The nose on this is very Van Winkle with a bit of heat to it, slightly spicy almost as if it had rye, which it does not. The first taste you get is sweet, followed by a bit of heat. The overall taste is a bit flat. This isn't as well rounded or as complex as the 20 year old Pappy, though it has a few of the savory notes. (This was the "C" series).
The wood is prominent but theres also a big spice factor. But wait, there's fruits here with whiffs of toast"iness". You get a lot of the spices initially with herbal medicinal notes on the palate but there's a buttery vanilla sweetness that keeps it smooth. Finish is slightly minty and bitter.
I liked this better than the other guys. While there was alot of wood, it wasn't offensive to me. There wasn't alot going on but it was very drinkable.
N: Strong presence of old wood, light aroma of dark fruits. Strong alcohol initially. Soft sweetness. Toffee and a hint of caramel.
P: Initially dry mouthfeel, warming, strong wood, dark fruits, pleasing sweetness -- cotton candy and bubblegum, with a hint of vanilla. Evovling caramel and toffee that never become too huge. Wood stays bitter but does not overpower.
F: Vaguely bubblegummy and toffee sweetness; more wood. Balanced with some grain. Medium overall.
n: mostly oak, vanilla bean, and brown sugar. Walnut and raisin baklava.
t: initial sweetness and then goes dry with a spicy kick halfway through. Finish is of butter, kettle corn and heavy on the wood. Falls flat and doesn't have the depth I would hope for from a 23 year old.
2013 VW Vertical Tasting: Initially so-so nose with a fair amount of oak. Vanilla in the background. The palatte is widly woody and dry. It sticks to the mouth and creates an unpleasant wood taste. I like this more than the 10year, but just barely. C+/B- [1/26/14]