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96

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year old, 53.5% Price: $75.00

Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
Category: Bourbon/Tennessee

Sometime recently, the source of this whiskey changed from the now defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery to Buffalo Trace. No matter. This whiskey is still the best of the Van Winkle line. It’s crisp, clean, vibrant, impeccably balanced, and nicely matured. Complex fruit (bramble, candied citrus), caramel, coconut custard, maple syrup, fresh spice (vanilla, warming cinnamon, nutmeg, a dusting of cocoa powder) on a bed of nougat. Outstanding! (Editor's Choice)
(Summer 2012) Reviewed by: John Hansell

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93

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 15 year old, 53.5% Price: $50.00

Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
Category: Bourbon/Tennessee

Fully matured at 15 years, as you would expect. Lovely array of flavors: candied fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, gritty oak resins, vanilla fudge, and firm corn. Underlying notes of tobacco and polished leather add complexity and intrigue without dominating, kissed with a touch of honey. A remarkable value, considering its age and strength.
(Winter 2005) Reviewed by: John Hansell

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93

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year old, 45.2% Price: $90.00

Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
Category: Bourbon/Tennessee

Similar in many ways to the 15. Less vibrant, more mature. Less corn, more maple syrup. Less nutmeg, more teaberry. The most elegant, sexy and stylish of the three and the best dovetailing of flavors. You might think that $90 is a lot of money for bourbon, but this whiskey is fairly valued when compared to other spirits of this age.
(Winter 2005) Reviewed by: John Hansell

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92

Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, 20 year old, 45.2% Price: $85.00

Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
Category: Bourbon/Tennessee

Amber mahogany. Rich, mature aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, leather, teaberry, coconut, and dark fruit-very complex indeed. Big, coating, soothing texture. Flavors are very mature, rounded and nicely balanced, with notes of molasses, dried fruit, cinnamon, and teaberry. It finishes long, with a very soothing demeanor.
(Fall 2001) Reviewed by: John Hansell

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84

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23 year old, 47.8% Price: $200.00

Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
Category: Bourbon/Tennessee

Broodingly thick and syrupy in texture, and quite dry-especially on the finish. Twenty-three years is a long time for bourbon to spend in oak, and this one shows its age. The flavors and complexity of its younger two siblings is evident until mid-palate, but then dwindles slightly as the whisky progresses, replaced by dry, spicy, leathery, sooty-charcoal, tobacco notes.
(Winter 2005) Reviewed by: John Hansell

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