Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12YO

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Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12YO

Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:02 pm

Once again the all mighty Whiskey-Gods smiled gently upon me today. :prayer:
I bought the last bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12YO at my favourite local whiskey pusher. Probably one of the last bottles available at all. :(

Some time ago I had the pleasure of tasting it, and I remember I enjoyed it a lot.
But does anyone here know what the difference is between the Old Time Rye and the “standard” Family Reserve 13YO?

I have also seen a “Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 1985 not chill filtered” at a lovely 100 Proof. Does anyone know that bottle?

Thomas
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Unread postby jvanwinkle » Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:13 pm

We originally bottled the 12-year 90 Proof Old Rip Van Winkle and the 13-year 95.6 Proof, Van Winkle Family Reserve rye about 6 years ago. They were originally the same age whiskley, just different Proof. However, Jim Murray swore that they were different whiskeys. It's amazing what adding a little water will do to to the flavor of the same aged whiskey.
Our 12-year is all gone now. Our 13-year VWFR Rye is now about 19 years old, so it is quite different from the original. It is actually a marriage of two diferent distillations.
The 100 Proof unchillfiltered was the same whiskey as the original but not filtered. it was about the best rye we put out.
julian
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Unread postby Strayed » Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:24 am

Hey, Julian! Welcome to Mark's good forum. It's sure good to see you here.

I'm more into how whiskey got this way than the nuances of whether there's mint or cinnamon or rutabagas on the palette, but I've always been proud of my ability to place the origin of a whiskey (bourbon, at least). And I have to agree with Murray; those two rye bottlings are totally different to my taste. Of course, there's no authority like that of the maker, so I'll have to accept that they're the same (but for a small amount of H2O). So the learning here is the profound difference a small change in proof really does make. More than whether there's 65% corn or 75%, or so many other variables.

So now the question is, why would you produce two bottlings of the same whiskey with the proof being the only difference? We'll leave aside Brown-Forman's claim that reducing JD from 86 to 80 (or from 90 to 86) makes no difference at all. But your two ryes are very VERY dis-similar, so there must be something more than just a difference in proof. Did differences in which barrels you selected enter into the brand profiles? Are there more "upper floor/outside" barrels in one and more "center floor/middle" barrels in the other?

And, if some of us (yes, that would include moi) consider Old Time to be the finest rye whiskey they've ever tasted, and you're still bottling the 19-year-old 13 yr old anyway, why did you have to stop bottling the 12? I mean, a 19 year old 12 yr old (or even just a 19 year old that says so on the label) is fine with me. I'm not a bourbon genius like you; when I add an amount of pure, clean water to Family Reserve calculated to reduce the proof to that of Old Time, all I get is slightly diluted Family Reserve. Not bad, but certainly not the same thing as Old Time.
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:35 am

jvanwinkle wrote:The 100 Proof unchillfiltered was the same whiskey as the original but not filtered. it was about the best rye we put out.
julian


I had that one on the top of my list of "bottles to get" - it's still sold here in Europe. Now it's no longer on the top of my list - since I'm ordering 2 bottles right away.
I can't wait to try a side by side of all three, knowing that they are originally the same whiskey.

Just to get it right, the 12 year old was bottled around 97 (I assume). The first 13YO's must have been bottled in 98 - I would assume the 100 Proof version was done around that time as well?

Thank you very much for taking time out to answer my questions.

Thomas
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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:33 am

I agree with Strayed's post above. While I love the Family Reserve 13yo, the Old Time 12yo is my absolute favorite rye; it's a shame I'm down to my last half bottle. Upon reading Julian's post above I too tried some 13yo slightly diluted and my observations are the same as Strayed's - it's diluted 13yo, not 12yo. IMHO, they are totally different ryes. It can't be just the proof, it's got to be additional time in the barrel, barrel locations or other factors. JMHO
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:39 am

The 12yo Old Time rye is my absolute favorite, all-time, rye -- and, as John says, it is utterly different in style from the 13yo, which has a huskier maleness to it (I'm shooting for an appropriate metaphor here, so pardon my efforts at color). I like both very much, but it's quite amazing they're the same whiskey aside from proof.
I have two bottles of the 12yo left -- one open and down by about a third. The second will not get opened anytime soon unless I luck across a replacement for backup.
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Unread postby Brewer » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:50 am

It's great to have Julian amongst us! Welcome. :cheers: I am a very big fan of Julian's whiskies. The 13 Year Old Rye is to me an excelllent drink, and reasonably priced as well. I was lucky enough to get a bottle of the Old Time Rye during the Bourbon Festival (thanks Randy), and I'm looking forward to tasting it. One thing I know, it WILL be good. :D
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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:31 pm

TNbourbon wrote: . . . 13yo, which has a huskier maleness to it (I'm shooting for an appropriate metaphor here, so pardon my efforts at color) . .


Did you mean "maleness" or "maltiness"? If you mean maleness, I think the 12yo is more "male" than the 13yo. If you mean "maltiness" I agree with you. In any event, they're both great (they're just totally different)!
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:21 pm

TrueBarrel wrote:I think the 12yo is more "male" than the 13yo...


Really? Odd, it strikes me just the opposite -- I think the 12yo has a delicacy that I can best describe as seductively 'feminine' (by that, I don't mean 'girlie' -- think, rather, of the finest perfume applied so perfectly to a woman that you, standing next to her, are the only person who's aware of the scent). The 13yo, to me -- well, that's just lush and lusty.
But, this certainly isn't the first time I've discovered differences of opinion about a whiskey. We certainly do agree, though, that both are prime pours.
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Unread postby doubleblank » Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:33 pm

I wasn't much of a rye drinker till I tried this whiskey.....and like everyone else, it tastes very different than the 13yo to me. Found 18 bottles of the Old Time Rye earlier this year here in Houston....have traded most to friends/forum members who really like this stuff. Almost everyone who's had the 12yo Old Time Rye and the FR 13yo prefers the Old Time. And, it was priced $20 vs $30 for the FR 13yo rye. Easy choice.

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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:05 pm

TNbourbon wrote: . . . I think the 12yo has a delicacy that I can best describe as seductively 'feminine' (by that, I don't mean 'girlie' -- think, rather, of the finest perfume applied so perfectly to a woman that you, standing next to her, are the only person who's aware of the scent). The 13yo, to me -- well, that's just lush and lusty.
But, this certainly isn't the first time I've discovered differences of opinion about a whiskey. We certainly do agree, though, that both are prime pours.


I think we're describing the same thing, just in different ways and using different reference points. On the 12, what you describe as "seductively feminine" (and I totally get your point - you've obviously been around much higher-class women than me! :wink: ) I describe as stoic, unpretentious, sophisticated without being fancy, and self-assured. Your description of the 13 is exactly how I would describe it.
Last edited by TrueBarrel on Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:10 pm

doubleblank wrote: . . . Found 18 bottles of the Old Time Rye earlier this year here in Houston....have traded most to friends/forum members who really like this stuff. Almost everyone who's had the 12yo Old Time Rye and the FR 13yo prefers the Old Time. And, it was priced $20 vs $30 for the FR 13yo rye. Easy choice.
Randy


I'll trade ya' one Stagg '04 per each OTR 12 you can part with.
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Unread postby jvanwinkle » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:28 pm

Ok. here goes. This business is not rocket science. (Well maybe it is since Bill Jr. is in it).
My Japan wholesaler wanted two older rye labels 7 or so years ago. I found this 13-year rye whiskey so I bottled a 12 and a 13-year expression. They were the same except for the proof difference.
I bottled these two expressions for several years-mostly the 13-year rye.
Then. 2 years ago when I hooked up with BT, we were running short of rye, so I discontinued the 12-year lable but we kept bottling the 13-year.
Now, the 13-year is 19 years old and in a tank. It is also a marriage of 2 different rye whiskeys. So if you compare today's 13-year rye, or some 13-year rye bottled even a couple of years ago, which I doubt there is any left, they would be very different from the original 12-year simply because the 12 was so much younger. I truly think the ryes when both bottlings were 13 year old, were the best.
Warehousing had nothing to do with the different flavors.
I hope this explains a few things.
Julian
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Unread postby TrueBarrel » Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:31 pm

Julian, thanks so much for your remarks. Involvement by folks like you is one of the things that makes a forum such as this so valuable for enthusiasts. I was hoping you could clarify a couple of things (not because you were unclear, but simply because I'm somewhat dense).

jvanwinkle wrote: . . . Now, the 13-year is 19 years old and in a tank. It is also a marriage of 2 different rye whiskeys.


So just to clarify, from the outset, both the 12 and the 13 were a marriage of 2 different rye whiskeys?

jvanwinkle wrote: So if you compare today's 13-year rye, or some 13-year rye bottled even a couple of years ago, which I doubt there is any left, they would be very different from the original 12-year simply because the 12 was so much younger.


When were the ryes tanked? I though that once dumped and tanked, the changes thereafter would be minimal. Or were they barreled 'til they were 19 and then tanked? The latter could explain the difference, i.e. the recent 13 is what the original 12 becomes with that much more barrel time. If the rye was barreled for 19 years, why not call it a 19 yo?
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Unread postby Strayed » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:57 pm

Julian Van Winkle III "Ok. here goes. This business is not rocket science..."

Folks, the above is the humble signature statement of a true artist.

Julian, one of the reasons we all love you so much is that you don't even realize how special you are. Y'know, it's kinda funny, but just about everyone I know who's into bourbon whiskey thinks of Pappy Van Winkle as Julian's grandpa, not the other way around. You're right; it's not rocket science. It's the fine art of the (evil) rectifier...

And nobody does it better than you. Or ever did.

Nobody.
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