Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year




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This bourbon whiskey is bottled at nearly barrel proof. Just a splash of Kentucky limestone water is added after a decade of aging. Rich, yet smooth, this bourbon takes a back seat to none. Tasting Notes: A sweet vanilla nose with caramel, pecan and oak wood. Smooth, mellow flavor consisting of robust wheat, cherries and oak. Features a long, smoky wheat finish with hints of fruit, spice and oak tannins.

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon is the youngest wheated bourbon and the youngest whiskey in the entire Van Winkle Line. At 107 proof and likely using the same wheated mashbill as Weller everything, it’s not so far off to say that this is sort of like 10 year old Weller Antique 107, but picked from a different set of barrels given its smaller bottle count and Van Winkle name.

There’s one more thing worth mentioning about Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year – it’s also often called Pappy 10 Year. While Pappy 10 Year technically isn’t the correct name, I totally understand why some say it that way. While it is associated with the Pappy Van Winkle brand and legacy, only the 15, 20, and 23 year technically have the Pappy Van Winkle name on the label. I mention it because some people are quite…particular about the exact language. I don’t care but wanted to make sure you were informed, so call it Van Winkle 10 Year or Pappy 10 Year. Call it magic unicorn juice while you’re at it.

This is my first time having this, so I’m exceedingly curious to find out what the deal is in this Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Bourbon (aka Pappy 10 Year) review.


Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year greets me with a lot of dark, rich, and musty honey, ripe cherry, orange, charred vanilla, toasted oak, cinnamon, and clove with hints of grain. There’s a lot of fragrant ripe fruits and wood spices, but the spices and oak are not at all harsh or biting.

I swear that I smell licorice, but since I’m not doing this blind and know this is wheated, it’s probably from clove and nutmeg, not licorice. Blind though, I’m not entirely sure I’d say this was wheated, but I would still say that the scents are quite rich and round, smelling great and fall-like with well-controlled heat.
With swirling I smell very dark honey, ripe peach and cherry, orange, fire-roasted marshmallows, and a thick base of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg wood spices followed by brooding background oakiness.

This may be a wheated bourbon thing, but Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year has a lot of wood spices, but it’s not overly roasted or burnt, as well as this light dry hay (wheatiness?) that I also find in Maker’s Mark Cask Strength.

And while I smell a thin slice of freshly baked bread, the youthful graininess is completely absent, another strong sign of maturity. Honestly though, the scents are not the most complex or varied, but everything that is here is amazingly fragrant and captivating. I’m also impressed with how little heat there is, making it very welcoming and enticing.
taste & aftertaste

I first taste a splash of honey, cherry, citrus, dried apple, and marshmallow followed by a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, then roasted oak. There really is a lot of cherry, orange, and apple fruitiness as well as ample wood spices (probably from the wheat) that provide a lot of flavor but no bite or harshness.

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year’s flavors are so rich and round at 107 proof, yet the heat is so calm. I do taste a gentle breadiness that probably comes from the wheat, but it doesn’t taste young at all. Can I have some more please?


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