It is that time of year, depending on what state you live in, to be on the look-out for the Fall Pappy Van Winkle release. The Pappy label is distilled at Buffalo Trace but is still created by the Van Winkle family, currently Julian Van Winkle III.
I was able to get my hands on a 2014 Family Reserve 20 Years Old bottle a few days ago. There are varying estimates of how many bottles are released a year but it is probably around 20,000 to 25,000 bottles; this unfortunately makes it very difficult to track down these days.
The nose is spicy and sweet with a fruit punch. The taste is remarkably smooth and rich, it covers the mouth and tongue like no other bourbon. The citrus, vanilla and fruit notes are perfectly balanced. The finish is long and again smooth with a peppery sweetness.
Many will complain about the scarcity and claim that the product has become overrated. It is difficult to agree with that when you have a glass of it next to you.
Related: 20 More Bourbons Reviewed