Although listed at 13 years old, bottler Julian Van Winkle says that it is a bit over 15. Why they don't say 15 years old is something I've not figured out but the Van Winkle's aren't the only ones doing this. (See my Rowan's Creek review).
This is a full-bodied Rye that is very apparent in the nosing. Cherry, orange chocolate and a touch of mint rise up and meet you full face saying, "I am not to be ignored!" The tasting is a fine mixture of oaky sweetness, fruity overtones and the bite of rye all seemingly taking their proper turn in your mouth. This is a smooth rye that has less alcohol "bite" then one would think for something 96 proof. The finish is one of rye slowly turning into a cherry sweetness that lasts for a fairly long time.
This, along with the fast disappearing 13 yo A.H. Hirsch, Sazerac, and some Classic Cask years, is one of the best Rye Whiskies you can buy. The age gives a depth that Jim Beam and Wild Turkey Rye just seem to miss on. I can't imagine a bourbon drinker that wouldn't like this drink. Highly Recommended.
Edited by AVB, 29 January 2007 - 02:29 PM.