A Real Pappy Update and Some Wild Speculation

As you may have figured out the Estonian inventory is now safely rerouted to sunny California!  We've officially received our allocation of Van Winkle, by that I mean I know how much we will be getting, NOT that the inventory is in stock - SO DON'T CALL THE STORE ASKING FOR VW.  Whisk(e)y Club members you should know the drill by now. It will go the same as last time so when you get notice be sure to clear your schedule.  Of course, the spring allocation will be tighter than ever before, although it looks like we're getting a little more of the 12 year, which probably won't excite you hardcore S-W fans. Speaking of which, the bourbon gossip pages (yes, there is a whisky geek equivalent to TMZ) are rumors about the contents of the VW 20 & 23. While it might all be hearsay, the internet is a buzz with speculation about the provenance of these highly regarded bottlings. I would encourage anyone speculating about the provenance of current Pappy bottlings to take a deep breath and take a look at Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery's explicit statement that "all of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace," and that "Julian, III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing the highest quality wheated bourbon available." What more do you need to know? I think we need to all get comfortable with the idea that if something doesn't explicitly say where it is distilled we cannot assume anything about it.  If Buffalo Trace was contracted to make wheated bourbon for S-W as early as '81, can we really say which whiskey is which?  Those stocks would have been the property of Diageo and not Buffalo Trace.  If that's the case, would these have been considered S-W at that time?  Perhaps they've only bottled Pappy from S-W stocks distilled at Buffalo Trace?  Who really knows at this point? I think the real issue should be how it tastes and if you want to be sure that what you're drinking whiskey that comes from the Stitzel-Weller Distillery than you should buy this:

Very Old Fitzgerald 8 Year Old Straight Bourbon Bottled in Bond 750ml $999.99

-David Othenin-Girard


Kurani Sends One Out To The Ladies

We know there's such a thing as a whisky expert for girls (see Kyle in the above video).  The questions he asks, however: Is there such a thing as whisky for girls?


The Clynelish is on the Shelf

After an amazingly positive pre-arrival campaign, our two newest casks of Chieftain's have arrived - a 30 year old Brora from a Sherry butt, along side a sister cask of 21 year old Clynelish, also aged in a Sherry butt.  Whereas the Brora sold out immediately, we had more of the Clynelish to offer and still do!  Both whiskies are quite similar in that both offer a glimpse at what Clynelish tastes like when the Sherry component is isolated (remember that Brora is just the old Clynelish distillery with a different name).  The oiliness and waxiness of the Clynelish is there, but it quickly becomes integrated with the richness of the Sherry - until it ends up drinking more like 21 year old Springbank, rather than 21 year old Clynelish.  It's absolutely fascinating to see what Sherry-aging does to one of the great unsherried malts.  Much like the 27 year old Clynelish we bottled with A.D. Rattray a few years back, this Chieftain's bottle really needs water.  It needs a lot of water.  Even a few drops do absolutely nothing - the fire completely overwhelms the flavor.  A teaspoon to a tablespoon works wonders, opening up the fruit and bringing the alcohol into balance.  You almost get an extra half bottle of booze because it's like Clynelish concentrate.  There are about 200 bottles left and they are on the shelf in Redwood City as of now.  SF will get their bottles tomorrow, while LA will have it next week.

-David Driscoll


Tastings Tonight!

Tonight in Redwood City we'll have a sneak preview of the Glenglassaugh/PVI dinner we'll be hosting later at Donato's.  Val from JVS will be here to pour off some fantastic single malts before we head over to the restaurant.  Unlike the dinner event, this tasting is open to everyone and is free!

San Francisco will host Osocalis Santa Cruz Mountain brandies. 

Free as always!  From 5 PM to 6:30 PM.

-David Driscoll


Early Pappy Games Begin

For all of those who cannot get Pappy Van Winkle when they want it, I offer you the following…..

1991 Jefferson’s 18 Year Old Reserve Kentucky Bourbon $75.99 (elsewhere $90 - $100) - Everyone wants the Van Winkle whiskey – the legendary Stitzel Weller Bourbon from the now-defunct distillery.  Unbeknownst to most people, there are other ways of getting it besides directly from the Van Winkles.  Willett has put out a few casks of SW over the last few years, and we’ve been lucky enough to work with Jefferson’s as well.  Now, the time as finally come when that finite supply of SW Bourbon has run dry.  There are no more single barrels to purchase and Jefferson’s is putting together the last of what they have in stock into this 18 year old batch.  It IS chill-filtered and it is not from a single barrel, but it is Stitzel Weller Bourbon and it is delicious.  It’s rich, full of spice, and most importantly – it’s about $15 to $25 cheaper than other places.  We snagged the last 210 bottles available at the distributor. 

We will be getting more SW Bourbon from Willett later this year, but it will be cask strength and 20 years old.  It will also be at least $100 MORE per bottle, so around $180 or so.  We will also be getting more Pappy in the next few weeks, but only about 12 bottles of the 20.  This is the LAST, best chance to get what you need at a reasonable price.  Use the link and take what you need

UPDATE: We've sold over 100 in the first hour.  These WILL sell out by 3PM PST. 

-David Driscoll