The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is home to the highest rated whiskeys in the world. In a blind taste test of whiskey labels from around the world, The Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago gave our 20-year old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve a 99 out of 100 rating… the highest mark ever awarded. Our 15-year old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve and our Van Winkle’s Special Reserve 12-year old have each received a 98 rating, higher than any other bourbon whiskeys.
Each barrel of Van Winkle bourbon is made with a whisper of wheat, rather than the less expensive rye grain employed by most other distillers. This use of wheat in the mash recipe gives the bourbon whiskey a smoother and sweeter flavor which marries well with the extra aging time in the warehouse.
In June, 2002 the distillery entered a joint venture with the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Buffalo Trace now produces the whiskey for the Old Rip Van Winkle brands. They also bottle the whiskeys. Buffalo Trace also produces the W.L.Weller bourbons.