top of page

A few years ago....

It’s the age-old dilemma of “we always want what we can’t have”
Believe it or not, all of us fall victim to this mind trick. Unless of course, you are a practicing Buddhist who has achieved enlightenment.
Things just seem to glow with this magic mysticism when we are told they are “obscure” or “extremely rare”, or ultimately…..  “unattainable”.
We are the perpetual Ralphie staring through the toy store window at the Red Rider.
“Sorry, you can’t have any” is actually an invitation for envious pursuit.
Well this Van Winkle is hard to get, but is it really the holy grail of Whiskies?
Is it worth the unrelenting desire burning inside all imbibers of brown spirits?
Would you cross the “Bridge of Death” or battle the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog for a bottle?
The Van Winkle story is simple.
It was a good bourbon, some respected critics wrote some good things, the distillery ran low, critics continued to write some good things, the buzz was created, the hunt began and it snowballed out of control.
These days it's still good, but is it that good? Is it $600 to $3000 good?
We don’t think so. But you should decide for yourself.
We get a few bottles of the Van Winkles each year.
Instead of playing games like raffles, bidding wars or even favoritism, we just open them and share with you.
But, down here at Divino we need to make a point.
We will let you judge for yourself the caliber of this Bourbon….. this requires an unbiased setting.
So, you will taste four bourbons in a row, with no label and no particular order. One of these will be Van Winkle 12 yr and the others will be what we feel are comparable bourbons. But the key is that they are affordable and more importantly, available.
You vote on your favorite and then we will reveal to you the mystery line up.
We will tally up all the votes and declare the bourbon Champion the following week.
Could there be a $30 Bourbon that you can buy anytime that beats the beard off of Van Winkle?
Let's find out…..

Blind Bourbon Results

1st Place:
Bottled in Bond
Age: 10 yr.
Distillery: Heaven Hills
Proof: 100 
Price: $34
2nd Place:
Kentucky Straight
Age: 12 yr.
Proof: 86.8
Price: $64
3rd Place:
Van Winkle Special Reserve
Kentucky Straight
Age: 12 yr.
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 90.4
Price: $68-$1000
we poured our bottles on Saturday so none available for purchase
4th Place:
David Nicholson
Kentucky Straight
Age: no age statement
Proof: 100
Price: $35
bottom of page