This is the favorite time of the year for bourbon fans, the annual release of the Van Winkle Bourbons is near. Yields are a bit higher for the 10, 15 and 23 year old whiskies, but the 13-Year-Old Van Winkle Reserve Rye will not be released this year.
“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.
Known for their smoother and sweeter flavor due to their wheat recipe vs a traditional rye recipe found in most bourbons, Van Winkle bourbons are aged years longer than most others and garner an impeccable reputation among connoisseurs. Although the bourbons have become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, very little is sold overseas, so that most of these coveted bottles are available in the United States.
The Van Winkle collection consists of several whiskeys. Suggested retail prices are as follows:
- $59.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
- $69.99 – Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
- $99.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
- $169.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
- $269.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old
“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.”
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.”