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The youngest of the van Winkle range is still exceptionally old for a Bourbon aged in the heat of Kentucky. “Pappy” 15 Year Old contains the same wheated Bourbon as the other bottlings, but unlike its older brothers, this dram is presented at a feisty traditional proof of 53.5%, ensuring a full body and intensely spicy profile.
Pappy van Winkle whiskey dates back to 1910, when the distiller, Julian ‘Pappy’ van Winkle, purchased the A. Ph. Stitzel distillery. After Prohibition, Pappy constructed the Stitzel-Weller distillery in 1935, where he proceeded to produce his legendary liquor.
Pappy continued to distil his own whiskey until his death in 1965, at the age of 89 – making him the oldest distiller still working in the US. He continues to be featured on each bottle, with his larger-than-life character reflected by the image of him lighting a cigar. Since 2002, Buffalo Trace have been producing the whiskey to the same exacting standards established by Pappy himself.
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Rich, freshly glazed cinnamon donuts are accompanied by thick vanilla custard, dark cherries, toasted wheaty bread, barrel char, cinnamon, nutmeg and subtle star anise. A brilliant start.
The strength of this whiskey announces itself immediately: hot cinnamon and ginger are followed by cracked black pepper, more vanilla, elegant woodsmoke and caramelised corn.
A spicy finish that rolls on and on. Tannic oak dries the palate, and leaves a warming sweetness you’ll be basking in all night. Absurdly decadent whiskey.