Appearance: Copper like a brand new, shiny penny that you find face-up on the sidewalk, winking at you and casting great luck and fortune upon your day.
Nose: As I first take in the alluring aroma of this delicate rye I am reminded of being young, walking barefoot down a dusty country road in Kentucky. The hot summer wind blowing in my face as the sharp rocks occasionally sting my feet. Taking a deeper breath I encounter dry grains, green, herb-like weeds and a hint of sweet corn in the distance. My heart pounds as I feel the warm embrace of Mother Nature and her fields around me.
Taste: What is this spicy tonic? It tastes nothing like its sweet Van Winkle brethren. Warm, zesty, peppery, spices coat my tongue and mouth begging me to take another sip. Layers of flavor unfold and then refold and then unfold again just to tempt me to pour another glass. Reminds me of my Uncle Cletus sharing a forbidden nip of his special moonshine after a long day of working outside. as the evening cools and fog sets in the valleys.
Finish: Long, like endless fields of wheat, seemingly tumbling, rolling and playing to their hearts desire in the summer wind.
Cheapest in the Van Winkle line and it’s clear why. Doesn’t even taste like it came from the same distillate as its big brothers Pappy. Best to leave this one on the shelf and go for the older brothers instead.