A bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve 19 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This was distilled in spring 1975 at Stitzel-Weller distillery and bottled by Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery for Corti Brothers, a wine merchant in Sacramento, California.
“Corti Brothers Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbons show the quality that time alone can produce. Of course, this distillate must be of high quality to begin with, but time in wood changes and enhances it. Time in bottle, bottle age, will further enhance this bottling. Cellar some!
“Our two Bourbons are from the traditional distilling periods, Spring and Fall… A season and a half apart, the 19 year old whiskey is from the Fall distillation of 1975, the 20 year old, from Spring 1974. (N.B. The label of the 19 year old was inadvertently printed stating “Spring” rather than “Fall” 1975. The year is correct, the season is “Fall.”)
“They have been bottled at 45.7% alcohol, a high degree, but not an excessive one. This allows the character of the Bourbon to come through when cut with a small amount of spring water. Of course, they would be wonderful neat, in a snifter, after dinner. Adding ice may turn these Bourbons slightly hazy which does not affect their taste.
“The 19 year old Fall (Spring) distillation has a splendid fruity tone with an almost peach skin-like character. The 20 year old Spring distillation has the more forceful “rancio” character of age and extraction with a full bodied, very long, sweet finished flavor that is enhanced by the addition of some spring water – either still or lightly sparkling.“
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