Last night I had the chance to stop in at Ward III, an elegant whiskey bar in the Tribeca section of NYC. Monday night is whiskey night there. What's special is that some of their top pours are available at half price. So it's a great chance to try some good juice with less of a hit on the wallet or purse. Then at 8pm they have a free whiskey tasting lead by someone, whether a distiller, spirits person, or what have you. I didn't have a chance to stay long enough for the tasting, but they had a pretty good group of folks.
To the crux of the matter... I ordered the Van Winkle 13 year rye. Very impressive, so I'd would have liked to have had more time to explore this. But very nice caramel and butterscotch, those deep sweet notes, that to me come from longer term aging (maybe from the higher levels in the rickhouse). For the reputation of rye being spicy it had it's spice, but in many ways I thought of this rye as being sweet. Perhaps that was also from the vanillins, which I also think of as sweet.
Maybe Chuck or Mike V. or any one of our other resident experts can tell us whether this was a found whiskey or made whiskey. (I know Pappy himself didn't have a hand in it as it can't be any younger than 1997, certainly too young to buy a drink of itself.) I definitely wouldn't pass up another chance at this whiskey.
Cheryl Lins - Proprietor and distiller, Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Walton, NY