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Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
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- ABV 47.8%
Home to one of the highest rated whiskeys in the world, and now released bi-annually, the 23 year old began as a semi-annual bottling in 2005 that would quickly sell out upon release. That changed in 2010 when it was made a permanent member on the portfolio. Distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company at its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, the various age statements on offer are regarded by many as some of the finest bourbons in the world. As the oldest of the Pappy Van Winkle line up, the 23 year old is also the woodiest of the range with a slightly diminished sweetness. However bourbons of this ilk always need ample air contact to show their finer points, which was precisely Jim Murray's experience upon re-tasting it for his 2020 Whisky Bible (95 points review below). Almost unobtainable, it routinely commands big dollars.
Other reviews... The corn oils kiss and caress, the tannins barge and batter in a good cop / bad cop delivery... one of the holy grails of bourbon is to produce a consistently a 23-25 year old bourbon which is still sweet and not tannin dominated: no easy task. [this is] unquestionably drier... there are still sugars enough to give some fabulous moments on the palate. The tannins do though, still have the biggest say. But remember, this whiskey has matured for a very long time. 47.8% Alc./Vol.
95 points - Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2020