Pappy Van Winkle 2012 23 Year Old Family Reserve 100% Stitzel-Weller


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Pappy Van Winkle 2012 23 Year Old Family Reserve

Pappy Van Winkle 2012 23 Year Old Family

Nose: Dark earth, forest floor, chocolate, tobacco, prunes, with a hint of minerality that was mostly absent from the other expressions. This reminds me of a dark, anise-y red wine, maybe something from Sicily. A drop or two of water reveals heady vanilla, apricot custard, geranium leaf, plum, pine, and cherry while leaving that humus-y earthiness unchanged.

Palate: immensely powerful: dark cocoa, dry tobacco, toasted walnuts, dates, buckwheat, and coffee bean, but all tightly integrated with tingly tannins. It’s dry in the sense of powdery, with an incredibly long, earthy finish. That characteristic tartness I noticed in all of the other expressions is still present, but only as a faint whisper. Pappy Van Winkle 2012 23 Year Old Family Reserve

As you probably know, this very wheated baby from Buffalo Trace has got a huge reputation, many say this is the best Papy. Colour: amber. Nose: what’s striking first is a bunch of lit cigars and cigarettes, so a lot of tobacco with whiffs of smoke (well done). I also find a lot of warm hay, before more sweet things do emerge, around burnt vanilla cake and an armful of dandelions. Also quite some earth, I find this much less sweetish than expected.

With water: the earth stands out. Notes of clay and chalk, also some cardboard. Mouth (neat): very heavy this time, rather mannish and monolithic, with grass and bubblegum and a rather gritty oak. It’s also very extractive, with some bitter pinesap and some eucalyptus. Sweeter notes in the background, around pineapple drops. With water: all estery flavours come out. Grenadine, pears, gooseberries, jellybeans… It’s another whiskey! Finish: long, rather thick, with eucalyptus in the front and touches of olives. Could have been Jamaican rum at some point. Comments: I think it needs time and concentration, or you may miss a large part of its undeniable charms. Now, it’s not quite my style, and I think global quality is similar to that of the Stanahan. Yup


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