The purpose here is not to tell you about the Van Winkle whiskeys. It is to tell people who already know about Van Winkle whiskeys that the fall 2011 release will be in stores before 2011 expires -- barely. Probably just after Thanksgiving. Get friendly with your whiskey monger now.
That's official, from the Van Winkles.
You should know (and this isn't from-them official) that the chronic scarcity of Van Winkle whiskey is a deliberate business strategy, not that there's anything wrong with that. By keeping supply well below demand, the company reduces its selling cost and market risk to just about zero. Nobody pressures you on price when you're on allocation, so profits are protected and predictable. They actually do increase the supply, so their profits do grow, just not by much. It's a very unconventional and conservative business model, probably suitable only for small, family-run businesses.
To reflect a bit afield, the current state of things should have us all thinking about the point at which 'reasonable profits' slips over into 'unconscionable greed.' A company like Van Winkle shows that 'get as much as you can as fast as you can' is not the only way to be successful.