Bottled for the European market over 20 years ago, this is not the standard 13 year old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye that at first glance it may appear. Labelled simply as the 1985 vintage, this was released in 2001 when the Family Reserve Rye was actually 15 years old. Although it is commonly known as a 13 year old, the rye actually continued to age in cask until 2004 when it was eventually tanked at Buffalo Trace.
Bottled by Julian Van Winkle III at Old Commonwealth, he has personally confirmed that this un-chillfiltered version was an experiment for the European market, at the request of a "French customer" (although it is more likely he was referring to Rinaldi in Italy). Un-chillfiltering is unheard of with bourbon in the US, but is generally the preference here. Van Winkle also noted that he believes this release does retain some flavours lost in the regular chillfiltered product.
Bottled at the higher strength of 100 proof, this is a particularly rare gem.
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