For bourbon fans, Pappy Van Winkle has become more of a legend than an actual drink in recent years. The lauded wheated bourbon is almost impossible to get your hands on, with insatiable demand driving up prices from resellers who are lucky enough to snag a bottle from the distillery’s Virginia-based lotteries. But this year, it looks like you’ll have a little bit of an easier time getting your hands on a bottle of the stuff … just a little bit.
Buffalo Trace Distillery, which is celebrating its 20th year in partnership with Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, has announced the annual release of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons. There are a total of six expressions hitting shelves this year, and according to Buffalo Trace, they’ll be doing so in greater numbers than usual.
The combination of more whiskey being stocked away to age a decade ago and a greater-than-expected yield when transferring bourbon from barrel to bottle has led to a greater number overall of bottles than what we’re used to seeing, which is good news for anyone who’s actually hoping to track down some of the stuff for themselves. Compared to most other whiskeys, though, supply remains well below demand, so you shouldn’t expect to stroll into your local liquor store and find a bottle on the shelf.
As far as this year’s lineup of bottles is concerned, you’ll find the full lineup below, along with their suggested MSRPs. Keep in mind, however, that you’re extremely unlikely to actually be able to purchase any of these bottles at these prices. The bottles will begin going on sale this month, with retailer lotteries remaining your best bet for snagging one at a fair price.
Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10-Year-Old (107 Proof)
Notes: Honey, dulce de leche, caramel corn, rooibos tea, lightly toasted nuts, wheat, corn, dried fruit and nuts and toasted barrel flavors.
Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12-Year-Old (90.4 proof)
Color: Brilliant amber.
Notes: Butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, spiced praline, nectarine, satsuma, bready wheat and oak.
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Year-Old (95.6 proof)
Color: Rich copper.
Notes: Toasted pumpernickel, plum, fig, sweet tobacco, toffee, caraway, dried cherry, leather and mint.
Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15-Year-Old (107 proof)
Color: Brilliant copper.
Notes: Maple, caramelized sugar, toffee, toasted almond, molasses cookies and wood.
Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20-Year-Old (90.4 proof)
Color: Dark amber with ruby highlights.
Notes: Leather, smoke, warm tobacco, treacle, espresso and charred oak.
Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23-Year-Old (95.6 proof)
Color: Rich mahogany.
Notes: Caramel, apple, apricot, leather, walnuts and vanilla crème brûlée.