Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Van Winkle 12 Year Lot "B" Bourbon

Spirit: Van Winkle 12 Year Lot "B"Bourbon
Distiller: Van Winkle
Retail: $49.99

Van Winkle has a reputation among Bourbon/American whiskey as being one of the premiere labels. I(J) disagree, in my opinion Van Winkle has managed to attach to some kind of identity hearkening back to Southern gentlemen sitting on the veranda drinking juleps. In reality the Van Winkle family is following in the footsteps of their wine counterparts Silver Oak and Opus One, producing over-aged, over-oaked and overpriced product...generally. With the exception of the 13yr Rye and the Lot "B", I tend to think that the Winkles are not doing justice to this spirit. In fact they're convincing a whole new generation of bourbon drinkers that this is what's "good".

I'm losing track here.

The Van Winkle Lot "B" seems to be the best expression the family has to offer. Twelve years seems like an optimal aging time for this spirit, creating the right balance of corn and oak. Not only that but the 15, 20 and 23 year labels can set you back, this seems right on the mark for the price point.

If you're going to buy into the Van Winkle thing, buy the 12 year.



Color: Pale Honey, Mostly Clear with some sediment

Nose: Sawdust, Vegetal, Banana, Apple, charcoal

Palate: Banana on the mouth, oak is balanced(tannic grip on top of tounge), acidity on sides, medium finish, finish hits the back of the throat. Good cut on this one,
ethanol never plays a part. Easy on the mouth.

Rating(out of 10): 8



Color: Dark amber, Fair amount of sediment present

Nose: Sawdust, Sweet Red Apple, Cinnamon.

Palate: High ethanol, dry, somewhat tannic. Long finish. Finish hits back of palate. Oak. Rye or pumpernickel bread. No confectionery notes. Tobacco.

Rating(out of 10): 6.5

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