Bourbon Hunting Season 2020 continues with the much-anticipated release of Buffalo Trace’s 2020 Van Winkle bourbon line.
Bottles begin shipping in November.
Yields from these whiskey barrels are typically low due to evaporation during the long aging cycle, and this year is reportedly no exception. While the amount of 10-, 12- and 15-year bourbon will be about the same as previous years, the 20- and 23-year-old barrels yielded far fewer bottles for 2020, the company says. There is more 13-year rye than in years past, however.
Highly collected to the point of cult following, Van Winkle bourbons are known for their smoother, sweeter flavors, due to their wheat recipes versus the rye found in many bourbons.
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
Naturally, these are not the prices most consumers will encounter for these immensely sought-after expressions.
“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,” explains 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.”
Buffalo Trace Distillery asks fans to be wary of counterfeit product, and online resellers such as private Facebook groups, Craigslist and other internet marketplaces. “Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale,” says Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “If you are not a licensed retailer selling Van Winkle products, we are prepared to take action to curtail the activity.”
“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,” Comstock adds.
The Van Winkle whiskeys are available starting in November, but supply is very limited. Bottles will be difficult to find in stores, bars and restaurants. Bottles will be packed three per case.