Tag Archives: Pappy Van Winkle

Event Notice: Pappy Dinner at NY Prime

Pappy Van Winkle Dinner

New York Prime
3424 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30326
6:00 PM — 8:00 PM


Van Winkle Special Reserve 12yr Thick Cut Sizzling Bacon


Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15yr Ceasar Salad with Bacon


Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20yr 22oz. Bone-in Rib Steak Baked Shrimp and Giant Double-Baked Potato


Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23yr Chocolate coated Bacon shot with Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr

*This event is smoke-free and will be held in our private dining room. Seating is limited due to the exclusivity of the product and space.

Get tickets here.

Event Notice: Pappy Tasting at Mac McGee

Pappy Van Winkle Tasting
February  10
@ 7:30 p.m.

The amazing Mark Caballero will be hosting and guiding us through the delicious flavors of Pappy Van Winkle
We will have the pleasure of tasting:

10 yr old Rip Van Winkle
12 yr old Van Winkle Special Reserve
15 yr old Pappy Van Winkle
20yr old Pappy Van Winkle

All for $135.  Seating is limited so please RSVP to macmcgees@gmail.com.
Because this such a rare whiskey, space is very limited, and we will only be taking reservations via email.

We look forward to seeing you!

Slainte, Mac McGee


Old Weller Antique

Old Weller Antique Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
53.5% ABV/107 Proof
$22 to $25

What the Distillery Says:
[Quoted from Wine Enthusiast Magazine on their website]
A medium amber bourbon, bearing a sweetish note with some unusual floral notes and a string dash of vanilla. The body is big and the palate is very well balanced, flirting between sweet honeyed fruit notes, a strong vanilla undertone and some sharp spicy tones; the finish is long and spicy.

A very well crafted whiskey. Sip it at room temperature with a little spring water or over ice.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Vanilla, honey, maple syrup, and an astringent alcohol note. Yes it can be watered down but then you’d just have Weller Special Reserve!
Palate: Chewy, fruity sweet, lots of vanilla, and it trails out with a spicy smack more from the alcohol than the mashbill.
Finish: Caramel covered oak bars sprinkled with black peppercorns.
Comments: I don’t want to start bitching about the loss of age statements. If you want that then jump over to StraightBourbon.com. However, I do find it a vexing state of affairs where the products we love are becoming more popular, leading to thinner stocks, leading to the removal of more and more age statements. Like Weller Special Reserve (WSR) this used to be a 7 year old. It’s tastes about the same as it did before the age statement dropped off but that’s just me. It’s more important that the bourbon tastes good right? Well this one does. This is the same as WSR just at higher proof. I like this one better. The extra alcohol is good for this particular bourbon. The price has been creeping up a little lately but it’s still a great buy and kicks the shit out of Maker’s for an inexpensive wheated bourbon. After all, with more age on it this stuff ultimately ends up as Pappy Van Winkle after all. 😉
Rating: Stands Out, Great Value

Stocking the Whiskey Bar

The holidays are a time to get together with friends and family. Whether you are celebrating the joyous occasion with those close to you or enduring the extended family for the obligatory once a year visit, you probably should have some whiskey on hand. Like butter and bacon, whiskey tends to make everything better. 🙂 Even when it’s not holiday time, if you’re a fan of the water of life you might want to have a well chosen selection at home for personal perusal or entertaining. If you’re a one brand one bottle kind of person then that’s fine. I’m not judging you but if you and/or your guests only drink one thing all the time with no exception then this article probably won’t interest you.

I’m assuming that you probably already have a bottle or two if you’re reading a whiskey blog so let’s move beyond the “if I only have one/two bottle(s)” question and talk about stocking a home whiskey bar for yourself and guests. Before we start I want to clarify that we’re talking about a whiskey bar, not a whiskey collection. A collection, whether by design or accident is a different beast entirely. Oh, and if you think you can’t collect by accident let me tell you from personal experience that it can happen very easily. I’m in the process of rectifying that transgression in my own supply so let me know if you want to stop by and “help” with that. 😉

“How many bottles should I plan on getting for a base stock in my home whiskey bar?”

It depends. If you’re just looking for bourbon or scotch then probably three well chosen bottles will get you started. If you want a nice cross section of multiple styles then I would say five to eight. It really is up to you. However, I will caution you that once you get north of 10 bottles and start heading towards 20 you starting getting into collection territory. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that but it’s a slippery slope. 😉

“How much should I plan to spend?”

You can spend as much or as little as you want. I’ll try to give you a few examples at various prices for each category. That way you can decide how much you want to spend based on personal preference and financial situation. Please note that the prices listed are for a standard U.S. 750ml bottle.

“Where do I begin?”

With scotch and bourbon a good framework would be to get a mixer, a classic, and a gem. Now when I say “mixer” I’m really referring to a table whiskey. You should use the same rule of thumb for mixed drinks and cocktails as you do for cooking with wine. That means that even your table whiskey should be something you wouldn’t mind drinking by itself. There are plenty of inexpensive and tasty whiskeys out there so you shouldn’t have to buy rot gut just to use as a mixer. Here are some examples.

Scotch – Johnnie Walker Black, Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, and Glenlivet 12 Year Old can all be had for around $30.

Bourbon – Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond ($20), Buffalo Trace ($20), and Elijah Craig 12 Year Old ($22)

Your “classic” whiskey should be something that typifies the category. That $1,000 bottle of Macallan 30 Year Old may taste like heaven but when I say classic I’m thinking of a reasonably priced dram that is pleasant and displays many of the standard characteristics of scotch or bourbon. Again, here are a few examples.

Scotch – Highland Park 12 Year Old ($40), Compass Box Great King Street Blend ($40), and Cragganmore 12 Year Old ($50)

Bourbon – Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old ($40), Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ($40), and Blanton’s ($50)

Now let’s talk about that gem. Up until now you’ve probably dropped between $100 to $150 on four bottles of whiskey (2 bourbon, 2 scotch). The gem category is where you can be as reserved or crazy as you want. The notion behind these bottles is to have something exceptional. Think of it as a special whiskey or two. You can lay these on your snobby or aficionado friends to get the approving nod or you can use them to show somehow something really good tastes. Alternatively, you can think of these bottles as a little more aggressive or obscure in taste. If Glenfiddich is your middle of the road then maybe one of these bottles can be a super peaty Ardbeg. You can drop $50 on one of these or $500. It’s up to you. Below are a few suggestions but let your interests guide your decisions.

Scotch – Lagavuling 16 Year Old ($80), Macallan 18 Year Old ($130), Dewar’s Signature ($180)

Bourbon – Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit ($55), George T. Stagg ($75), Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old ($120)

Now you may have noticed that I’ve listed both blends and single malts for scotch under each category. This is intentional. Both are very tasty and should be considered equally. I really think that you should consider getting at least one blend and at least one single malt. One is not inferior to the other regardless of what you hear from scotch snobs.

Scotch and bourbon are great but there’s a wider and ever expanding world of whiskey out there waiting to be sampled. Personally, I would recommend a good rye that you can drink and mix as a staple. Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond ($20) or Sazerac Rye ($27) are great examples. If you’ve only ever used bourbon in your cocktails then get ready for a treat. A good rye cocktail is hard to beat.

I also think you should have a bottle of something a little different. It will allow you and your guests to expand your whiskey horizons and give you something interesting to compare and contrast. A nice bottle of Yamazaki 12 Year Old Japanese Whisky ($40), Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Pot Still Whiskey ($50), or Amrut Fusion Indian Whisky ($60) would all be nice additions.

“What about other spirits to have on hand?”

Believe it or not, I don’t only drink whiskey. I often enjoy other fine brown spirits. Around the holidays I especially enjoy a nice brandy after a big meal. Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac ($35), Germain-Robin Shareholder’s Reserve ($75), or Kelt XO Cognac ($150) are all nice examples.

If a nice aged rum is more your speed then maybe a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel ($28), Appleton Extra Jamaican Rum ($35), or Bacardi Reserva Limitada Rum Anejo ($100) would give you something nice to sip with guests.

“Is there anything else I need?”

It’s probably a good idea to have a few other basic ingredients on hand for cocktails. Below is a suggested list but you can add or subtract as you see fit. Remember, this list is focused on whiskey cocktails. If you’re doing a White Russian or a Sex on the Beach then that’s something entirely different.

  • Simple Syrup (make your own)
  • Sodas (Coca-cola, diet cola, ginger ale, club soda, tonic water, etc.)
  • Bitters (Angostura, Peychaud, etc.)
  • Fruit – Juice and whole fruit (Lemons, oranges, maraschino cherries, etc.)
  • Vermouth – Sweet and Dry
  • Liqueurs

I would recommend that you actually look at the kind of cocktails you plan to make and back into a list of additional ingredients instead of blinding buying stuff that the guy on the internet said you had to have. Having a huge selection of cocktail accoutrement looks cool but if you never use it then it’s a waste.

“Wait a minute. What about vodka and tequila?”

Like your mom said about little Scotty Powell down the street…”You don’t need friends like that.” In all seriousness, we were talking about stocking a nice selection of whiskeys. I could go on and on with my belligerent opinions of the vodka and tequila culture that’s exploded in the last 15 to 20 years but that’s not the point of this article. Look, if you need to have vodka and tequila, and a good host probably should, then you don’t need to fret over the bottles as much as you might think. Probably about 99% of vodka and tequila consumption in the U.S. occurs with some type of mixer. As long as you’re not buying the stuff off the bottom shelf in the plastic jugs you’ll probably be okay with the majority of brands when making a vodka tonic, vodka and cranberry, or margarita. Personally, I buy Kirkland Signature brand vodka and anejo tequila at Costco. Both are very good quality and ridiculously well priced. If you’re worried that your snobby friends will scoff because you have Costco brand or Stolichnaya vodka instead of Grey Goose or Ciroc then pick up a nice decanter to keep it in. It will class up your bar a little and then if they ask what it is you can tell them whatever the hell you want.;)

If you’re in a quandary the next time you go to the liquor store to stock up then I hope this helps. As always, these are merely my opinions on the subject. Let your taste and wallet be your guide. If you have any questions or need additional suggestions please send me an email. Enjoy the holidays and share some good whiskey with good company.

Drink wisely my friends,


Parker’s Heritage Collection Fourth Edition

Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheated Mashbill Aged 10 Years
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

63.9% ABV/127.8 Proof
$75 to $80

What the Distillery Says:
Parker’s Heritage Collection is a series of rare, limited-edition American Whiskeys, a tribute to sixth-generation Master Distiller Parker Beam. Parker has been practicing his family’s craft of distilling, aging and selecting some of the world’s most criticall-acclaimed Bourbons and American Whiskeys since joining Heaven Hill Distilleries in 1960. Park Beam, his grandfather and namesake, was the brother of James Beauregard Beam, better known as “Jim” Beam. Parker’s father Earl was the first to ply his trade at Heaven Hill. From him, Parker learned how to make great American whiskey. Earl turned the daily operations over to Parker in 1975 making him the sixth-generation Beam to earn the title of Master Distiller.

Says Parker, “My role is to guide a carefully-refined process that Heaven Hill has used for generation – everything from how the stills are used to relying on our own strain of natural yeast. Knowing which ‘honey’ barrels to select and when the whiskey has matured to our standards ensures one-of-a-kind taste and quality.”

What Richard Says:
Nose: You’ll need to tame this 127 proof monster with some water to get at the nose. When you do you’re rewarded with a nose of chocolate, cinnamon, rum, and vanilla latte.
Palate: Again you’ll want to hit this dram with some water. It’s sweet and smooth in the mouth with lots of vanilla, cocoa, and breakfast syrups (think IHOP).
Finish: The finish is clean, smooth, and leaves traces of cocoa powder, oak, and nuts.
Comments: There is so much more to wheated bourbon than Maker’s Mark. This gem from Heaven Hill is the 2010 (4th) release in the Parker’s Heritage Collection. This gives us a peek into what may be to come for the Old Fitzgerald line now that Parker Beam is giving it a go. Heaven Hill fans, Pappy Van Winkle fans, wheated bourbon fans, and anyone else who just like good bourbon should actively seek this out before it’s all gone.
Rating: Must Try