If you are a hunter, you know that deer season starts about the same time every year. You know that you are limited to a certain number and type of deer. Some years you hit your limit while other years you walk away empty handed. Bourbon season is about the same. It happens about the same time every year. The local wildlife personnel in your state let you know how the supply is this year and you hope that you can score your limit. You patiently wait in your bourbon stand and hope you bag a bottle.
Buffalo Trace Distillery has just put out its general bulletin about this year’s release. So far, they haven’t said how many bottles of each bourbon would be released except for one, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye and the news is not good. For 2017 there won’t be any 13 Year Old Rye released, nada, zero, zip.
“We have a one year gap in barrel inventory for the Van Winkle Rye. Our current barrels are 12 years old. So rather than compromise on quality or remove the age statement, we decided it would be best to hold off this year and bottle them next year as the 13 Year Old Rye Whiskey fans have come to expect,” said Kris Comstock, senior marketing director.
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They said that yields are a bit higher for the 10, 15 and 23 year old whiskies, but no numbers yet. The Van Winkle collection consists of:
- Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old, 107 proof, MSRP $59.99
- Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old, MSRP $69.99
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old, MSRP $99.99
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old, MSRP $169.99
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old, MSRP $269.99
“Unfortunately we do not control the pricing retailers charge, so many retailers mark it up, even though we ask them not to,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We have not raised prices and do not intend to do so drastically in the future. We are committed to our quality and our pricing and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as retail pricing.”
Be Wary of Counterfeit Resellers
Upon release of the Van Winkle bourbon this fall, Buffalo Trace warns consumers to be wary of online resellers such as Craigslist and other online marketplaces, especially private Facebook groups. “Some bottles they are selling might be counterfeit, filled with lesser whiskey, or worse, something that’s not even whiskey and potentially dangerous,” added Comstock. “At the bare minimum, it’s illegal to buy and resell whiskey if you are not a licensed retailer, and we’re not afraid to take action if we find out.”
Buffalo Trace Cracking Down on Counterfeit Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Resellers
A Day on the Trail: A Tour of Dead Distillers at Cave Hill Cemetery – Part 1 (W.L. Weller, “Pappy” Van Winkle)
A Day on the Trail: A Tour of Dead Distillers at Cave Hill Cemetery – Part 2 (Brown, Farnsley)
The Van Winkle Whiskeys will be available in November, but please be mindful that supply is quite limited and bottles shall be hard to find in stores, bars and restaurants. They will be packed three bottles per case.