This April, Websters Bar will be hosting once again  “An evening with Pappy” A highly coveted and sought after whisky tasting along side beers from Philter Brewing and a delicious Buffalo Trace Cocktail on arrival. showcasing for the evening will be 5 Pappy Van Winkle expressions from their 10 year age statement through to their outstanding, not to mention highly awarded  23 year old. 

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What: A Vertical Tasting – 5 whiskys from the Old Rip Van Winkle Range

Where: Bourbon Bar & Lounge, Websters Bar, 323 King St Newtown

When: 7pm on Wednesday, 15th of April

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Kentucky is home to some of the most incredible whiskys on the planet, though it is in their bourbon that they truly excel. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is one of the oldest & most respected in the United States, due to not only the exceptional quality of their products, but in the history of the family that made it what it is.

It all began in 1893 when Julian ‘Pappy’ Van Winkle Sr began working for liquor whole seller W.L Weller at the tender age of 18. Fifteen years later, he and another Weller salesman bought the firm and acquired the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. During this time, Prohibition meant that the production and sale of alcohol was outlawed, and W.L Weller were forced to peddle their spirit as medicine. This product at the time was labelled and sold as ‘Old Rip Van Winkle.’

At the time of his death in 1965 at the age of 89, Pappy Van Winkle was the oldest active distiller in the nation. A photo of him lighting a cigar graces the bottle’s label. The brand lived on through his son Julian Van Winkle Jr, who died in 1981, and his then Grandson, Julian Preston Van Winkle III, who took over the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. Fast forward to 2002, where the Van Winkle brands have since been distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company at the Buffalo Trace Distillery as a joint venture with the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery company.

Like all modern bourbons, Van Winkle bourbons are made primarily from corn and aged in charred new American oak barrels. A distinguishing feature of Van Winkle bourbons is their use of wheat as the secondary ingredient instead of the usual rye, and their additional inclusion of barley malt.


The Pappy 23 Year Old has become one of the most sought after whiskys in the world, with Julian Preston Van Winkle III himself stating in 2013 that bottling’s of the 23 year old “May be the last of their kind” due to the very limited ageing barrels left from the original distillery. It has been named ‘The bourbon everyone wants but no-one can get.’ A writer from the Wall Street Journal once wrote “You could call it bourbon, or you could call it a $5,000 bottle of liquified, barrel-aged unobtanium.” We think this is a very apt statement for such a rare & antique bourbon.


The 20 year old expression won a Double Gold Medal at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The 23 year old expression was named “Spirit of the Year” for 2010 by Wine & Spirits magazine in its annual buying guide issue.

The 20 year old expression was recognised with the “Trophy for Worldwide Whisky” and a Best-In-Class Gold Medallion in the 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition. It received a score of 99 (“Superlative”) from the Beverage Testing Institute in the same year.

A 99 rating from the Beverage Testing Institute for the 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle in 1996 was the highest rating it had ever given, and was instrumental in making the whisky especially coveted.


Arrival drink:

Buffalo Trace Cocktail

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1: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old

2: Old Rip Van Winkle 12 Year Old

3: Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Old

4: Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old

5: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old

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Roaming Canapés will be served from 7:00pm sharp, and at the conclusion of the event.


Philter Brewing is a dedicated Brewery that prides itself on delivering great balanced beer that doesn’t take itself to seriously amassing a few coveted awards in the last few years and making a big name for themselves Philter is the perfect brew to cleans the palate and compliment an evening of  robust bourbons

2018 Australian International Beer Awards

Champion Best Australian Style Pale Ale

Gold Best Australian Style Pale Ale

2017 Craft Beer Awards

Champion Pale Ale

Gold Pale Ale