Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year

American Whiskey Review #17: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year

Distillery: Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery

Region: Kentucky

ABV: 53.5%

Age: 10 Year

Price: $22 / dram

Color: 1.4, Tawny.


Nose: Loads and loads of vanilla. There’s also that distinct smell of charred oak that’s joined by some honey and clove.

Palate: It’s really, really hot. After some water to cut it though, there are some really lovely notes of vanilla, honey, toffee, a slightly charred crème brûlée, and brown sugar.

Finish: Medium to short in length. You get caramel, charred crème brûlée, and vanilla. There’s an spiced orange note as well, somewhere between orange bitters and Gran Marnier.

Conclusion: Thanks to /u/RoseFromEmbers for the tip-off of where to find this. This was somehow the first pour out of this bottle and I can’t help but feel that this is one that desperately calls for a lot of air time. It is incredibly hot out of the bottle to the point where I had to cut it with some water immediately. Once some water is added though, it turns into a lovely dram. The vanilla is there throughout and that slightly charred crème brûlée note is also fantastic. Towards the end, there is a really nice note of spiced orange that I wish lingered longer. Would I buy a bottle? At the MSRP of $70, all day long. At the average market price of $650, never.

Final Score: 83.

American Whiskey review #17, Bourbon Whiskey Review #14, Whisky Network Review #155


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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