Public Service Announcement

We interupt your regularly scheduled whiskey drinking to inform you that Van Winkle bourbons are close to shelves. According to Chuck Cowdery, The Van Winkles have informed him that their highly anticipated line of whiskeys will hit stores after Turkey Day, but just before the end of the year. Chuck’s a more than reliable source.

My recommendations, like earlier this year, are to to call your local liquor stores and get your name on a list. Make nice with your merchants and they’ll be kind to you. If you want to know which ones to get, I’d suggest the 15 year old Pappy Van Winkle, and the 12 year old Van Winkle Special Reserve. The 13 year old Rye is solid stuff, but there’s better out there for the dollar. The 20 and 23 year old Pappy are expensive. If your budget allows purchasing those, great, but they can’t come close to touching the 15 year old.



  1. Joe Serapilio says:

    Thanks for the tip Jason.I called two big stores in my area&they told me the same thing.Late November.

  2. Kip Lipper says:


    Did you mean VW Special reserve 12year old or VW family Reserve Rye 13 year old?


  3. Sorry, typo on my side, the Special Reserve 12 year old bourbon is what I was referring to. I like the rye a lot, but not as much as the 12 yr old Bourbon.

  4. Kip Lipper says:

    No problem. fantastic website and blog. Thanks for all the good information. I started tasting bourbon with some earnestness this year and am amazed at the resources on the web.

  5. Kip, the web is a limitless bounty of great info on whiskey. Glad you’ve started sipping the brown stuff. Enjoy!

  6. Nate Cleveland says:

    Thanks for the great info Jason.
    Random question: What do you think a bottle of VW Family Reserve 15yr is worth right now? I just paid a ridiculously high price on eBay because I have never owned this bottle and want to make sure I do at some point in my lifetime. For me it was worth it. Going rate (used) right now is $175-200. Is this craziness?

  7. Whew, Nate, great question, but one I’m going to have trouble answering. I love Pappy Van Winkle 15. It’s one of the finest whiskeys on the planet in my opinion. However I think what happens with these “rare” whiskeys right now is just silly stuff. At the same time, I absolutely understand that it’s one of those whiskeys you hear so much about but can’t get their hands on it. What did you think of it?

  8. Nate Cleveland says:

    Haven’t opened it yet. Gonna wait to see if I can get more. If not, it may have to wait for some special occasion. …or just until my resolve breaks-down.

  9. HP12 says:

    The 2011 fall release of PVW15 is not of the old Stitzel-Weller distillate but of the newer Buffalo Trace juice according to Preston Van Winkle himself. Check out this podcast for insightful specifics. At around the 14th minute he talks about the new BT juice making up the fall allocation of PVW15.

  10. HP12 I listened to this last night and was glad to finally get some confirmation here. I plan on reviewing it as soon as I get a new bottle, which hopefully will be very soon.

  11. Townsend says:

    I’m curious to know which ryes you prefer over the VWFFR 13-year.

  12. Townsend, I prefer Sazerac 18. I think it’s a good notch better than the VW13. Rittenhouse BIB 100 is also just stellar whiskey especially considering it is less than half the price depending on where you are. Rendezvous Rye from High West is also right in line, and much easier to find. All in all I enjoy the VW13 very much. It’s easily in the 9-9.2 range on my scale, but unlike the 15 year Pappy Bourbon, in my opinion there are at the very least equally good rye whiskeys out there. And you can actually find them – some at a better price point even.