Pappy Van Winkle's 23-year-old

Overall rating
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Family Reserve
Stated Age
23 years old
New White American Oak Charred
47.8 % Vol.
750 ml
Bottle code
Bottle # E-867
Added on
12 Apr 2015 10:22 pm by whiskas

Average value

€ 2535,18

7 × in wishlist

19 × member ratings

33 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Pappy Van Winkle's 23-year-old

5 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.59 points

  1. Palindrome scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    I tasted the 15, 20 and 23 (side by side) from 2011-2018. I took notes and studied them carefully because I wrote whiskey reviews for a living. My notes are now all stored in my dad's barn down in Salem. I can say that all three whiskies never got better after 2013. Prior to 2011, I was able to taste a few of the "infamous triumvirate" here and there. So I had a sense of perspective with which to appraise them from 2011 onward.

    They all went steadily downhill after 2013, as I've said. Prior to that, there were up's and down's, year by year. These days, I much prefer Parker's Heritage 24 year old to any of the Pappy's or the Buffalo Trace Antiques. Those others just don't float my boat any longer, and they are not worth the fuss to get bottles.

    I also think that the 23 now drinks like a 20 and down the line to the 15 that drinks like an old 12 used to drink. I don't necessarily trust the age statements on Pappy's based upon my memory, my nose, and my taste buds. Hey, I'm just being totally honest. I'm telling you what I would tell a close friend. Save your money on this line.

    This past year, all I ended up buying was a George T. Stagg. It was pretty good, but not worth driving half a day to get up to Rainier Oregon USA. I only drove up there because my Grandma was born and raised there and I'd never seen the town before. It wasn't much to see. If I could do it again, I would have passed on the GTS.

    In all honesty, I prefer (and always have preferred) Scotch to bourbon. There are exceptions. I've tasted some amazing bourbons over the years, like that Old Rip Van Winkle rye whiskey from Japan with a cap with dribbled plastic like Maker's Mark. Yes, that stuff is up there with good Scotch whiskey, but most expensive bourbons don't measure up to even a fairly good Scotch.

    I will take a decent single cask / cask strength Springbank over practically any bourbon that can be found for 3-4 times the cost. The old Heaven Hills were pretty good in Oregon though. I liked those a lot in the mid-2000's.

    I drank a bourbon here and a bourbon there in the 80's and 90's. Nothing that special, however. Most of them tasted terrible then and they still taste terrible now.

  2. lincolnimp scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    I am not a bourbon lover but even I can appreciate there is a little quality on offer here but I still find something as big as this a little thin , there is also a metallic like dryness that I struggle with, actually I struggle to describe it accurately. It is great to taste some top end bourbon and I can see why some rate this so highly but on price alone its not at the races compared to similarly rated single malts IMHO.

    I am also pretty sure you can find a better bourbon much cheaper.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      84 84

  3. lincolnimp scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    For a bourbon this is quality I suppose but its not really on my radar so it is difficult for me to give an accurate rating.

    EditActually my last comment is wrong, so my assessment on quality alone for the money  - this is sadly lacking.
    • Nose
      The alcohol hits you in the nose straight away but its not that powerful at almost 48%?

      Pecan pie, banana , maple syrup, some date is in the mix, red plum skins. After a few minutes it gets a little softer, faint hints of bitter orange and sweet smoke with a little warm cooked ham
    • Taste
      It is quite powerful like the nose suggested but what hits me first is the dryness and some bitterness. Its softens with time and there are what I would call classic bourbon notes and there is a metallic note in there also. Pistachio, polish, spearmint????? and a little raspberry.
    • Finish
      Good medium length, remaining sweet.

  4. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur


    N: Softer with deeper complexity than both the 15 & 20yo.
    T: Sweet medicinal root beer.
    F: Incredibly youthful. The corn covers over those wood tannins with its inherent sweetness. Long almost burnt smokey finish with a massive creamy lactose conclusion. 
    C: Still my favourite of the three, but then i’m a sucker for the old fungal woody ones. Same goes for those old grains and tropics-aged mature rums.Scores an A-

  5. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    N: So, this is STILL the real deal, from Stitzel-Weller stock retained way back in the early 1990's. This, like the 20yo is woody too [of course], yet it's perfectly woody, integrated into the whole. The sweet nutty wood is presented at full power, yet is beautifully relaxed also. Bottling at high strength is [once again] to be commended, giving those mature flavour molecules the best conditions to flourish. Of course, there would be more bottles spread around if this and the Van Winkle range were presented at 40%, and not disregarding potential extra revenue, but good for them for maintaining product excellence at all costs [faith in the world, restored]. Interesting notes of Fimo and nail polish undercoat pass by.
    T: That's the ticket, heavy dry-sweet with dry raspberry coulis, more Fimo and cereal fruit bars to die for. The notes continue to change, to swirl and rotate.
    F: More dry ice-cream raspberry coulis with a relaxed cool (thanks again Dawn), and dreamy chewing gum - magical Willy Wonka styley.
    C: Spot on, amazing, fabulous bourbon, equal to, yet so completely different [era], to some equally amazing and recent Buffalo Trace [rye] whiskey's such as George T Stagg & T. H. Handy for example. But if you think the Stagg is pricey, this 23yo is currently around $2400 [Feb '17].

    Scores an A[-]


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