This second release was a change for the PVWFR23 in that the first bottling was a high rye bourbon from a still unknown distillery and was the one that scored such high marks from the Beverage Tasting Institute. That first bottling was one of the pride and joys of my collection but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse to fill in a hole in the scotch collection. This second bottling only scored a 96
Looking at the bottle you see a dark caramel elixir that doesn't lighten up too much in the glass. Nosing is a first touch of alcohol quickly replaced with vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. The cinnamon sticks around to become prominent in the nosing.
Tasting is a subtle mix of smoky maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla flavors giving into a cinnamon finish. There are hints of caramel and vanilla, especially on the finish. Nothing is jumping out at you as all the flavors compete for your attention. Oak, while buried in the other flavors does let you know this is a very old bourbon. The sweet spicy finish is a little hot with alcohol at first but that fades into a long vanilla ending.
While some feel that 23 years creates a too woody bourbon it also gives a flavor and smoothness that younger bourbons just can't replicate. Never cheap but never duplicated Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 is something that all bourbon lovers should try to have at least once. One of the top bourbons I've had the pleasure to try. An ACE
Edited by AVB, 10 March 2008 - 05:58 AM.