One of the rarest gems of the bourbon world: Pappy Van Winkle 23 year [classic article]

Pappy Van Winkle is a line of some of the most exquisite bourbons in the world. You can read about some of their other expressions HERE. The rarest of them all is the 23 year old expression, which only the finest bourbon loving restaurants have been able to lay hands on, such as Baltimore’s Bluegrass and Virginia’s The Trellis.

Here’s what they say about it: This corn, wheat and malted barley mash age more gracefully than rye based bourbons on the market…These barrels were carefully placed in the heart of the warehouse to receive the most benefit from our Kentucky seasons. In each of these seasons, the whiskey passes through the thin, caramel layer of the charred white oat barrels, picking up an enormous amount of color and flavor. This whiskey should be enjoyed neat. Any ice or water added will dilute its uniqueness.”

This is what I say about it: the nose is much more floral than the other expressions, like bright, spring flowers — not dark roses. It tingles the nose. It’s maple syrup/amber in color. The flavor has a vanilla caramel thing going on, with a little tingle at the back of the throat. It’s not thick; it’s quite drinkable. It’s full flavored and smooth on the tongue. The flavor develops into a bourbon fudge in the mouth with natural sweetness. Yes! Drink this most special bourbon neat. I happened to have some very ripe pineapple in the house — the very symbol of Southern hospitality. The bourbon was great after that for dessert, so there’s a combo you might consider.

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