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Van Winkle 12 Year Lot B | Bourbon Whiskey Review

Distillery: Buffalo Trace/Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery

Proof: 90.4

Mashbill: At least 51% corn, Wheat and Barley

Age: 12

MSRP: $79.99 (LOL!) Good luck!

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Fool Proof Rating and Summary of Tasting Notes







Sweet, Buttery, Syrupy Caramel, vanilla, cherries and oak

Sweet caramel, vanilla, honey, baking spices, oak and orange zest

medium length finish, oak, vanilla, jam and a hint of citrus

it is well balanced, light mouth coat, on the thinner side.

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For all my tastings I use either the Libbey Signature Kentucky Bourbon Trail Whiskey Glass or a traditional Glencairn glass. They both are great for nosing and help in discerning more subtle notes.


Van Winkle Bourbons pays homage to one of the whiskey industry's founding fathers. Their bourbons are made from a wheated bourbon recipe, meaning that the secondary ingredient used in the bourbon is wheat instead of rye (other bourbons, such as Larceny Bourbon, have similar mash bills). After the bourbon has been distilled in the heart of Kentucky, this Special Reserve Lot B bourbon is aged for 12 years and bottled at 45.2% ABV. This younger Van Winkle is elegant and refined, and compelling.

I won the right to buy this particular bottle by being the 10th caller for a promotion that a local liquor store was doing. I actually paid the MSRP of $79.99 for this one! I was pretty excited to get into it. Lets see if it stacks up to all the hype!


The nose is definitely the best aspect of Van Winkle 12 year Lot B. This whiskey has an aroma that is truly a delight for your nose. It's like you've just stepped into a candy shop and the air is full of sweet, buttery, syrupy caramel, vanilla, cherry, and oak. I found myself lingering on the nosing part of this tasting, just to take in all the aromas this whiskey had to offer. The nose is remarkable and one that you won't forget.


On the front, the notes of sweet caramel, vanilla, and honey come alive on your tongue. The palate is smooth with a subtle edge of oak and orange zest to it. Each sip finishes off with baking spices, vanilla, and oak. For me, this is almost too smooth. I think that because of its lower proof it comes off a bit boring. Don't get me wrong this is a good pour. Also keep in mind that I really enjoy higher proof/barrel proof/cask strength whiskies so you may actually enjoy this a bit more than me.