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Pappy Van Winkle 15-year [& other fine American whiskey]

Pappy Van Winkle 15-year [& other fine American whiskey]
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  • Pappy Van Winkle 15-year [& other fine American whiskey]

    Post #1 - January 20th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    Post #1 - January 20th, 2011, 3:52 pm Post #1 - January 20th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    If you know of any place in Chicagoland that still has any in stock, please post here. You will have my eternal gratitude if you can help me out.
  • Post #2 - January 20th, 2011, 3:53 pm
    Post #2 - January 20th, 2011, 3:53 pm Post #2 - January 20th, 2011, 3:53 pm
    Almost positive I just saw some at Binny's in Elmwood Park. Give em a call.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #3 - January 20th, 2011, 4:18 pm
    Post #3 - January 20th, 2011, 4:18 pm Post #3 - January 20th, 2011, 4:18 pm
    Call Lush.
  • Post #4 - January 22nd, 2011, 2:24 pm
    Post #4 - January 22nd, 2011, 2:24 pm Post #4 - January 22nd, 2011, 2:24 pm
    No luck. Please help me, friends!
  • Post #5 - January 24th, 2011, 11:24 am
    Post #5 - January 24th, 2011, 11:24 am Post #5 - January 24th, 2011, 11:24 am
    Andersonville Wine and Spirits
  • Post #6 - January 27th, 2011, 3:00 pm
    Post #6 - January 27th, 2011, 3:00 pm Post #6 - January 27th, 2011, 3:00 pm
    Not there either. I fear I may be out of options. :(
  • Post #7 - January 27th, 2011, 3:09 pm
    Post #7 - January 27th, 2011, 3:09 pm Post #7 - January 27th, 2011, 3:09 pm
    Did you try everyone on the list?

    http://www.oldripvanwinkle.com/newbs/vw ... e=Illinois

    I'm intriqued, what makes this so special?
  • Post #8 - January 27th, 2011, 5:03 pm
    Post #8 - January 27th, 2011, 5:03 pm Post #8 - January 27th, 2011, 5:03 pm
    nicinchic wrote:Did you try everyone on the list?

    http://www.oldripvanwinkle.com/newbs/vw ... e=Illinois

    I'm intriqued, what makes this so special?

    It's arguably the best incarnation of PVW bourbon and it's released in very limited quantities, only twice a year.

    It retails for about $50, which is $50 less than the PVW 20-year and over $150 less than the 23-year, making it an exceptional value.

    Nice notes of butterscotch, maple and vanilla but not overly sweet. It's very well-balanced, with a nutty finish.

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #9 - January 27th, 2011, 5:57 pm
    Post #9 - January 27th, 2011, 5:57 pm Post #9 - January 27th, 2011, 5:57 pm
    That list isn't even close to being all the accounts that sell Van Winkle in IL
  • Post #10 - January 29th, 2011, 11:09 am
    Post #10 - January 29th, 2011, 11:09 am Post #10 - January 29th, 2011, 11:09 am
    This is off topic for where to find it, but last night I made a Manhattan with some Pappy Van 15 that I picked up at warehouse liquors about 4 months ago. It was just awesome with Carpano Antica and some of Fee's barrel aged bitters and a luxardo cherry. Yum!

    I completely agree with the notes of vanilla and maple. The first time I tried it my first reaction was "Do I still have vanilla in my tasting glass?" (due to trying out a homemade vanilla vodka infusion a few days back). Really great stuff.

    To me, I'm not sure it's worth 55 as I find a few bottlings around 30 that satisfy me almost as much. That being said, if you have the money and can find it, totally go for it.
  • Post #11 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am
    Post #11 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am Post #11 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am
    2.5 oz Pappy 15, 3/4 tsp demerara syrup, 3 dashes TBT Jerry Thomas's Decanter Bitters.

    Muddle a large slice of orange zest in the syrup, pour in the bourbon and bitters, stir and strain. Best Old-Fashioned EVER.
  • Post #12 - February 21st, 2011, 7:19 pm
    Post #12 - February 21st, 2011, 7:19 pm Post #12 - February 21st, 2011, 7:19 pm
    Y'all are completely insane for mixing anything with Pappy 15 year. Not only is it practically impossible to find but it represents some of the last remaining whiskey produced at the legendary and now shuttered Sitzel-Weller distillery. If you have this stuff, you are incredibly fortunate.

    This being 'merica and all, you're free to ruin some of the best bourbon ever produced however you choose (pour it in a wound? use it as glass cleaner), but I'd hate for others to follow your example. I had some at a well-known bar last night (I know of only a few places in the city that even have the PVW 15) and mentioned this thread. The bartender said he'd refuse to make a drink with it. "Like finger painting over a Rembrandt," he said. Great bourbon is great because of its incredible nuances. Said nuances are lost when mixed with other ingredients. Anything better than mid-shelf whiskey is utterly wasted in a mixed drink.

    Man, I'm being a bit snarky today. Must be jealous that they have some PVW 15 and I don't.
  • Post #13 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:27 pm
    Post #13 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:27 pm Post #13 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:27 pm
    Not for nothing, but the Costco at the Eagle County Airport in Colorado has the full Pappy Van Winkle line as of a few weeks ago. Otherwise fairly crappy selection, but I was floored by all the Van Winkles being there. America's wacky liquor distribution scheme makes for some interesting finds in unusual places. Never know what you are going to find in some odd corner of the country. A wine or booze with cult status in NY/CHI/LA might be collecting dust in a small town package store, without the status markup. I have found extreme examples of this in far downstate IL, for example. This goes for cigars as well.

    If anyone has seen the 12 around Chicago lately, I'd love to know. Thanks.
  • Post #14 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:30 pm
    Post #14 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:30 pm Post #14 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:30 pm
    Maybe weekend before last, I saw some bottles of the 12 at the Lincoln Park Binnys. Priced at $50ish, I think.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #15 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:31 pm
    Post #15 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:31 pm Post #15 - February 22nd, 2011, 1:31 pm
    Thanks!
  • Post #16 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:19 pm
    Post #16 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:19 pm Post #16 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:19 pm
    danimalarkey wrote:Maybe weekend before last, I saw some bottles of the 12 at the Lincoln Park Binnys. Priced at $50ish, I think.

    I saw about 10 bottles of the Lot B/12 year on the shelf at the Binny's on Marcey St. last night (bottom shelf by the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year).
  • Post #17 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:37 pm
    Post #17 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:37 pm Post #17 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:37 pm
    Matt wrote:
    danimalarkey wrote:Maybe weekend before last, I saw some bottles of the 12 at the Lincoln Park Binnys. Priced at $50ish, I think.

    I saw about 10 bottles of the Lot B/12 year on the shelf at the Binny's on Marcey St. last night (bottom shelf by the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year).

    I've seen it at assorted Binny's, too -- Skokie and Highland Park, to be specific.

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #18 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:38 pm
    Post #18 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:38 pm Post #18 - February 23rd, 2011, 2:38 pm
    All good info. The 12 must be "back" in some sense. Hadn't seen it lately but then I rarely go to Binny's. Excuse to use a gift card I've been carrying around. Thanks.
  • Post #19 - April 18th, 2011, 5:52 pm
    Post #19 - April 18th, 2011, 5:52 pm Post #19 - April 18th, 2011, 5:52 pm
    Binny's has been out across the board (Pappy/Family Reserve and ORVW) for a while now, but I believe the spring allocation has made its way to Illinois, although when it actually makes it from the distributors to the stores is an whole other matter. Anyone have any intel on the likely pricing? I imagine it is due a bump and was told as much by one of the whiskey folks at Binny's last fall, but I would be curious how much. I am in Louisiana for the week and came across a whole bunch from this spring's allotment at $55 for the 12/Lot B, $70 for the 15 and $120 for the 20 year, which seems a bit steep and is a fair bit more expensive than the last go around in Chicago, at least at Binny's ($45 for the Lot B, $50 for the 15, and $100 for the 20). Not sure if that is indicative of the new pricing we will see in Chicago or just the pricing of a market that, for whatever reason (regulatory regime, scarcity, etc.), is different.
  • Post #20 - April 18th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Post #20 - April 18th, 2011, 9:22 pm Post #20 - April 18th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Matt wrote:Binny's has been out across the board (Pappy/Family Reserve and ORVW) for a while now, but I believe the spring allocation has made its way to Illinois, although when it actually makes it from the distributors to the stores is an whole other matter. Anyone have any intel on the likely pricing? I imagine it is due a bump and was told as much by one of the whiskey folks at Binny's last fall, but I would be curious how much. I am in Louisiana for the week and came across a whole bunch from this spring's allotment at $55 for the 12/Lot B, $70 for the 15 and $120 for the 20 year, which seems a bit steep and is a fair bit more expensive than the last go around in Chicago, at least at Binny's ($45 for the Lot B, $50 for the 15, and $100 for the 20). Not sure if that is indicative of the new pricing we will see in Chicago or just the pricing of a market that, for whatever reason (regulatory regime, scarcity, etc.), is different.

    Thanks, Matt, for the intel. As sought after and highly regarded as these products are -- and have been for the past few years -- it's surprised me a bit that they haven't gone up in price. The demand seems to be there to support substantial increases. I too, wonder if what you saw in Louisiana was reflective of what we'll see here in IL.

    Julian and Preston Van Winkle were at WhiskyFest last Friday. If this post had come up before then, I would have definitely asked them about it. Interestingly, there was no 15-year to be had at their stall, not even during VIP the hour. There was some 23-year, though, even a couple hours in. However, by then, most of what was being poured was the 12-year Lot B.

    $70 for the 15-year might keep it on the shelves a little bit longer but I don't imagine it will come close to pushing supply past demand. At that price, I'd call it a value rather than a steal, which is what I considered it at $50.

    Anyway, thanks again for the information.

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #21 - May 1st, 2011, 10:43 am
    Post #21 - May 1st, 2011, 10:43 am Post #21 - May 1st, 2011, 10:43 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:$70 for the 15-year might keep it on the shelves a little bit longer but I don't imagine it will come close to pushing supply past demand. At that price, I'd call it a value rather than a steal, which is what I considered it at $50.

    Well, the good news is the 15 year is still $50 (at least at Binny's). The bad news is that apparently most stores got at most 6-12 bottles in this most recent (spring 2011) allotment and it seems that most are sold out. According to one of the spirits guys at Binny's, this allocation was about 30% of what the stores have received historically. Apparently the fall allocation should be more in line with historical releases.

    In terms of other bottlings, there are a number of bottles of the 12 year and 20 year at each of the Grand and Lincoln Park stores. The ORVW 10-year 107 seems to be MIA in the two stores I have been into in the past several days, although Binny's Lincoln Park has maybe 6 bottles of the 90 proof.
  • Post #22 - May 1st, 2011, 11:09 am
    Post #22 - May 1st, 2011, 11:09 am Post #22 - May 1st, 2011, 11:09 am
    Just reserved a bottle at the Binny's on North Ave. in Elmwood Park.
    Get there fast if you want one.
  • Post #23 - May 1st, 2011, 7:21 pm
    Post #23 - May 1st, 2011, 7:21 pm Post #23 - May 1st, 2011, 7:21 pm
    Andersonville Wines and Spirits has the PVW 15 year for $70. Too expensive for me to justify, but they had at least two bottles.
  • Post #24 - May 4th, 2011, 1:21 am
    Post #24 - May 4th, 2011, 1:21 am Post #24 - May 4th, 2011, 1:21 am
    No more PVW 15 at the places listed above. Andersonville Wine & Spirits told me they're "trying to get more" but I can't tell if that's just BS. After all, these are allocated bottles and as far as I know, once the allocation ships, it's done. I doubt a shop can get more, no matter how hard they try. Maybe allocation is by distributor, not store, but who knows. My thought is that this is gone in Chi, with a few small exceptions, till fall.

    It's also important to point out (AGAIN), for those wondering what the fuss is about, that the Pappy line contains whiskey from the shuttered and legendary Sitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year and the 12 year Lot B, while excellent whiskeys, are produced by Buffalo Trace. These are good products, but they're nowhere near as rare or special as the dwindling supply of Sitzel Weller produced whiskey. They are entirely different products. I have lots of love for the rest of the Van Winkle brand, but people need to be clear, the 12 year Lot B is just 12 y/o Buffalo Trace honey barrels, not bourbon from a distillery that's been shuttered for nearly 20 years. The difference is pretty major.

    The big thing, for me, about PVW15 is that it is the perfect age for a wheated bourbon. The 20 and 23 year have way too much oak. The 15 year is perfect. And cheaper. When is the best product the cheapest of the line ... ?

    Oddly enough, they have the 15 Martyr's (or did early last week). I don't normally frequent the joint and was surprised to see it there. Their bourbon selection is basically Wild Turkey 101, Makers, and Pappy 15. (Maybe they have 2 or 3 more, but I'm not exaggerating in a substantial way.) Usually I only find it at places that are REALLY serious about their bourbon. It was around $11 for a carefully measured pour and worth every penny. I think the amazing folks at the Whistler have it for around $12. For those looking to spot if and look like you know what you're talking about, the 15 has black foil at the top, where as the far more expensive 20 year has a red cap and the 23 has a gold cap.

    In other awesome news, the Whistler also has the Family Reserve Rye, which I haven't spotted around town in a long time. Get it while it's hot, kids. And tip the shit out of your bartender.
  • Post #25 - May 4th, 2011, 10:42 am
    Post #25 - May 4th, 2011, 10:42 am Post #25 - May 4th, 2011, 10:42 am
    I certainly appreciate the history behind the bottle, but this guy might have a few things to say about it!

    An old friend came through town a few months ago and he told me how he's starting to get into bourbons and whiskies. I offered him a glass of my 15 and he sort of recoiled and referred to it as 'rocket fuel'. Amazingly enough, we're still friends.

    I agree, too, that the younger versions are more enjoyable. Same reason I really don't like to drink tequilas past the 'reposado' phase - the character of the liquor is just too far gone. PVW 23 was great for at least one thing, though - its barrels. Between Goose Island's Bourbon County Rare and (I'm assuming) this year's Dark Lord variant from Three Floyds (confirmed today that it is the 2010 Dark Lord aged for a year in PVW 23 barrels, FYI), those barrels turn great beer into magic.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #26 - May 4th, 2011, 11:11 am
    Post #26 - May 4th, 2011, 11:11 am Post #26 - May 4th, 2011, 11:11 am
    danimalarkey wrote:I agree, too, that the younger versions are more enjoyable. Same reason I really don't like to drink tequilas past the 'reposado' phase - the character of the liquor is just too far gone.


    Too true. I was lucky enough a few weeks back to come across a bottle of Bonded Old Fitzgerald from the 80's...a similar Stitzel-Weller product, but only aged 6 years. Damn fine juice.
  • Post #27 - May 4th, 2011, 11:29 am
    Post #27 - May 4th, 2011, 11:29 am Post #27 - May 4th, 2011, 11:29 am
    queequeg's_steak wrote:It's also important to point out (AGAIN), for those wondering what the fuss is about, that the Pappy line contains whiskey from the shuttered and legendary Sitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year and the 12 year Lot B, while excellent whiskeys, are produced by Buffalo Trace. These are good products, but they're nowhere near as rare or special as the dwindling supply of Sitzel Weller produced whiskey. They are entirely different products. I have lots of love for the rest of the Van Winkle brand, but people need to be clear, the 12 year Lot B is just 12 y/o Buffalo Trace honey barrels, not bourbon from a distillery that's been shuttered for nearly 20 years. The difference is pretty major.


    The Sitzel-Weller distillery closed down in 1991 according to wikipedia, which is over 15 years ago. How can they still be releasing PVW 15 year that was distilled at Sitzel-Weller?
  • Post #28 - May 4th, 2011, 11:38 am
    Post #28 - May 4th, 2011, 11:38 am Post #28 - May 4th, 2011, 11:38 am
    turkob wrote:
    queequeg's_steak wrote:It's also important to point out (AGAIN), for those wondering what the fuss is about, that the Pappy line contains whiskey from the shuttered and legendary Sitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year and the 12 year Lot B, while excellent whiskeys, are produced by Buffalo Trace. These are good products, but they're nowhere near as rare or special as the dwindling supply of Sitzel Weller produced whiskey. They are entirely different products. I have lots of love for the rest of the Van Winkle brand, but people need to be clear, the 12 year Lot B is just 12 y/o Buffalo Trace honey barrels, not bourbon from a distillery that's been shuttered for nearly 20 years. The difference is pretty major.


    The Sitzel-Weller distillery closed down in 1991 according to wikipedia, which is over 15 years ago. How can they still be releasing PVW 15 year that was distilled at Sitzel-Weller?


    They bottled a multi-year supply of 15/16 year S-W whiskey to release as PVW15 and only release a certain amount yearly.

    ETA: Source
  • Post #29 - May 4th, 2011, 4:53 pm
    Post #29 - May 4th, 2011, 4:53 pm Post #29 - May 4th, 2011, 4:53 pm
    queequeg's_steak wrote:It's also important to point out (AGAIN), for those wondering what the fuss is about, that the Pappy line contains whiskey from the shuttered and legendary Sitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year and the 12 year Lot B, while excellent whiskeys, are produced by Buffalo Trace. These are good products, but they're nowhere near as rare or special as the dwindling supply of Sitzel Weller produced whiskey. They are entirely different products. I have lots of love for the rest of the Van Winkle brand, but people need to be clear, the 12 year Lot B is just 12 y/o Buffalo Trace honey barrels, not bourbon from a distillery that's been shuttered for nearly 20 years. The difference is pretty major.

    According to the manager (or a management type) at the Binny's in Lakeview, this fall is likely the last distribution of the 15 year made with Stitzel-Weller bourbon. After that, there appears to be some debate about what the product will be, but I had read somewhere (perhaps apocrypha) that any new 15-year product will be rebranded (perhaps as ORVW 15), as the Van Winkle Family Reserve name and the label with the photo of Pappy is reserved (no pun intended) for product from the S-W distillery. In terms of substitutes for the Van Winkle lines, I have found the Weller 12 to be pretty good (although not the same level of quality and flavor profile) and much cheaper, but it can be fairly difficult to find as well. More of a direct comparison to the Lot B/12 year than the 15, though.
  • Post #30 - May 8th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Post #30 - May 8th, 2011, 8:32 pm Post #30 - May 8th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Scored a bottle of the 15 at Astor Wine & Spirits in New York yesterday morning for the (not entirely unreasonable for the location) price of $75. It wasn't on the shelf. I had to ask about it and withstand a minor inquisition. Basically, they justed wanted to know if I'd had it before and then disappeared to the basement to see if they had any...sure enough. Ended up cracking it for a nightcap at the end of my friend's bachelor party festivities that evening...what was left thankfully made it back in my luggage, along with a bottle of Brizard Apry, which I haven't been able to find locally for some time.

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