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