The Old Rip Van Winkle brand was a pre-prohibition brand that was retained by the Van Winkle family after the sale of Stitzel-Weller in 1972. Julian Van Winkle II, Pappy’s son, sold whiskey under the Old Rip brand that was distilled at Stitzel-Weller, primarily in porcelain decanters. Eventually older stocks were used and the brand started to get attention from the greater whiskey world, particularly after winning some awards with the Pappy Van Winkle line. In 2002, the brand merged with Buffalo Trace, and eventually the whiskey was transitioned to their wheated stocks. Today, the most sought after Van Winkle bourbons are the Lawrenceburg bottlings, single barrels, and one-off bottlings done under different labels. See the Van Winkle Timeline for more details.

 

Photo libraries, in ascending order by bottling year

Old Rip Van Winkle 7yr 107pf Louisville, ~1974

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Old Rip Van Winkle 7yr, 107pf, ~1974

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Old Rip Van Winkle 11yr 94.4pf, 1978

This bottle was distilled in 1967, before the sale of Stitzel Weller by the Van Winkle Family, and bottled in 1978 by Julian Van Winkle II.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 11yr 94.4pf, 4/5qt, 1978

Note that the bottle was manufactured in 1974 but not filled until 1978. This was common with older-generation Van Winkle bottles. Presumably they would place a large minimum order for bottles and it would take several years to sell through them.

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Berghoff 8yr Bonded Bourbon, 1969-1980

Although age stated at 8 years, this is actually 11 years old.

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Berghoff 14yr Bourbon, 90pf, 1981

One of several special bottlings done for the Berghoff restraurant in Chicago. Some were bottled by Stitzel Weller, others by Van Winkle.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1983+

Although the bottle date says 1980, Van Winkle was bottled at Stitzel Weller in Louisville until 1983 when Julian bought the old Hoffman distillery and started bottling in Lawrenceburg.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90pf, ~1983

This was a Japanese export bottle; the wooden box was made and added by the importer.
Photos courtesy of ‘The Old Barrelhouse’ Australia

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 14yr, 90.4pf, 1984

Distilled 1970, bottled at Lawrenceburg in 1984.  Two different batches are shown here.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 16yr, 90.4pf, 1984

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, 1985

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Old Rip Van Winkle Very Special Stock, 12yr 90.4pf, 1985

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Van Winkle Special Reserve Corti Brothers NAS, 90.4pf – 1987

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Old Rip Van Winkle 4yr 86pf 750ml Lawrenceburg, ~1988

This export bottle is marked 88 on the glass, but could have been bottled a year or two later.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1989

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 12yr, 90.4pf, late 1980s – Black Wax

Bottled in the late 1980s for export, this bottle predates the “Lot A” and “Lot B” 12yr bottlings.
Two different versions have been spotted; one with the red foil capsule, and this one with black wax.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 12yr, 90.4pf, late 1980s – Red Foil

Bottled in the late 1980s for export, this bottle predates the “Lot A” and “Lot B” 12yr bottlings.
Two different versions have been spotted; this one with the red foil capsule, and one with black wax.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr 750ml Lawrenceburg, ~1990

This is a very early Old Rip 15, from one of the first years it existed. Notice the faux tax strip and lack of government warning.

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Van Winkle Family Selection “Lot H” 16yr, 95.6pf

The Lot H bottles were likely bottled using whiskey from the Boone distillery, which was also used for the first bottles of Pappy 20. Photos courtesy of Brian Daigle.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 16yr 101pf, Red Wax, 1990

The Van Winkle Family Reserve 16 & 17 year were reportedly bottled using whiskey from the Boone distillery, which was also used for the first bottles of Pappy 20.

First two photos courtesy of ‘The Old Barrelhouse’ Australia.

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Old Rip Van Winkle Non Age Stated 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1990

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Van Winkle 16yr 90pf, Gold Wax, 1990

The Van Winkle Family Reserve 16 & 17 year were reportedly bottled using whiskey from the Boone distillery, which was also used for the first bottles of Pappy 20.

Photos courtesy of ‘The Old Barrelhouse’ Australia.

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Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot B Lawrenceburg, 1991

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Van Winkle Family Selection “Lot H” 17yr, 95.6pf

The Lot H bottles were likely bottled using whiskey from the Boone distillery, which was also used for the first bottles of Pappy 20. Photos courtesy of Brian Daigle.

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Van Winkle Special Reserve 12yr Lot A, 1991

Lot A was a one-time release, which was followed by the Lot B, which has been produced since.

 

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1993

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Van Winkle Special Reserve Corti Brothers 19yr Red Wax, 90.4pf ~1993

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1994

Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year was produced from 1989-2003, when it was replaced by Pappy 15. Many connoisseurs prefer the Old Rip to the Pappy, and the Lawrenceburg bottles are especially valued, possibly because they were non chill filtered before the move to Buffalo Trace in 2002. Early ORVWs came in a slightly taller bottle with a sharper angle on the shoulder. You can see in the last photo the difference between 1998 (left) and 1994 (right) bottles.

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Van Winkle Special Reserve Corti Brothers 19yr Black Wax, 91.4pf ~1994

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Van Winkle Special Reserve Corti Brothers 20yr, 91.4pf, ~1994

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Pappy Van Winkle 20yr Green Glass, Export, 1995-98

Photos courtesy of Mimmotron.

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Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12yr, 1997

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Pappy Van Winkle 20yr Green Glass, 1995-98

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Hirsch Selection 13yr Rye, Lot 97-1, ~1997


This was a rye bottled by Julian Van Winkle for Preiss, and was taken from the same stocks as the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye. This first lot would have been the same as a non-lettered Van Winkle Rye.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1998

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year was  released in the late 1970s and is still produced today. It was Stitzel-Weller stock until around 2004, when it was Bermheim for a while and eventually Buffalo Trace (with some probably mingling in the transition years). The Lawrenceburg bottles are especially valued, possibly because they were non chill filtered before the move to Buffalo Trace in 2002.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~1998

Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year was produced from 1989-2003, when it was replaced by Pappy 15. Many connoisseurs prefer the Old Rip to the Pappy, and the Lawrenceburg bottles are especially valued, possibly because they were non chill filtered before the move to Buffalo Trace in 2002. Early ORVWs came in a slightly taller bottle with a sharper angle on the shoulder. You can see in the last photo the difference between 1998 (left) and 1994 (right) bottles.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 12yr 105pf, Export, ~1998

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Old Rip Van Winkle Lottas Home Rye, 13yr, 95.6pf, 1998

A special bottling one for a German importer whose daughter was named Lotta. Photos courtesy of Eric Rueli.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye ‘1985’, 100pf

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year Bourbon, 90 Proof, Red Wax

This bottling was normally hand-numbered. The owner of this bottle contacted Julian Van Winkle III and was told it was likely omitted by mistake.

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Pappy Van Winkle 23yr “Green Glass” Lawrenceburg, ~1998

This was the first bottling of Pappy 23, with green-tinted glass and bottled in Lawrenceburg, KY.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yr, No Letter, 95.6pf ~1998

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Twisted Spoke 16yr 105pf, 1999

Twisted Spoke was a Stitzel-Weller bourbon bottled by Julian Van Winkle in 1999 for the Twisted Spoke bar in Chicago. Bottled at 16 years and 105 proof.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye “A” Lawrenceburg, 1999


The Van Winkle Rye reportedly started as a single-source whiskey, rumored to be Medley distillate. The remaining whiskey stayed in the barrel year after year until it reached 19 years old, at which point it was tanked in stainless steel and mingled with Bernheim (Cream of Kentucky) rye. This bottle would have been 15-year old pre-tank rye with all Medley distillate. For more info see the Van Winkle timeline.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye “B” Lawrenceburg, 2000

The Van Winkle Rye reportedly started as a single-source whiskey, rumored to be Medley distillate. The remaining whiskey stayed in the barrel year after year until it reached 19 years old, at which point it was tanked in stainless steel and mingled with Bernheim (Cream of Kentucky) rye. This bottle would have been 16-year old pre-tank rye with all Medley distillate. For more info see the Van Winkle timeline.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 90pf Lawrenceburg, ~2000

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Hirsch Selection 13yr Rye, Lot 00-1, ~2000


This was a rye bottled by Julian Van Winkle for Preiss, and was taken from the same stocks as the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye. This later lot would have been the same as a “C”-lettered Van Winkle Rye.

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Bailey-Ellenberg Select Bourbon, set of 6, 10yr, 90pf, 2000

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year Bourbon, 90 Proof, Foil Cap

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf Lawrenceburg, ~2001

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year was  released in the late 1970s and is still produced today. It was Stitzel-Weller stock until around 2004, when it was Bermheim for a while and eventually Buffalo Trace (with some probably mingling in the transition years). The Lawrenceburg bottles are especially valued, possibly because they were non chill filtered before the move to Buffalo Trace in 2002.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr 107pf, Premier Group Single Barrel, ~2002

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Old Commonwealth Bourbon, 10yr, 107pf, ~2002

Old Commonwealth was a special bottling done by Julian Van Winkle for Sam’s Liquor in Chicago, which was eventually bought out by Binny’s. It was also rumored to have been sold in some northern Indiana stores. It contained the same whiskey as the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year of the same era. Photos courtesy of Eric Rueli.

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Old Rip Van Winkle Woodside 17yr, Batch A17, 92.4pf, 2002

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr 107pf Frankfort, ~2002

Photos courtesy of George Perley.

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Pappy Van Winkle 23yr, Frankfort No Letter, 2003

This was the second release of the Pappy 23. The first was from Lawrenceburg and had the green-tinted glass, also with no letter before the bottle number. The third release had gold wax and an A before the number.

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Van Winkle Family Reserve 18yr, Park Ave Single Barrel, 2003

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Old Rip Van Winkle Woodside 15yr, Batch B11, 92.4pf, 2003

Bottled by Julian Van Winkle for Woodside Pub in California, one of multiple barrels over several years.

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Old Rip Van Winkle Blue Smoke 18yr, 92.6pf, ~2003

Blue Smoke was a special bottling done by Julian Van Winkle for the Blue Smoke restaurant in New york. Photos courtesy of Eric Rueli.

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Van Winkle Special Reserve 18yr, Binny’s Single Barrel, 121.6pf – 2003

The only single barrel Van Winkle bottled for Binny’s, and one of very few barrel proof Van Winkles ever bottled.
Distilled June 10, 1985 and bottled December 2003.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 15yr, 107pf, Sam’s Wines Single Barrel – 2003

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Pappy Van Winkle 15yr Single Barrel, 2004

One of the relatively rare single barrel bottlings of Pappy 15, bottled for Civic Center Liquor in San Francisco in 2004.

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Pappy Van Winkle 15yr, Julio’s Liquor Single Barrel, ~2005

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Pappy Van Winkle 15yr Single Barrel, Jackson Wine & Spirits

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Pappy Van Winkle 23yr, SB.com Single Barrel #1, 2007

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Pappy Van Winkle 23yr, SB.com Single Barrel #2, 2007

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Pappy Van Winkle 23yr, KBS Single Barrel C, 2007

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Pappy Van Winkle 20yr Bourbon, Single Barrel – 2007

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Pappy Van Winkle 15yr, Loch & Key Single Barrel, 2008

The Loch & Key single barrel was supposedly bottled using Ancient Age (aka Buffalo Trace) distillate.

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Old Rip Van Winkle 23yr, 2009

In 2009 the Old Rip Van Winkle decanter set was released. It featured 23-year old whiskey that was specially selected and bottled at a higher proof than usual (114). 1200 decanter sets were released, but the family also bottled a very limited quantity in regular Pappy style cognac-style bottles for their own consumption. You’ll notice there’s no bar code for sale.

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Van Winkle Special Reserve 12yr Lot B, Julia(n) Single Barrel – 2009

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Pappy Van Winkle 15yr Single Barrel, “Cask” – 2010

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Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107pf, 2016

This is the current style of bottle for the Old Rip 10 year, which was introduced in 2013. Prior to that, the 10 year came in the “squat” style bottle.

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