“We make fine bourbon, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always, fine bourbon.”
That was Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle philosophy that guided him through his new ventures into bourbon. He didn’t always intend to enter the bourbon business, but when he did, he created simple recipes with dedication to producing fine bourbon.
Pappy started his career as a traveling whiskey salesman, and later became President of the Stitzel-Weller distillery. The prohibition era did not slow Pappy down from building a pristine reputation in the bourbon industry. His family carried the Julian Van Winkle name of perseverance and producing fine bourbon. Four generations later, the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is still producing original Pappy recipes, including the treasured family reserve labels.
The Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bottles are very rare, and come in 15, 20, and 23-year-old versions. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery only releases 7,000 to 8,000 bottles of Family Reserve every year, making the availability of bottles extremely rare and highly collectable. In fact, Pappy Van Winkle has become so popular that the annual release of new Pappy Van Winkle bottles is commonly known as “Pappy Day.” One of the most sought after bottles is the 15 year aged bourbon.
While not the oldest member of the Pappy Van Winkle family, it’s well-aged, full-bodied flavors have won many awards. The bottles come from hand-selected, deeply charred oak barrels. They are aged for 15 years to allow flavor from the oak to mellow and the base ingredients strengthen. Similar to other Pappy Van Winkles, you can expect caramel flavors from beginning to end. The 15 year bourbon has a smoother finish, with rich notes of dried fruits, exotic spices, oak tannins, and a cooked sugary sweetness.
Interested in getting your hands on a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve? You can bid on your chance to win an “All Things Pappy” gift basket, including a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year bourbon, at Indy’s Premier Bourbon Affair. The event takes place Friday, February 17th at the Indiana Historical Society. You’ll have the chance to sample bourbons from various breweries, followed by a silent auction. Proceeds benefit education and outreach programs by the Indiana Historical Society. Click here to get your tickets for this fabulous event.