Buffalo Trace Announces The Van Winkle 2020 Releases

by Daniel Galyean

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Oct. 6, 2020) – Fans of the highly anticipated Van Winkle line of bourbons will be excited to learn the annual release is coming soon. Yields from the barrels are typically low due to the evaporation during the long aging cycle, and this year is no exception. While the amount of 10, 12 and 15-year bourbon will be about the same as previous years, unfortunately the 20 and 23-year-old barrels yielded far fewer bottles this fall. Good news is there is more 13-year rye than in years’ past.

Known for their smoother and sweeter flavor due to the wheat recipe versus the traditional rye recipe found in most bourbons, Van Winkle bourbons are able to be aged longer than most, in some cases two decades or more, resulting in a superior sweeter and smoother flavor. The Van Winkle line has accrued an impeccable reputation among connoisseurs and has almost achieved cult-like status. Although bourbon has become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, very little Van Winkle is sold overseas, so that these coveted bottles are available in the United States.

The Van Winkle collection consists of several whiskeys. Suggested retail prices are as follows:

• $69.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof

• $79.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old

• $119.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old

• $119.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old

• $199.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old

• $299.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

“Unfortunately even though we suggest what we believe to be a very low and fair MSRP, we cannot control the price retailers charge, and some retailers mark it up even though we and the distributors that those retailers buy from ask them not to,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We are committed to releasing quality whiskey at a reasonable cost and we hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

Upon release of the Van Winkle bourbon this fall, Buffalo Trace Distillery reminds fans to be wary of online resellers such as private Facebook groups, Craigslist and other online marketplaces. “Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale. If you are not a licensed retailer selling Van Winkle products, we are prepared to take action to curtail the activity,” says Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “Additionally, if you are a customer trying to buy a bottle at a licensed retailer who has marked it up above MSRP, we encourage you to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or contact your state Attorneys General office.”

The Van Winkle line of whiskeys has won a multitude of awards through the years, including the 20-year-old receiving a double gold medal, best bourbon, best small batch bourbon at the 2018 New York International Spirits Competition and the 15-year-old nabbing a Gold Medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Van Winkle Whiskeys will be available starting in November, but please be mindful that supply is quite limited and bottles shall be hard to find in stores, bars and restaurants. They will be packed three bottles per case.

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