on 14/06/12 at 10:30 amSpirits
A few weeks ago, when I posted my review of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year old here, a big discussion ensued about the source of this whiskey (and other Van Winkle expressions). I noted at the time that the comment thread on my review was neither the time nor place to discuss something as in-depth as this. I wanted to focus on the quality of the whiskey, not the politics behind it.
We approached the person who we feel knows as much about the subject as anyone, Whisky Advocate contributor Chuck Cowdery. He went directly to Julian Van Winkle for the facts, and here’s his report.
It’s no secret that the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery isn’t a distiller. It’s a marketing company, and a brand, run by Julian Van Winkle III and his son, Preston, with partners the Sazerac Company.
Van Winkle, as a brand name, was retained by the Van Winkle family when Julian’s father sold the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in 1972. Julian took over after his father died. The company continued to operate as a non-distiller producer, mostly selling whiskey made at Stitzel-Weller, which stopped distilling twenty years ago.
FULL STORY and check out the COMMENTS…great information…