After enjoying — thoroughly — Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 and 23-year-old bourbons at WhiskyFest, I got ahold of some 15-year-old bourbon from the company. This is an older bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle — bottle number A5909 (not the exact one seen below, but the same style/branding) — and the brand has been repackaged and renamed as Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Years Old. What’s inside is functionally the same, not counting for the normal differences that arrive in any spirit over the course of its production from year to year.
This bourbon — 107 proof — is incredibly hefty and is tough to taste properly without a good splash or two of water. With H2O, this bourbon opens up remarkably, offering a candy-like caramel core infused with hazelnuts, vanilla, and exotic woods.
This is a big whiskey that’s full of flavor and a big body, great for sipping long into the evening. Presuming the rebranded version of the Van Winkle 15 is functionally identical, it’s an amazing whiskey for the price.
A / $58 /oldripvanwinkle.com