Category Archives: Old Rip Van Winkle

Review: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year Bourbon (107 Proof)

This past weekend, while traveling, I was able to locate a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year 107 Proof bourbon. I reviewed the 90 proof version of this whiskey about a year ago. Let’s take a look and see how the higher proof version fares.

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon, 53.5% abv (107 Proof), $45/bottle
As you might imagine, Old Rip Van Winkle (ORVW) 10 Year 107 brings a very similar flavor profile as the 90 proof version. It does so with a bit more punch and vigor however. The nose opens with toffee, maple syrup, rum soaked bananas, and rich, dark fruits (dates, figs). Things really shine on the palate, which is more concentrated and syrupy than its little brother. Toffee sweetness, caramelized nuts, coffee and cinnamon toast are most prevalent. The vanilla and toasted oak are prevalent throughout. With a splash of water more fruitiness emerges. ORVW 10 year 107 finishes with toasted oak, nutty toffee, and a warm hum of spices (cinnamon and clove).

Your chances of finding this one over a Pappy 15 is likely 3-4 times better. That’s only a guess, but I’d say that’s accurate based on my experience. The 107 proof point serves this whiskey well, concentrating the flavor and bringing more depth and force to the party. The price I found is certainly higher than it was last year, but in comparison to some other whiskeys in this range I still recommend it highly.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.1 (Superb/Outstanding)

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)