Friday, February 24, 2017

Old Rip Van Winkle releasing its oldest-ever bourbon

The new bourbon release and its presentation box.
There’s a new Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon coming to market that is the label's oldest ever.

Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Year Old Bourbon is an unusual release for a bourbon that usually is produced in limited amounts now. This one is even more limited, with just 710 bottles being made available.

The distiller Buffalo Trace that owns the brand says the barrels were distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and stored on the lower levels of a metal-clad warehouse built in 1935 at the Van Winkle family distillery in Shively, KY. In 2002 the barrels were moved to Buffalo Trace Distillery, where they continued to age for another 12 years on the lower floors in the brick warehouses.

"The lower floor placement helped preserve the sweet, mellow notes of the world-famous wheated bourbon recipe. In 2014, the Buffalo Trace team moved the barrels into stainless steel tanks to halt the aging process and preserve the rich flavor profile fans have come to expect from the Van Winkle line.

"These extra special bottles deserve an extra special vessel, so each bottle is a handmade glass decanter from Glencarin Crystal Studio. The bottle information is engraved on each decanter, individually numbered, and hand finished with a silver stopper. A glass top for the decanter is also included. Each decanter is packaged in a handmade wooden box crafted in North Carolina by James Broyhill II of Heritage Handcrafted. The lid is constructed using the oak staves from the 11 barrels that held this bourbon. The outside of the box bears a metal plaque with the Old Rip Van Winkle logo and states 'Asleep 25 years in the wood.' Inside each box, along with the decanter and glass top, is a bourbon certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of original founder Julian P. 'Pappy' Van Winkle Sr."

With all this fuss, you know it's not going to be sold cheap. Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Year Old Bourbon, bottled at 100 proof, will be put on sale in April at $1,800 for a 750ml bottle.

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