The iconic 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye was introduced in 1997 by Julian Van Winkle III, grandson of bourbon legend Pappy Van Winkle. Under the name Old Rip Van Winkle, he bottled whiskey from Stitzel-Weller and other undisclosed distilleries at the Old Commonwealth Distillery in Lawrenceburg. The operation moved to Buffalo Trace in 2002. Not much is (officially) known about the contents of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, but of course the legendary brand has long been a popular topic for gossip among bourbon fans. The rumor goes that over the years the whiskey has consisted of a few different components. When the brand was first released, it was 100% Medley distilled rye. In 2004, the rye was moved to stainless steel tanks to stop the aging process, and blended with Cream of Kentucky Rye from the Old Bernheim distillery. Since 2004, the annual release has consistently been called a 13-year-old rye, even though most of it contains rye that actually matured for 18 or 19 years. It’s rumored that from 2012 onwards, Buffalo Trace began adding their own rye to the blend. This rare older bottling of Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 Years Old was bottled in 2007 at 95.6 proof, and most likely contains Medley and Cream of Kentucky whiskeys. Gossip in a bottle!