Fall season is ready to heat up for bourbon hunters, as Buffalo Trace announces their 2019 release of Van Winkle Bourbon whiskey.
These “wheaters” — made with a wheat recipe rather than the traditional rye grain recipe of American bourbon — are among the most-sought-after whiskeys in the world. The wheat results in a smoother, sweeter flavor than their spicier rye counterparts.
As with previous years, yields from the barrels are low due to evaporation during the long aging cycle, the company says. The Van Winkle collection consists of several whiskeys. Suggested retail prices are as follows:
- $69.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
- $79.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
- $119.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old
- $119.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
- $199.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
- $299.90 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old
“Unfortunately we cannot control the price retailers charge, so some retailers mark it up beyond our MSRP, even though we ask them not to,” says Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We are committed to releasing a quality product and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”
The Van Winkle Whiskeys will be available starting in November. As always, supply is very limited, and demand will likely be high. Bottles will be hard to find in stores, bars and restaurants.
They will come packed three bottles per case.
Upon release of the Van Winkle bourbon this fall, Buffalo Trace warns consumers to be wary of online resellers such as Craigslist and other online marketplaces — especially private Facebook and MeWe groups.
“Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale,” says Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “Purchasing bourbon online from unlicensed parties is dangerous. The product may be counterfeit and unsafe. If you are not a licensed retailer and you are selling Van Winkle products, we are prepared to take action to curtail the activity.”
Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent pieces Talking Whiskey With Eddie Russell and Interview: Maker’s Mark’s Jane Bowie on Innovating Bourbon.