that can say that, but I can certainly say it’s wonderful. I’ve been trying to find some as well and haven’t been able to.

    The ORVW distillery that produces all of these products, has a partnership with Buffalo Trace. Their defunct former distillery necessitated this partnership with BT. As a result the latest releases of Lot B and the Old Rip VW 10 are whiskeys that were distilled at Buffalo Trace using the ORVW wheated recipe, and overseen by Julian Van Winkle. The Pappy 15, 20, and 23 come from reserve product at the Stitzel-Weller warehouses. The rumor is the 15 supply is pretty well dried up. I’m sure BT is close to having 15 year old product ready, but you can definitely tell the supply lines are tight. I’m also sure, with BT’s expertise, that the product will be as good as ever once it does come out.

    Anyways, I hope you enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts. Lucky guy!

  5. Dirk Stickdorn says:


    How many years of the original Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20, & 23 year olds are left to release before the new “Old Vines” are the only batches left to release?


  6. Great question Dirk. This is the 1 million dollar question in fact. I’ve asked Julian Van Winkle and so far I’ve not gotten any good answer. We are all left to guess. However it is thought by many informed enthusiasts that the 15 is about done. I believe there is a couple years left on the 20 and 23. We shall see. Thanks so much for the comments. The moment I can get some confirmation on this I will definitely get it out there.

  7. Greg says:


    Love your site. I just dicovered it about 2 weeks ago and have been reviewing all of your reviews. Do you plan to review the 10/107 version. I just got a bottle and compared it to the Weller antique and 12 year and the WLWAC and find it to be almost as good as the WLWAC and better than the other 2. I really appreciate your tasting notes. I am a newby to bourbons in the SF bay area and find it very difficult to find these good bourbons. I hope to get some more Van Winkle bourbons when the spring release hits California. Keep up the good work.


  8. Ian says:

    Just wanted to add that the latest spring release of Van Winkle includes the 15 year and that it is in fact still S-W juice. This comes straight from Julian.

  9. David says:

    I would look forward of your review for the ORVW 107. Are you planning a review?

  10. If I can get my hands on some David, I sure plan on it. Thanks.

  11. David says:

    Too bad you live in Tennessee, I’d share mine with you here in Kentucky. It’s getting harder to find.

  12. Steven Averbukh says:

    Nice site and reviews Jason. Any update on how much family reserve is actually left to bottle? I have reserves on the 15, 20,23 so I am wondering if I should just hold on to them! I was unaware that they would actually stop making the family reserve at some point. So its true that the 15 yr will soon be replaced by a OVW 15?

    Also, I have quite a few bottles of the OVW 10yr in both varieties. If you need me to send you a bottle of the 107 please let me know.


  13. Steven, the 10 and 12 year bourbon and the 13 year old Rye are all Buffalo Trace whiskey. According to Preston Van Winkle in a podcast interview with David Driscoll of K&L Wine and Spirits, the 15 up until this years fall/winter release was Stitzel-Weller stock. This year’s is the first all-Buffalo Trace Pappy 15. The 20 and 23 are still stocks of the old juice. I am sure a lot of it is sitting in Stainless Steel and being rationed until Buffalo Trace has enough 20 and 23 year old stock.

    At this time I believe the move to OVW15 was just rumor.

    Cheers – thanks for the comment!

  14. Tim says:

    When you make it to NYC let me know. The bunker is loaded up with the good stuff and I would be happy to open a bottle or two. Love your reviews. I email them to all of my scotch buddies who just don’t know what they are missing!

  15. Will do Tim. Thanks for the comment!

  16. JK says:

    Very much enjoyed sampling the ORVW-10y-90 last evening, in a blind tasting flight with the Evan Williams 2001 SB and current Elmer T Lee SB. We tried them over a couple hours after dinner. The nose on the Rip wheater is very attractive, the best part for me; it’s rich and sappy with heaps of rum and toffee notes. On entry, the whisky shows big at the front of the mouth, fades on mid-palate a fair bit (several tasters called it ‘hollow’), and it finishes with moderate heat and a big cinnamon and mace element (a pleasing finish). At $35/btl, it’s not something I’ll seek out for myself, but I was happy to be able to find it for our tasting group; several guys really went for it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  17. Jeffrey Gobert says:

    I was able to taste the 12 yr Rip van winkle just the other day, and I have been lookng for a bottle ever since. does anyone know where I can find a bottle or two. While the Pappy would be great, I would love to buy the old rip van winkle

  18. Todd T says:

    Awesome reviews, thank you for your hard work! I am pretty new to bourbon, but love it. The first I tasted was the Pappy 15 year, by total fluke at my favorite restaurant, needless to say I was hooked. I live in Portland OR, and it is VERY rare out here (which may be an understatement). I was allowed to get one bottle of the Van Winkle special reserve 12 yr lot “B”, but I had to wait in a long line as all the 15 and 20 sold out before my eyes. I would love to see a review of Lot “B” bottling by you, as you may imagine I am in no hurry to open this as it was very difficult to procure. Keep up the awesome work!

  19. Thanks Todd – appreciate the comment.

  20. cyril burger says:

    Hello, I recently moved my mother-in-law, last name VanWinkle mind you, and in doing so we discovered a full unopened bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 15-year 107 proof bourbon. My mother-in-law says they’ve had it for years. It’s in the old squatty bottle and above the label says K4641, what exactly do I have here? I’m guessing it’s about 12/13 years old.

    Cyril Burger
    Henderson NV

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  2. […] Winkle Family Reserve 12 Year “Lot B”. I did a review of the 90 proof version of ORVW here. You cannot go wrong with any of them, but you know my feelings on the […]