Old Rip Van Winkle 7 Year Old Decanter 1975 / Bay Colony Bicentennial
This is an incredible piece of bourbon history. Following the forced sale of Stitzel-Weller distillery by the Van Winkle family in 1972, Julian II (son of the legendary 'Pappy') was granted an office and a license to continue procuring and bottling Stitzel-Weller stock on site, as a gesture of goodwill by new distillery owners, Somerset Imports.
Although Julian had sold the distillery and all of its brands, he retained one, the pre-prohibition Old Rip Van Winkle label, which he immediately revived. The earliest releases from the Old Rip Van Winkle brand were decanters like this. Bottled in 1975 at 7 years old, the Stitzel-Weller whiskey it contains would have been barrelled at the distillery while Julian II was still in charge. While Old Rip Van Winkle was generally always bottled using Stitzel-Weller stock procured form its new owners, there aren't many like this that contain Van Winkle era Stitzel-Weller whiskey.
Following the death of Julian II, his son, Julian III took over the family business, moving bottling to Old Commonwealth distillery in 1983. With Stitzel-Weller's closure by United distillers in 1992 causing his stocks to begin thinning out, Van Winkle reached an agreement with the Sazerac company to store and bottle his remaining stock. He also entrusted production of new Van Winkle whiskey to their Buffalo Trace distillery, who were already using the familiar recipe to produce W.L. Weller, another former Stitzel-Weller brand. The Pappy Van Winkle brand we are familiar with today has been produced at Buffalo Trace since 2002.
This then, a Van Winkle era Stitzel-Weller bourbon, bottled for the Old Rip Van Winkle brand is a true collector's item. The decanter itself is a celebration of the Bay Colony bicentennial in 1975, and was produced by Cumberland Porcelain.
We would recommend viewing/close inspection prior to placing any bids. If this is not an option and you have questions beyond the offered description and images, please contact us for a more in-depth condition report. Otherwise lots will be sold as seen in the images.
Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.