Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Yr.

IMG_2408Prior to Prohibition, rye whiskey was the number one preferred whiskey in the U.S. and straight American rye, not to be confused with Canadian rye whisky, has been making a bit of a comeback these last few years. Recently an American whiskey enthusiast joined the BWG fold and was kind enough to lend one of the rye whiskey bottles in his collection for review. The Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Yr. has strong hints of both sweet and spice. Smooth flavors of dried fruits, clove, cinnamon, maple, and a touch of honey ride along side sharp smokey oak and pepper. Once the heat from the alcohol subsides, there is a long and complex finish. This Van Winkle offering is a blend of two different rye whiskies and was released by Buffalo Trace Distillery. While the producers of the two ryes used in this bottling, Old Medley Distillery and Bernheim Distillery, are long gone, their whiskey caches are now owned by Buffalo Trace. The stock of long-aged straight rye isn’t very large. Therefore, as the stocks deplete, the price rises. The bottle used in this review was purchased in 2006 for $35.  In 2011, a purchase of a second bottle saw the cost balloon to a robust $70. This 13 year old American rye is most certainly a high-quality whiskey, however, the slowly increasing price may deter future purchases. Locally available for $70. Rating: 90/100.

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2 Responses to Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Yr.

  1. Fred says:

    Where can you get it locally?

    • The Van Winkle is a limited yearly release. The only way to know if a store currently has some in stock is by calling them to find out. Gates Circle Liquor always receives shipments of Van Winkle bottlings when available. If they don’t have any currently in stock, they may be able to put your name on a request list. Call them @ (716) 884-1346 and tell them Buffalo Whiskey Guild sent you…

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