Pappy Van Winkles 20 Years Bourbon

I’ve never been much of a bourbon drinker, so I write this from the perspective of an occasional single malt drinker who has a Jack Daniel’s once in a while. Somehow this fine Kentucky bourbon found it’s way to Kurashiki.

I guess I have to thank David Chang for introducing me to the famed Pappy Van Winkles brand in his lastest issue #2 of Lucky Peach.  In the article More Things Were Eaten, he talks about a visit to Kyoto, the restaurant Noma and Kentucky.  While it’s almost impossible for me to travel to Copenhagen to eat at Noma, it was possible to get a bottle of Pappy Van Winkles in Japan!

I googled Van Winkles and when I found out it was so rare, I told my wife that I wanted a bottle of this rare bourbon for my birthday.  I read the article Thursday afternoon, I placed my order Thursday night and the bottle was delivered to our doorstep Saturday afternoon, got to love Japan!

I took out the bottle out of it’s red velvet pouch and admired the deep amber color of the bourbon. I went to the garden to take a pic of the bottle and I came back with 2 wine tasting glasses.

I am not a specialist, but this bourbon has a pretty amazing nose. It’s deep, complex and nothing like I ever tried before.   The particularity of of Van Winkles is that it is a wheated bourbon and the wheat ages better than rye.

Taste wise, it’s almost like sipping a fine cognac, it’s tells a story in your mouth.  This is not the kind of bourbon that you do shots with, but it’s perfect for a slow drink after a good meal or a lazy Saturday afternoon.

For educational purposes, I poured a 6 years old Canadian Club it tasted pretty bland in comparison.

The Pappy Van Winkles lives up to the hype, this is one fine drink.    If you can find it, wherever you are, don’t hesitate, get a bottle!

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