Van Winkle 13 Year Old Family Reserve Rye 1999
The Old Rip Van Winkle brand was a pre-prohibition bourbon label, revived by the Van Winkle family after they were forced to sell their Stitzel-Weller distillery by its board of directors. New owners, Somerset Imports, granted Julian Van Winkle II (son of the famous 'Pappy') the continued use of an office at the distillery, and first option on purchasing casks to bottle his new brand with. When he died and the business passed to his son, Julian III, this courtesy was no longer extended, and he moved bottling to the old Hoffman distillery in Lawrenceburg in 1983, renaming it Old Commonwealth. He was still able to buy Stitzel-Weller stock though, and introduced the famous Pappy Van Winkle range in homage to his grandfather, using well-aged barrels from the distillery the now-legendary figure once so lovingly ran. When Stitzel-Weller was closed down by United Distillers in 1992, it was only a matter of time before stock would run out. This necessitated a partnership between Julian Van Winkle III and Buffalo Trace distillery in 2002, seeing all bottling move there, initially using the remaining Stitzel-Weller barrels, with these eventually replaced by Buffalo Trace distilled stock. The product from all eras is revered, and the brand is considered to be the first premium bourbon line to have been produced in the US.
As sought after as the other members of the 'family,' this product is the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye.
This is bottle A1757, and was bottled at Old Commonwealth in 1999 when the whiskey was actually now 14 years old, despite the label. The Van Winkle Family Reserve rye actually continued to age in cask until 2004 when it was eventually tanked at Buffalo Trace. They are all labelled as 13 years old regardless.
The Family Reserve Rye is presumed to have been distilled at Medley in Owensboro, and acquired by Julian III through his connection to Stitzel-Weller, as United Distillers closed it down in the same year. The whiskey is also thought to have had the 1980s-distilled "Cream of Kentucky" rye from George T. Stagg blended though it prior to being tanked in 2004. The rye was the last of the remaining reserves that Julian Van Winkle III warehoused at Buffalo Trace by the time it finally ran out in 2016. A new batch distilled at Buffalo Trace was first bottled in 2018.
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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.