Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Lot “B”

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Lot %22B%22 1

I received both this and the last review I did on /r/bourbon from /u/jolarbear. Thanks again man!

So you can see my recent rant about how I feel about whiskey that is really hard to find.

I may have been off base with it. Or rather, my beef may not be with the whiskey itself (which I enjoyed and gave a good review), instead it may be with capitalism.

So we tend to like things that are well made. And, in reviewing them, writing about them, and reading about them, we try to find a consensus. Some of us may differ (outliers) from the group, however in the end we eventually all agree on something.

Whiskey is no different. And we did that, as a group, and all of us decided that Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Lot “B” was special. Some of us decided it because of tasting it. Others because of it’s popularity. Others still based on the history. And finally those because of hype.

We all decided this. Some of us will stand up and say “Not me”, however that doesn’t encompass enough of the people buying it and asking for it, so it doesn’t really make a difference. Demand goes us, supply stays the same, and my economics courses leak into everything I do.

So maybe I was off base with being annoyed at the secondary market. It seems to be a natural extension of wanting something.

Today I’m going to either hinder or help said market. I’m talking about Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Lot “B”, one of the “Not Pappy” from the Van Winkle Line.

So, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Lot %22B%22 2

Price: $102.00 (CAD) if you get it once a year at the LCBO

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 45%

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Light wood, apple tart, brown leaves, floral, peaches, cloves, rosemary, cake, caramel

Less woody, and more developed flavours than the 10 year. While some the flavours don’t exactly jive with one another, it somehow works.

Reminds me, again, of Autumn. I’m impressed. Even though it’s Spring. Here. I guess.

Maybe I need to get outside more…

Taste: Peach juice, cinnamon, cranberry, arugula, raspberry balsamic, mint, buttered popcorn

Again, quite fruity, however in this one I’m getting more and more complex flavours. It’s missing some of the strength of the last dram (the 10 year), however it’s really fruity and tasty.

I’m impressed.

Finish: Caramel, caraway, cumin, nutmeg, carrot, dark cocoa, Perrier

Way better finish than the 10 year. Not amazing by any stretch, much better than the 10 year in the finish. It’s starting to get these really nice, dark, earth flavours.

Conclusion: Better than the 10 year in total balance and complexity. It’s missing some of the big flavours from the 10, but you win some you lose some. This is a nice dram, regardless of how annoying it is to find.

Overall I’d have this around to sip and have a nice dram in autumn. Less summery than the 10 year, more deep flavoured. If you can find it and not support the secondary market (as I just did), great. However otherwise I think you may be able to find other whisk(e)y out there that is easier to find and just as tasty.


Bourbon review #62, Kentucky review #41, Whiskey network review #461

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #219


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