2003 Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon


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2003 Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade 15-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, Julian P ‘Pappy’ Van Winkle Sr and Alex Farnsley acquired a whisky distillation business along with the A Ph Stitzel Distillery. They merged the two businesses to form the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, producing such bourbons as Old Fitzgerald and W L Weller.

Passed through many generations of the Van Winkle family, before the family began working with Buffalo Trace, all the bourbon sold under the Van Winkle label is distilled from a mash bill with no rye; instead, using, wheat.

Van Winkle bourbon has received wide acclaim; although the range is surprisingly well-aged for US whiskey, with most expressions aging for more than double the average time of standard bourbon.

2003 Old Rip Van Winkle History and Awards

Pappy began working at W.L. Weller & Sons first as a traveling whiskey salesman and eventually as the President of Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

After handing the reins to his son, Julian Jr., Julian operated the distillery from 1964 until the family sold it in 1972.

Not wanting to leave the bourbon industry altogether, Julian formed a company called J.P. Van Winkle and Son and began marketing bourbon through commemorative decanters. However, he never stopped bottling on the side. He created the Old Rip Van Winkle label as a side venture just in case his son, Julian III, wanted to come into the whiskey-making business.

Julian III took over the business in 1981 after his father passed away. He purchased the Old Hoffman Distillery in Lawrenceburg. Kentucky, for barrel storage and bottling purposes and began producing Old Rip Van Winkle to high acclaim.

When first approached by Buffalo Trace, Julian III wasn’t initially interested. However, they came to an agreement and Buffalo Trace bought the W.L. Weller label in 1999. Continuing to make Van Winkle bourbon with almost the same recipe as Pappy.

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