Skip to main content

Old Ripy Bourbon Review: History Revisited

Sometimes, companies decide to head back into the archives for their next big project. In this case, Campari America decided to head all the way back to pre-Prohibition times and to do that they enlisted the help of two men, T.B. Ripy IV and Tom Ripy, great-grandson and great-great-grandson of the bourbon’s namesake T.B. Ripy. What came out of their research is one of the two new releases in their Whiskey Barons collection, Old Ripy Bourbon.


The Old Ripy brand was originally created by James Ripy, an Irish immigrant and was made in Lawrenceburg Kentucky up until 1950. The site of the Old Ripy distillery is now the Wild Turkey distillery, which is fitting since that is where this whiskey is currently produced. Before jumping to any conclusions, though, Campari America stated in a release that neither Jimmy or Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey’s Master Distillers, were involved in the creation or production of Old Ripy.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Old Ripy is made from a blend of eight and twelve-year-old straight bourbon whiskies, as well as some as young as six years old. While the exact proportions of the mash bill have not been disclosed, the recipe does contain corn, malted barley, and rye.

Our Old Ripy Bourbon Review

Appearance: Old Ripy has a nice deep amber color.

Nose: Vanilla and oak play twin roles in the majority of the nose, with oak being the major. Under this, there are hints of raisin sweetness and just a tiny bit of ripe banana.

Palate: Again, oak is one of the primary components you will find in Old Ripy. Before that, though, you’re going to get an initial caramel sweetness on the tongue. From there, the bourbon seems to be, for lack of a better term, chewy. Because it is non-chill filtered, you’re going to get oily characteristics from elements (cogeners) that have not been filtered out to make the bourbon feel the way it does on your palate. You really want to work it around your mouth to express the burnt caramel and toffee notes that are followed by crisp apples.

Finish: A very tannic finish that is accompanied by a warmth that settles in your throat. The bourbon certainly, by now, announces that it is 52% ABV, yet at the same time, it isn’t too overwhelming. The tannins cede power to pepper notes which terminate in a caramel and toffee sweetness.

Final Thoughts: I’m all for the resurrection of historic recipes. Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales series, among other projects, have all been interesting ventures that have combined history with good booze. I’m curious to see where this Whiskey Barons collection goes in years ahead.

Old Ripy retails for $49.99 but will only be sold in 375mL bottles (which is an homage to how spirits were bottled pre-Prohibition).

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
Keto diet breakfasts on the go: How to order at Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Chick-fil-A
Keto diet breakfast ordering guide for fast-food restaurants
Sankt-Petersburg/Russia - July 21 2019: McDonald’s worker holding bag of fast food. Hand with a paper bag through the window of mcdonalds car drive thru service.


Adhering to your keto diet is super simple while at home when you can control your meals, choosing low-carb breakfasts that can jumpstart your day. But when you're on the go, sticking to your keto diet might not come as naturally.

Read more
Matthew McConaughey’s hit new tequila brand is selling out
Apparently, tequila enthusiasts think it's alright, alright, alright


Most people know Matthew McConaughey from his various acting roles in films like Interstellar, Dazed and Confused, and his myriad romantic comedies. But in recent years, the Texas-born actor has begun to make a name for himself in the alcohol world.

Read more
Why you should stock up on this Costco fan-favorite beer
This beer will get you through the holiday season
Close-up of a glass of beer

This time of year, festive, glittering cocktails are prominent at every at-home celebration, office holiday party, and post-Nutcracker soiree. The more ornate, the better, garnished with everything from crushed candy canes to coconut shavings made to look like freshly fallen snow. They slosh prettily in their frosted glassware and look beautiful paired with sparkling cocktail dresses.

And the wine that flows this time of year is equally exquisite, with many hosts opting to spend a few more dollars on better bottles, blaming their extravagance on festivity. For these libations, we are grateful. And it's because of them we have the patience to make it through Aunt Susan's annual ornament exchange. They are our supportive friends at the party, convincing us with loving encouragement that we're better dancers than we are. And they certainly make it a lot easier to endure Angela in human resources, rambling on about her snow globe collection.

Read more