Q & A with JBF Award Winner Julian P. Van Winkle III

Anna Mowry interviews Julian P. Van Winkle III, winner of the 2011 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional
Winner of the 2011 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Julian P. Van Winkle III carries on a century-long tradition of producing premium bourbon at Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.

The James Beard Foundation: Rip Van Winkle is a four-generation family company. How did you get involved in the business?

Julian P. Van Winkle: I started working for my dad in 1977. At that time we were selling just one age of Old Rip Van Winkle. We also sold decanters filled with our whiskey. I took over the company in 1981 after my father passed away.

JBF: Can you describe your bourbon recipe and the impact it has on the flavor of your products?

JPVW: Bourbon must be made from at least 51 percent corn. Rye or wheat can also be used. My

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Eye Candy: Old Fashioned

A bartender prepares an Old Fashioned using 12-year-old reserve bourbon from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. The cocktail was served at a Beard House event that featured top chefs from Kentucky. To see more photos of the Bluegrass State–themed dinner, click here.

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On the Menu: March 28 through April 3

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, March 28, 6:00 P.M. Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market Lined with grocers and charming eateries, Chelsea Market is New York’s one-stop shop for every gourmand’s needs. Back by popular demand, this convivial Friends of James Beard Benefit will feature a diverse group of talented chefs who will gather under its roof to prepare the ultimate family-style meal. Wednesday, March 31, 7:00 P.M. Kentucky Bluegrass Chefs When you bring six of Kentucky’s top chefs and some of the best handmade bourbon money can buy up to the Beard House, the upshot is bound

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