Van Winkle 12-Year Overview
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, sometimes referred to correctly or wrongly, by the name of Pappy Van Winkle 12 year, comes from the legend of the fabled and difficult to locate Pappy Van Winkle line of wheated bourbons as well as one Rye that is also called “Pappy” generally.
It is among the few wheated whiskeys available on the market and is made (but is not controlled) through Buffalo Trace.
Because it is a “Pappy” item, getting it at a “reasonable” cost is a challenge because of the massive demand and yearly release. It sells out quickly or sold through lottery or very high prices.
There’s one thing that I think is worthy of mentioning concerning Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year: it’s sometimes referred to as Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year.
Although Pappy Van Winkle’s 12 Year technically isn’t the proper name, I completely know why people refer to it this way.
Although it’s part of Pappy Van Winkle, the Pappy Van Winkle brand and heritage it is the only year that the 15, 20, and 23 years are the ones that have an official Pappy Van Winkle name on the label.
I’m mentioning this because certain people are quite…particular about the exact wording. I don’t really care, but I wanted to ensure you were aware, so you can call the drink Pappy Van Winkle 12-Year, Pappy 12 year, or even magic unicorn juice.
Then yeah…Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year/Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year is extremely sought-after, however, in this review I’m going to look into the issue of whether the bourbon truly is “Top of the line” and worth it? Let’s find out in this review of Van Winkle 12 year review.
Van Winkle 12 Year
Distillery: Old Rip Van Winkle
Region: Kentucky, USA
Type: Bourbon (wheated)
Composition: 70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Barley
Aged: 12 years, aged in virgin American white oak (opened in 2015)
Color: 1.3/2.0 on the color scale (russet, muscat)
Price: $70 MSRP (750mL), but $600+ in many places
Van Winkle 12-Year Smell
Van Winkle 12 (aka Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year) immediately makes me feel my nose tingle with a massive surge of alcohol, which is quite surprising even for a product that’s 45.2 percent and 12 years old.
After the initial rush of alcohol, it’s very pleasant other notes of orange along with grapefruit, green apples, and grapes aren’t too strong however they are easy to discern in the alcohol.
The notes of citrus and fruits together with a hint of honey that comes from the grains, remind me of the orange marmalade spread on toast of wheat and Tang as a sugary drink made of orange.
It also has hints of cherries and walnuts in the form of an Amontillado sherry. It’s surprising to find just a hint of wood in the aroma.
After the glass has been empty and just the heads remain, I can smell the apple juice and allspice and cinnamon.
After leaving the glass to itself for a couple of minutes the glass releases an almost dusty wood chest that hasn’t opened in a long time, smell.
Van Winkle 12 Year’s combination of orange and must results in the dried peel of an orange. The smell of dust really put me off, and after drinking my first glass I washed it and attempted it again. The musty smell came back. It’s not unpleasant, but unwelcome.
In the background, you will find an intensely citrusy, fruity, and very nutty whiskey. It’s a distinctive fragrance that’s distinct from the typical Bourbons with brown sugar or woody aroma.
It’s unfortunate that it’s heavily influenced by alcohol, but it could have been much more.
Van Winkle 12-Year Taste & Aftertaste
Contrary to the scent, the Van Winkle 12 Year is more delicate in the mouth. The first tasting isn’t of strong alcohol, but rather a light citrus flavor with subtle flavors of grain and honey and a hint of toast with orange marmalade.
I can understand why people refer to this by the name of “nectar”. Alcohol is present in the background, but it does not overwhelm the other flavors.
There is also a hint of woody spice in the taste. Contrary to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength the other bourbon with wheat I have reviewed The Special Reserve does not have yeast, sourdough, or dry grass taste.
The taste is light with light notes of wood, cereal, and oddly it’s a coconut coffee creamer (raw coconut meat with sugar, cream, and meat).
The whiskey is smooched around, leading to a stronger aftertaste. It gives mint chewing gum when you’ve taken it out of your mouth. It’s which I’d like to see from a bourbon made of wheat, not rye.
All in all, Van Winkle 12 Year (aka Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year) flavors are quite good and enjoyable, but they’re not exceptional.
The fruit-forward and citrus notes are interesting and unique however nothing stands in my mind and makes me believe this is exceptional. If the flavors were more robust, this might be great.
That was all about the Van Winkle 12 Year Price. I hope you enjoyed this article, but if you have any questions about this article, then please comment below in the comment box.
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