The echelon of the Van Winkle legacy starts off with this stalwart reserve bottling. An intense fragrance of cocoa and toasted nuts paves the way for a robust taste, followed by complimentary flavors of brown butter and raisin. This bourbon remained undisturbed for 15 years, ageing in deep-charred heavy oak…untouched by human hands…unhurried by time. As F. Paul Pacult commented in a recent Spirits Journal 'American Whiskey doesn't come any finer.' We're good with that.
The Van Winkle family's involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. "Pappy" Van Winkle, Sr. He was a salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville, traveling around the state by horse and buggy. In May of 1935, at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery. He developed a special recipe which substitutes the ever-popular rye with wheat, resulting in a much softer, smoother whiskey that will age longer. This special recipe has been passed down for four generations and today Pappy's great-grandson, Preston runs the Van Winkle whiskey empire just as he did.