Van Winkle 12-Year Overview

Van Winkle 12 Year Price: Reserve Van Winkle 12 year, commonly dubbed Pappy Van Winkle 12 year, originates from the tale of the renowned and hard-to-find Pappy Van Winkle line of wheated bourbons and one Rye.

Buffalo Trace makes (but doesn’t control) this wheat whisky.

Due its demand and yearly release, finding a “Pappy” item at a “fair” price is difficult. It sells out rapidly, is lottery-only, or is expensive.

Pappy Van Winkle 12 Years is another name for Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Years.Pappy Van Winkle’s 12 Year isn’t the official name, but I understand why people call it that.

Despite being part of Pappy Van Winkle’s brand and legacy, only the 15, 20, and 23 years feature his name on the bottle.

Some folks are…picky about phrasing. You may name it Pappy Van Winkle 12 years, Pappy 12 years, or magic unicorn juice.


Van Winkle 12Y/Pappy In this review, I’ll examine if Van Winkle 12 Year is genuine “Top of the line” and worth it. Van Winkle 12-year review.

Van Winkle 12 Year Prices

Van Winkle 12-Year Price

  • Distillery: Old Rip Van Winkle
  • Region: Kentucky, USA
  • Type: Bourbon (wheated)
  • Alcohol: 45.2%
  • Composition: 70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Barley
  • Aged: 12 years, aged in virgin American white oak (opened in 2015)
  • Colour: 1.3/2.0 on the colour scale (russet, muscat)
  • Price: $70 MSRP (750mL), but $600+ in many places

Van Winkle 12-Year Smell

Van Winkle 12 (or Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year) quickly made my nose tingle with alcohol, which is unusual for a 45.2%, 12-year-old product.

After the initial surge of alcohol, the orange, grapefruit, green apples, and grapes scents are nice.

Citrus and fruit aromas, together with a hint of honey from the grains, remind me of orange marmalade on wheat bread and Tang.

Amontillado sherry adds cherries and walnuts. The scent has a startling tinge of wood. I can smell apple juice, allspice, and cinnamon after the glass is empty.After a few minutes, the glass exudes a dusty wood chest fragrance.

Vandyke 12 Years’ orange and must create dried orange peel. The dusty scent threw me off, so I cleaned and retried my first glass. Mustiness returned. Unwelcome yet not unpleasant.

In the background, zesty, fruity, nutty whisky. Its scent is different from brown sugar or woody Bourbons. It’s too alcoholic, but it might have been better.

Van Winkle 12-Year Taste & Aftertaste

Van Winkle 12 Year tastes lighter than it smells. First taste is mild citrus with grain, honey, and orange marmalade.

I get why it’s called “nectar.” Alcohol is there but doesn’t overpower other flavours. Tastes woody-spicy.

The Special Reserve has no yeast, sourdough, or dry grass flavour, unlike Maker’s Mark Cask Strength.

Van Winkle 12 Year flavours are pleasant and pleasurable, but not remarkable.

Fruit-forward and citrus tones are pleasant and distinct, but nothing makes this special. If the flavours were stronger, it may work.

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