VWFRR 1985

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VWFRR 1985

Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:51 am

Friday night I had a friend stop by for a ”little” whiskey tasting. I had arranged a blind tasting of the following:

1. Group

W.L.Weller 19YO
Pappy Van Winkle 20YO

2. Group

Wild Turkey Rye
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13YO
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 1985 100°Proof Non-Chill Filtered
Van Winkle 12YO Old Time Rye
Classic Cask Rye 22YO
Sazerac 18YO

Now my plans where to do “extensive” tasting notes as well as determine the “winner” in each of the two groups. Well it didn’t turn out that way. Instead we spent a lot of time just sipping and comparing and talking about a lot of different things. I did manage some notes, but nowhere near something I could post.
The Weller and the Pappy are both excellent; Friday night the Weller in a Photo finish took my 1.Place. Now this was really “just” a warm up for the Main Event of the evening: 6 great Ryes.
Of these 2 stood out: The Sazerac and VWFRR 1985. Both seamed in a league of their own. I had never had the VWFRR 1985 before, but since Julian had stated that it was the best Rye he had ever bottled, buying some bottles was a no-brainer.
Imagine the little Donkey from Shrek (incl. Eddie Murphys voice) going bananas inside your mouth, kicking and screaming – what a sensation. Now I know I say this a lot (fortunately) but this Rye is one of the best Whiskies I’ve ever had. The extra Proof and No Chill Filtering made the Old Time Rye seam a bit tame. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love the 12YO. Not only did the taste step up a notch or two the colour seamed deeper and more intense as well.
So in order of preference (that night):

1. VWFRR 1985
2. Sazerac
3. VWFRR 13YO, Old Timer Rye, CC 22Y
4. WT

I’ve attached a “little” pic. – I’ve done my best cropping.
The first two glasses (Riedel) are the Wheaters.
The next six in order (WT, VW 1985, CC, VW 12, VW 13, Sazerac)

So – if you ever get the chance to get a bottle of VWFRR 1985 do not hesitate.
I plan to do a more extensive comparison between the 13 YO and the 1985. I’ll do my best on the tasting notes and take some pictures. I’ll post them later.

Thomas
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Getting ready for one h*** of a ride
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Unread postby OneCubeOnly » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:15 am

Wow! What an awesome display! And top-notch picks as well!

I've never had the pleasure of the 1985 Van Winkle, but as good as the 13yo is I can imagine it's outstanding.

I'm surprised the Saz 18 was so clearly above the 13yo though...I've done several side-by-sides and the Saz has always been a close second. Was this the 2004 vintage? The ones I had were either 2002 or 2003.

I recognize the Riedel Bourbon glasses, but what are the shorter (stemless) ones? Are those the Riedel "O" series?
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:39 am

Unfortunately I’m not sure about the Saz, since my friend brought only a sample. I think it’s the 02 but I’m not sure. You’re right about all of them being top-notch, and some might argue that picking a winner is wrong. I was surprised as well, since usually I would rank the CC above the Saz or at least equal – but that’s the beauty of doing a blind sampling. But keep in mind they where all really good. The only one easy to place was the Turkey – not bad – just unable to stand face to face with the competition.
The smaller glasses are actually form a The Royal Danish Glass manufacturer “Holmegaard”. They are handmade water glasses and part of their “Fontaine” series. I’ve been using them as makeshift whiskey glasses, but I find they work quit well, they just snuggle right into the palm of my hand. I love the Riedel glasses, but hanging out they are easier to handle.

Thomas
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Unread postby Mark » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:08 am

Wow, now that is one awesome time you guys must have had! I loved your description of the donkey from Shrek kicking around in your mouth as the taste sensation of the FW Rye! Image :lol:

Seeing as how the 15yo non chill filtered was your favorite I may have to open a bottle of it next time we all do another rye tasting here. Bob and I did a rye shootout of 6 ryes not too long ago and we actually had the CC 21yo come in first above both FWFRR and Sazerac. Bob, I think you could stand for doing another rye tasting along with Chris and LeNell in the future right?
:wink:
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:17 am

Mark wrote:Seeing as how the 15yo non chill filtered was your favorite I may have to open a bottle of it next time we all do another rye tasting here.


Mark

According to Julian the 1985 Rye and the Old Time Rye as well as the first release of the 13YO are the same whiskey. So the 1985 is in fact 13YO.
We did have one hell of an evening. :lol:

Thomas
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Unread postby Mark » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:22 am

Yeah, that's right! Funny how just the adjustment in proof and the non chill filtering makes such an impact. Should be very interesting to try one of each next to one another. A 12yo rye, the 13yo release from when he still bottled it in lawrenceburg and this non chill filtered one. It's all such a tough job but thankfully there are people like those on these boards to do it! :lol:
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Unread postby Brewer » Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:34 pm

Mark wrote: Bob, I think you could stand for doing another rye tasting along with Chris and LeNell in the future right?
:wink:


Hmmmmm, I'll have to think about doing another rye tasting. Hmmmm, when? This afternoon? Be right over! :lol: Yeah, I'm in...any time, any place.
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:21 am

Mark wrote:It's all such a tough job but thankfully there are people like those on these boards to do it! :lol:


You know what they say:

When the going gets tough, the......
Allways willing to go the extra mile for you guys :lol:

Thomas
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VWFRR 13YO vs. VWFRR 1985

Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:23 pm

Now I’ve wanted to post this for the past week, but I’ve been so busy, that I haven’t felt I had the time needed to do this properly.
Last Sunday I had a friend over for Super Bowl. Now because of the metric system (I hope some of you have seen Pulp Fiction – or this will be totally lost), the game didn’t start until 0.30 am – so what do two guys do to kill the time….
We sat down and did a side by side between the Van Winkle 13YO Rye, and my favourite Van Winkle 1985. We really did our best taking tasting notes – and I think they can stand being published here.
I would have added them to the review section, but the 1985 isn’t featured and I think part of the fun is the comparison between the two. Now if Mark or Chris will add that bottle, I could add two more reviews getting closer to the magic ten reviews.

Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 YO

Proof:
95.6

Info:
I assume it’s the 19YO and not the original 13YO

Nose:
Marzipan and almonds at first. After a while in the glass cherries appear followed by caramel and toffee. Ever present is the oak.

Taste:
Dominated by pepper and spices. There is a hint of Tobacco, but the peppery spices are really the main players. The taste seams to be centred on the middle of your tong. The oak shows thru making it a rather dry experience.

Finish:

The dryness just keeps increasing my cheeks got sucked inwards. My tong felt furry.

Overall:

Now if I had to point out a weakness my taste buds could do with less of the oak. At the risk of sounding like a smart ass I think it should have been dumped into the steal tanks 2-3 years earlier.


Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 1985

Proof:
100

Info:
Not chill Filtered

Nose:
Fruits and chocolate and a faint peppery note. Really really nice, just so well balanced and seductive like the most beautiful mistress begging you to step closer.

Taste:

Now I still stand by my previous analogy of Shrek’s little donkey. The taste pops up in my mouth. A velvet liquorice taste fills my mouth. Pepper carries thru from the nose but much less pronounced than in the 13YO. There is a clear family resemblance. The main difference between the two is the less pronounced oak. Also my mouth rather then being sucked inwards, expands like a hot air balloon the taste is all over the place. Magnificent!

Finish:

Just keeps on going with a sweet pleasant taste there is some oak, but it’s so well balanced.

Overall:

Compairing the two is not fair, since the 13YO is now in reality 19YO and a “blend” of two distillations. The higher proof and the fact that it’s not chill-filtered really shows. I just keep falling more and more in love with this Rye for every time that I have it. This is a clear must buy if you ever get the chance.
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