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Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old 107 proof

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old 107 proof is one of the most intense wheated whiskeys I have ever had, it's a powerhouse. Pound for pound the strongest in Van Winkle's lineup, but without the complexity, subtlety and poise of it's older siblings. More raw strength than Wild Turkey's Rare Breed, but without Rare Breed's complexity. This bourbon runs around $34.

Nose: Hard caramel candy, toffee, spicy oak, caramelized nuts, dried molasses and dried summer fruits.

Palate: Brown Sugar, herbs, dried spiced oranges, then nutmeg and allspice then rushes into large notes of dry oak and woody, earthy flavors. Coating mouthfeel and full bodied. The oak notes arrived too abruptly and throws off the balance.

Finish: Oak, very dry, hot and lingering with wafting waves of spice. After the harsh dryness fades, the finish is quite pleasant.

This bourbon works slightly better with a drop of two of water and can even be consumed on the rocks nicely. A valiant effort from Van Winkle, but the 10 year is too rough around the edges and with the too swift flavor shifts the whiskey turns harsh and lacks enough sweetness to balance all that oak. Van Winkle is an outstanding line, it is well worth it to pay a few dollars more to bump up to another product.

Overall Score: 80

Here's a link to the discussion thread.

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For the other bourbons at this price point, this is quite good. I much prefer the family reserve 12y.o. from Van Winkle but at about $30 a bottle, there is not much out there I would chose over this. Just don't go into this expecting the same quality as their $50-$200 a bottle.
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This one I like but the rest of the Van Winkle line outshines this offering. There are many other bourbons in this price range I like better. It is a little hot going down but the aroma is great. I won't buy this again but replace it with another VW Lot B 12 yo. The bottle is a great looking bottle.

bj
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This is a good, honest wheated bourbon. Even though I enjoy the flavor, per se, I dinged it on that rating because I find it a bit on the harsh side. Because of the harshness, I never bought a second bottle.

The aroma is heavenly, though!

Tim
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TimmyBoston
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