It’s that time of year again: Buffalo Trace Distillery’s annual Van Winkle collection is dropping later this month. The six-bottle whiskey collection marks 20 years of partnership between Buffalo Trace and the Van Winkle family.
The expressions included in this year’s collection range in age from 10-23 years old, according to an Oct. 4 emailed press release. Five bourbons and a rye compose the collection, which features spirits based on Buffalo Trace’s iconic wheated recipe. The specs of this particular recipe give the liquid its smooth, slightly sweet flavor that’s able to withstand over two decades of aging.
“This year’s release of the Family Reserve 15-Year-Old has been noted as particularly delicious by the sensory experts at Buffalo Trace, describing it as, ‘An unbelievably opulent and flawless bourbon that takes wood and distillate to its absolute pinnacle,’” the press release states.
Expressions included in this collection are:
- Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10-Year-Old: A tawny-hued spirit with notes of dried fruit, nuts, floral honey, caramel, and toasted barrel.
- Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12-Year-Old: A brilliant amber whiskey with notes of butterscotch, toffee, and praline.
- Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Year-Old: A copper liquid with a decadent taste of toffee, caraway, dried cherry, mint, and leather.
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15-Year-Old: A brilliant copper bourbon with a taste of sweet toffee, caramel, cookies, and molasses.
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20-Year-Old: A rich amber spirit with warm aromas of smoke, tobacco, espresso, and charred oak.
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23-Year-Old: A deep mahogany bourbon with crisp flavors of autumnal apples, caramel, wood, apricot, walnut, and vanilla crème brûlée.
It’s no surprise that the coveted bourbon is in short supply; only a limited quantity of the collection is available each year. However, buyers will have an increased chance at scoring this year’s expressions as the brand reports a higher quantity was initially set aside to age.
While the suggested retail price of the individual spirits range from nearly $70-$300, they’re expected to fetch hundreds to thousands of dollars in the resale market. Buffalo Trace warns against purchasing from unverified sources and suggests relying on waiting lists or lotteries instead.
Best of luck to the collectors trying to catch a trace of this year’s elusive spirit.