Old Man Winter Single Eldest Batch Rye 18 yrs White Wax



VOLUME: 750 ml

ABV/PROOF: 47/94

AGE:  18 years

Alongside the early prophets of the whiskey renaissance like Even Kulsveen and Julian Van Winkle III belongs Marci Palatella. In the 1980s, Palatella was a California-based wine exporter with a special focus on Japan – and, as such, she acted as the go-between for Van Winkle and others when they began to ship high-quality American whiskey to a Japanese market that was eager to have them.

Soon Palatella got involved with her own brands. Her first, Very Olde St. Nick, was a huge hit. Like Van Winkle, she bottled what she could get a hold off, as demand required, without too much concern for consistency in labeling or production – labels changed, seals changed, ages changed from release to release. These were not brands meant to stand the test of time. As a result, there is a dizzying number of bottlings, so many that even Palatella has a hard time recalling all of them. 

At first, she sourced her whiskey through Van Winkle, who also bottled for her. But as his stocks ran short, she turned to Kulsveen and Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, a d.b.a. of Willett. Together they bottled one of Palatella’s oldest whiskeys, a variation on the Olde St. Nick theme called Old Man Winter. Unlike her bottlings with Van Winkle, Old Man Winter comes in a squat bottle, with a low-res label reminiscent of a 90s independent CD release – which is all too fitting, given that at around the same time Palatella and others were involved in what amounted to a D.I.Y. whiskey project.

Producer: InterBev

Misc.: Once Willett began to run low on barrels and decided to keep the remainder for its Willett Family Estate brand, Palatella shifted her operation back to California. But in 2018 she returned to Kentucky to open Preservation, a distillery on the south side of Bardstown.

Collectors’ tips: The bottle comes with a white wax seal.

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