More Reviews Coming Soon!

Thanks to a number of you that have been checking in lately. I’m alive and well! I’ve had a lot of summer travel, weddings, and tons of visits from family these last few weeks. It’s been great fun, but I’ve got a number of reviews in the queue ready to hit soon. With a renewed focus I should have a couple out next week. Please check back soon!

As an aside I’ve been enjoying lots of Mint Juleps and Bourbon and Branches this summer. It’s a reminder that a whiskey with some ice on a hot summer day is as refreshing as anything you can possibly drink. I’ve also made a few rye-based juleps lately with Bulleit and Rittenhouse that were stunners. Give it a try!




  1. Franco C. says:

    Glad to here your gearing back up.
    I just got back from Kentucky and did the Bourbon Trail for the first time!!
    It was as cool as I thought it would be.

  2. Alan says:

    Ready for more reviews. Would love to know what you think about (ri)1. Picked up a bottle the other day (haven’t cracked it yet) for $30. Heard reviews from one end to the other on this. What’s your take on it, since you’re a big rye fan?

  3. Alan, I like (ri)1, but it is not a favorite of mine. This one is going to crack 8.0 point range but there are others in this price point I think are better – Russell’s Reserve Rye, Rittenhouse, and Sazerac to name a few.

  4. Franco, glad you enjoyed the trail man – It’s great to see all those fantastic distilleries up there.

  5. sam k says:

    Agreed on the (ri)1. $45 here in our control state, and waaaaay overpriced. Just not enough guts for my taste. $30 not so bad, but with Rittenhouse (if you can get it) and Wild Turkey rye both right around $20, why bother?

  6. Greg C says:

    I just found your site and love it! I think it’s a great way to get a visual that written reviews lack a bit. I just watched your comparison of Weller 12 vs. Van Winkle 12. Like you, I am disappointed by the scarcity of Pappy 15. I have a question: is the Weller a different recipe than the Van Winkle? Is that where the difference comes in? Or is it more the barrel selection/warehouse location, etc.?

  7. Greg, it is certainly believed that the Pappy and Weller bourbons share the same mashbill. There’s always a bit of mystery around this and I think the folks from Pappy like to keep it that way. But on taste alone there is a definite family resemblance. Now, to clarify, the 20 and 23 year old Pappy bourbons are still from old Stitzel-Weller distillery stock. That’s the distillery Pappy started it all with – it closed in the early nineties. The 15 year has a conflicted tale of whether it is still 100% Stitzel-Weller or a mix of S-W stock and Buffalo Trace stocks. Julian Van Winkle maintains that it is still S-W stock. After S-W closed, Julian partnered with Buffalo Trace to keep things going. The 10 year Old Rip Van Winkle and the 12 year old Van Winkle Family reserve are both distilled and aged at Buffalo Trace.

    And to answer the second part of the question – yes, Julian Van Winkle gets the pick of the liter to my knowledge of the barrels that make up Van Winkle bourbons. A great example of this is to look at the 12 year Weller vs. Van Winkle 12. The biggest difference between these two excellent products is the syrupy, rich, and balanced quality of the Van Winkle in contrast to the fantastic, but a bit more disjointed quality of the Weller 12 year. Particularly in the oak integration department, where the Weller is a shade drier, thinner, and more woody. The flavors are quite similar, as are the aromas, but the differences in the way they are delivered is quite apparent at the same time. Is it worth twice the price? Well, that’s up to the consumer.

    Thanks for the comment Greg!