Sampler 2005 Report

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Sampler 2005 Report

Unread postby doubleblank » Tue May 03, 2005 3:01 pm

I just returned from a road trip to KY for this year's Sampler (along with three friends). A great time was had by all in my group. Here are a few highlights from the tastings in the approximate order I favored them:

1. Van Winkle Family Reserve 16yo (SW bottled in '84)
2. Original Pappy 20 from the Boone Distillery
3. Pappy 22 1/2 yo (to be released this December)
4. Some old Weller 107's
5. Barrel sample from HH
6. ORVW Decanter 6yo
7. First bottlings of WT 12yo
8. Two Nikka japanese whiskys at barrel proof
9. Bourbon Balls made with Stagg

This year's Sampler had better food in larger quantities than last year. Gazebo guests included Mr. Russell and wife, Mr. Craig Beam and wife and Julian Van Winkle (who brought and shared several of the above mentioned treats). I'd guess the Gazebo crowd at 40 people +/- and contained the best assortment of long gone treasures (bourbons and ryes) I have ever seen on one table. In particular, John brought a very interesting old rye that was very balanced. I never even got around to tasting the new Stagg as there was so much to try Friday and Saturday nights.

Randy
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Tue May 03, 2005 4:55 pm

I can't argue with any of Randy's conclusions, though I either missed or overlooked a couple of them (really disappointed I didn't know about the HH barrel sample till after it was empty). I did some bottle trading between dinner and Gazebo Friday, so was a little late arriving and missed some presentations.
Julian's 'gifts' were, indeed, special. He proclaimed the '84 Family Reserve Bourbon (proto-label for the later 13yo rye) "the second-best bourbon ever", noting he has a 14yo version of the same whiskey that's even better. And the Boone-distilled Pappy should send us all hunting for any dusty Boone bourbon out there.
The rye lineup was really outstanding both in quality and variety, with that '30s-distilled Monticello brought by John Lipman (Strayed), some old Pikesville bottlings, an older Old Overholt, the 12- and 13yo Van Winkles, and the elsewhere-noted 'doggish' Isaiah Morgan.
Randy also treated several of us with his very fine "Van Blankle" -- a single-barrel Van Winkle Lot B 12yo Julian bottled for him last summer. And Wild Turkey 12yo -- especially the gold-label editions -- are always a treat.
As Randy notes, the new Stagg made only a single appearance and left the table largely intact. Heckuva party I'm glad I didn't miss!
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Unread postby Chris » Tue May 03, 2005 5:58 pm

3. Pappy 22 1/2 yo (to be released this December)


is this what will be released as the new 23 year old pappy van winkle? (a older version of the existing 20 I guess?)

how does it compare to the existing pappy 20?
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Tue May 03, 2005 8:17 pm

Chris wrote:
3. Pappy 22 1/2 yo (to be released this December)


is this what will be released as the new 23 year old pappy van winkle?..

Yes. Julian said they'd bottle it the day it turned 23 (Dec. 7), and that it would not change noticeably in that time from what we tasted.

...how does it compare to the existing pappy 20?

I didn't taste a current 20yo, though one was on the table. It wouldn't have been as good as the Boone-distilled one Julian was pouring.
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Unread postby doubleblank » Tue May 03, 2005 9:01 pm

Chris......This new 23yo seems to have less oak and other woody influence on the nose relative to the earlier 23yo's we tasted (thanks to Tim). But its certainly very dark......and fairly balanced for such an old bourbon. What was interesting is that many Sampler's would prefer the wheated 20yo vs the rye'd 20yo and then switch when tasting their 23yo counterparts (and vice versa). Those 3 additional years did change the character of the whiskey. I seemed to like the latest offerings of the Van Winkle products with the exception of the original Pappy 20yo from the Boone Distillery......a unique and delicious drink.

Randy
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Unread postby bunghole » Wed May 04, 2005 9:52 am

Although I've neve been able to attend the Spring Sampler, the gazebo at the General Nelson has always been a favorite meeting place of mine. It's always a great time meeting and making new friends. I do hope that someone has some photos to share.


:arrow: ima :camera:
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Unread postby Brewer » Wed May 04, 2005 11:20 am

Thanks for sharing with those of us that weren't able to make it to the Sampler :( I too would love to see some pix from your visits. Those bottlings that Julian brought to the Gazebo sound wonderful! A couple of questions though: I've never heard of the Boone distillery that was mentioned for the original Pappy 20. What's the deal with that? Also, I'm curious if the Single Barrel of BT that we purchased last year made an appearance, and if so, what was the opinion of those tasting it for the first time?

Tim, did you bring the Isaiah Morgan? I saw that you had a friend visiting WV grab you a bottle. What was the opinion of it?
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Wed May 04, 2005 3:12 pm

Boone Bros. Distillery (a descendant of the Old Boone Distillery, DSP-KY-442) is/was in Meadow Lawn in Jefferson County, south of Shively, where Early Times and Stitzel-Weller are.
As for the BT single-barrel, I traded for three of them, but have not yet opened one. Gonna buy a standard bottle of BT first for comparison.
I posted, Bob, my impression of the Morgan rye in that thread. It was much the same as yours: rye white dog with no barrel notes. Interesting only in that it was new and different.
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Unread postby doubleblank » Wed May 04, 2005 8:35 pm

I don't know much about the Boone Distillery myself Bob.....it was south of Shively. My 17yo I got at last year's auction is also from the Boone Distillery. I don't think much of it is still around as the distillery was leveled in the mid '70's.

Randy
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Thu May 05, 2005 10:36 am

Brewer wrote:...I too would love to see some pix from your visits...


Well, Bob, as you know, many of us are 'dual users' -- we participate in other bourbon/whiskey forums besides this one. There were many members of another forum at the Sampler/Gazebo, with only John (and Linda) Lipman -- and a pleasure it was to meet them -- from among those who post almost exclusively here.
I'm not really into competitive 'bourbon-ing', but have tried to be sensitive to those who might be by not posting pix that include substantial reminders of 'that other place'.
That said, I'll attempt a couple of non-committal picture posts:

Here's a shot of the Friday table at the Gazebo, which included a large dollop of Van Winkle offerings for side-be-side sampling: Old Commonwealth vs. ORVW 10/107s from Lawrenceburg and Frankfort; 12yo Lot B vs. Randy's single-barrel Lot B "Van Blankle"; 12yo Old Time Rye vs. 13yo Family Reserve Rye; 15yo ORVW (Frankfort, I think) vs. Pappy 15; Twisted Spoke; Old Rip Van Winkle '70s decanter; Pappy 20s and 23s from both Lawrenceburg (the 23 was an original green-glass bottle) and Frankfort. Julian added his special bottles Saturday night.
There also was a significant lineup of Ancient Age/AAA from different decades, with at least one representative distilled from the '60s, '70's, '80s and '90s; some great Eastern ryes, including John L.'s '30s-distilled Monticello and some Pikesville from the '60s; Hirsch 16yo and original Michter's used for side-by-sides and vatting experiments; various others.
This pic was taken early on Friday, so misses a lot, but is still an impressive start:
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Thu May 05, 2005 10:57 am

Here's my own personal 'haul' from horse-trading with other bourbonites. I was fortunate to run across an old, dusty store with desireable old, dusty bottles in my area back in February, and received many desireable bottles in return for some of them.
From left (generally):
  • Wild Turkey Jimmy Russell Tribute 15yo
  • tax-stamped '80s Wild Turkey gold-label 12yo
  • Buffalo Trace single-barrel
  • Ancient Age Barrel 107
  • several KY-proof Stagg '05s
  • ORVW15yo (Frankfort)
  • "Van Blankle" 12yo Lot B
  • tax-stamped National Distillers Bourbon deLuxe
  • Old Heaven Hill Very Rare BIB 10yo
  • Rittenhouse Rye 10yo BIB (700ml)
  • Evan Williams 15yo (Japan)
  • Classic Cask 15yo
  • Olde St. Nick 8- and 12yo
  • Isaiah Morgan West Virginia rye
  • Michter's (PA) 1979 Doughboy decanter (full/strip seal intact, but broken cork)
  • Old Bardstown bourbon cookbook published by Willetts Distillery

    I only purchased two of these bottles at retail -- all the rest are trade goods.
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Unread postby dgonano » Fri May 06, 2005 5:51 pm

Tim,

You had a good haul. Your photos also show a Pappy 20 ( Boone Dist) version as I put one on the table Friday night. Julian brought his on Saturday. It sure was a great time. Seeing John and Linda again at the Gazebo was exciting.

Some trades and purchases included:

Weller Centennial 10yr (Louseville)

Ezra B 15 yr

David Nicholson 1843 100 pr

Elmer T. Lee (old ugly bottle)

Jim Beam 7yr UK bottle

Four Roses bourbon and SB bottles

The usual re-stocking of various Bartons and AAA.

Wathens SB

2005 EWSB

Woodford Reserve ( 2005 Derby edition)

Hand dipped MM

Many, many Van Winkles

Thanks to Tim and Dane for the trades.
Dave G.
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