Van Winkle "Lot B" 12 Year Old Bourbon

Dedicated bourbon hunters know that there are bad days, some good days, and occasionally a great day. I had a great day when I walked into a big box liquor store in South Carolina looking for a bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. When I asked the clerk whether the expected shipment had come in, the answer was no. But he did have a bottle of Van Winkle "Lot B" 12 Year Old bourbon, and he sold it to me for the MSRP of $70. Not bad for a bourbon that goes for $500+ online.

We previously reviewed Old Rip Van Winkle 10 and Pappy Van Winkle 15. While these are all great whiskeys, they're certainly not worth the prices that flippers and most stores demand. Bourbon is for drinking after all, not for putting on a shelf to admire. Here's to hoping you have a great day soon.

Van Winkle "Lot B" 12 Year Old Bourbon

Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery (produced at Buffalo Trace)
90.4 proof
$70 at my new favorite liquor store in Charleston, SC

Color: Burnt orange. 

Nose: Sweet but masculine- cherry tobacco, dusty chocolate, antique furniture, toasted marshmallow. Let it sit and breathe- it opens up nicely. 

Tasting Notes: Sweet vanilla and cinnamon spice explode on the tongue. Marmalade slathered onto buttery toasted bread. The finish is smooth, but shorter than desired.  

Overall: A-. It's a fine bourbon- exactly what is advertised. It's not anything to spend your Christmas bonus on. For what it's worth, I find the Old Rip Van WInkle 10 to be more flavorful.