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Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old

Average score from 4 reviews and 10 ratings 87

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Van Winkle
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 45.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old

Picked this up as a consolation since I couldn't get my hands on the 15yr this time around. Next year I will have the 15yr finally!

Not sure why this little gem doesn't get much respect because it is every bit as good as I could expect the 15 to be. At only $65 it is a hell of a value as well. Smooth and wheated as expected from the Winkle's, with a nice buttered finish. Touch of spice similar to cinnamon I think on the edges. The 107 proof is well masked as you do not taste the alcohol at all in this. I am told that the W.L. Weller 12yr is a close cousin of this 10yr and the 15yr so I may just have to make that my everyday since it is so affordable and available. Regardless well done Winkles!

@Victor:: Yeah I getting to know the Van Winkle/antique collection allocation routine. I have made friends with liquor store owners with some success. I was just wondering if the 10 year, was more readily available. And it seems not. Thanks for answering.

Interesting to know about the spring release. Also, I don't know if you read "Bourbon Truth" blog, but he has some pretty downer stuff about the bourbon industry as a whole, including Stagg Jr. which you also have a less than stellar review of.

I am honored that Victor commented on my VW10yr post! Good to hear from you Victor and didn't mean I completely don't taste the alcohol but it is so well "masked" by the excellent structure of the bourbon. I suppose it was better that I saved my $$ and only got the 10 since Maltmark is the second person who told me the 10 was better than the 15 this year. I assume this is taking into account the exorbitant price on the 15....saw it in a store the other day for $600! The wholesale price on the 10 is $35 and the 15 is only $62.....

Enjoy yourselves fellas always!


sample from a friend

Nose: A little varnish at the forefront, but slight. Caramel, syrup. lots of candy corn (really seems to hit the mark as a descriptor, if I do say so). Some orange extract, chocolate, and wood. Vanilla, too. Sugarcane, coconut, and rock candy. The alcohol always sticks out a bit and stays just ahead of the game. Buttery and candied cream corn.

Palate: All over the place, really. There is caramel. Strong corn, candy corn, and syrup sweetness in a brash attack, and then the alcohol comes apart with the wood. Tough to keep track of the development, but you are left with a sugary syrup and oily candy corn residue. Not bad.

Finish: Some wood, vanilla, maple syrup, candy corn, and rock candy. No surprises here. It seems denser and darker to me than some of the older PVWs, but it just doesn't come together. I can tell that there are things in there that I like and could really like, but it just doesn't get there for me.

I have tasted some simply entry level Buffalo Trace bottles that were better than this one. It's sometimes the luck of the draw. You can hit pay dirt, or just dirt. It depends.


Van Winkle makes wheat formula bourbons. Van Winkle's youngest bourbons are 10 yr olds at 107 and 90 proof. This review is of the 90 proof version. For a review of the 107 proof version see my review Old Rip High Test.

Nose: pleasant wheat grain, slightly sweet, a little oak

Taste: Subdued wheat flavour, which fortunately does increase after a few seconds in the mouth. The oak flavours are probably a little stronger here than are the grain flavours. Alcohol is noticeable here, even at 90 proof. Some caramel does develop after 15 seconds in the mouth, as is the case with the 107 proof version.

Finish: moderate to long finish, with simmering caramel sweetness.

Balance: this is a pleasant relatively light bourbon. The fierce flavour punch of the 107 proof version is gone here. This is the weakest flavour profile, by far, of all of the Van Winkle product line. This is sweet and light, with only some wood flavours giving any edge at all. Even though this is wheat mashbill rather than rye mashbill, this is a very similar type of creature to Ancient Age Bourbon, which is also relatively light and sweet, particularly in the 40% ABV expression.


Van Winkle makes wheat formula bourbons. Van Winkle's youngest bourbons are 10 yr olds at 107 and 90 proof. This review is of the 107 proof version.

Nose: pleasant wheat grain, slightly sweet, a little oak

Taste: Nice robust flavour of wheat and oak with a pleasant alcohol nibble. There is some caramel after 15 seconds. This is no shrinking violet of a whiskey.

Finish: rather long, with gradual diminution of flavours with caramel at the end.

Balance: this whiskey was a big positive surprise, since I had heard or read little about it before I bought it. This is a lot of fun if you like big flavour. This 107 proof version is MUCH more highly recommended than the 90 proof version, which is good, but not the kick that this is. I would also say that the flavours in the Old Rip Van Winkle 107 proof are more intense than those in the 12 yo Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbon

Over this past weekend, I have been able to get a few bottled of Van Winkle here on Edmonton at specialty stores (likely twice the price as in the USA). I got a few bottles of the 107 proof. I already snagged the 90 proof a few weeks ago, at an unusual place, complete with dust. I was quite delighted with the 90 proof at this stage in my bourbon journey. It is smooth and balanced and up there with Jefferson Reserve IMHO.

Yesterday, I did a side my side, a bit apprehensive of the higher proof. I was surprised at how well balanced the 107 is, for me. I’m endeared to both expressions. I do think that the 107 accents the flavours a bit more. That is always a good thing. But I was happy that it wasn’t, in my experience, overwhelming as far as the burn goes.

In my reading, I came across someone’s opinion that the 90 proof of this particular bourbon is where a Scotch drinker should start in exploring bourbons. Not a bad suggestion at all. But the 107 proof is also a nice place to be.

Honesty, for me, either one is a dandy place to be… balanced and smooth.

I expect that you will also greatly enjoy the 'Lot B'. If I had to guess based upon your taste, I would guess that you will like it perhaps the best of the three you have. The 13 yo is the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye. The Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo is the greatest prize, and in the most demand. This Pappy Van Winkle 15 being released now is a different whiskey from that up until Fall 2011, but that hasn't kept it from being extremely hard to obtain.

The 20 yo is actually lighter than the 15, and starts to get a bit pricey. Lovely, though. The 23 yo really isn't worth the price, in my book, though I love to drink it when I get the chance.

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