2019 Pappy Van Winkle Announced – With A Warning!

It’s a strange time in the bourbon world. Fall is the highlight of bourbon with the release of many different limited editions. Pappy is the crown jewel of bourbon hunting. However, this year’s announcement took a strange turn. There are two major complaints in the bourbon world when it comes to Pappy Van Winkle.  [Bourbonr paraphrase. Read the full statement below] First, bourbon flippers. Second, retailers overcharging. Buffalo Trace addressed both in this year’s announcement. As for retailers, we can’t do anything and we’ve asked them nicely not to overcharge. As for flippers, we’re coming for you with legal action!

I have a lot of other thoughts on this. But, I’m saving them for a later post. For now, I will agree to disagree with Buffalo Trace’s tactics to combat fakes and counterfeits. Which is the goal of every Bourbon enthusiast out there.

Van Winkle Bourbon Annual Release Coming Soon

This is the favorite time of the year for bourbon fans, the annual release of the Van Winkle Bourbons.  Like previous years, yields from the barrels are low due to evaporation during the long aging cycle.

Known for their smoother and sweeter flavor due to the wheat recipe versus the traditional rye recipe found in most bourbons, Van Winkle bourbons are aged years longer than most others and have garnered an impeccable reputation among connoisseurs.  Although bourbon has become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, very little Van Winkle is sold overseas, so that these coveted bottles are available in the United States.

The Van Winkle collection consists of several whiskeys. Suggested retail prices are as follows:

  • $69.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $79.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12-Year-Old
  • $119.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13-Year-Old
  • $119.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $199.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $299.90 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

“Unfortunately we cannot control the price retailers charge, so some retailers mark it up beyond our MSRP, even though we ask them not to,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We are committed to releasing a quality product and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

Upon the release of the Van Winkle bourbon this fall, Buffalo Trace warns consumers to be wary of online resellers such as Craigslist and other online marketplaces, especially private Facebook and MeWe groups. “Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale.  Purchasing bourbon online from unlicensed parties is dangerous.  The product may be counterfeit and unsafe.  If you are not a licensed retailer and you are selling Van Winkle products, we are prepared to take action to curtail the activity,” adds Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The Van Winkle line of whiskeys has won a multitude of awards through the years, including the 20-year-old receiving a double gold medal, best bourbon, best small-batch bourbon at the 2018 New York International Spirits Competition; the 15-year-old being named Best Bourbon, 11-15 Years Old in the 2019 Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, and also nabbing a Gold Medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Van Winkle Whiskeys will be available starting in November, but please be mindful that supply is quite limited and bottles shall be hard to find in stores, bars, and restaurants. They will be packed three bottles per case.

128 comments

    Since 2015 I have been extremely lucky “winning” four van winkle bottles in the PA lottery! 1 ten year old, 2 12 year olds, and a 20 year old! I also won an eagle rare 17 and a very rare 4 roses small batch. No idea why the bourbon gods have smiled on me so often. I pay suggested retail with a small shipping charge. the liquor board sends it to my local state store where I pick it up. The ten cost 80 bucks, the 12 was 99 and the 20 was 249. Of the three, I liked the 12 best….go figure.

    Every stinkin’ bottle is gone….drank one at my nieces graduation, all others with friends “just because”. Make no mistake….they are all really good, but I’d never pay the prices people are talking about. The empties decorate my basement bar. One man’s opinion though: best bourbon I’ve had is the Wild turkey Jimmy Russell Diamond Anniversary bottle. It’s a little pricey (about $125) but readily available. My local stores keep it in a locked cabinet and/or behind the counter.

    I have friends in PA that were looking, I tried locating the lottery. Do you know if it is open/closed for this year? Any info is great! (i’m trying to score one for a Christmas gift)

    I think of Pappy as more of a shadow myth. There will never be a time in which the average person will be able to purchase a bottle by walking into a liquor store. It would be the same as chasing your own shadow and of course…you will never catch that either.

    Sorry. Not believing this completely. Yes, it’s tough to spot in the wild but I have bought Pappy and BTAC bottles at retail thru my local store in way-out-nowhere Wyoming for several years in a row, and have seen offers for bottles – significantly marked up – at other licensed retailers. The advice from Bourbonr did improve my odds, too. Good luck.

    I’ve heard WY has smaller waiting list, any hot spots that you know of? I am desperately trying to find one as a Christmas gift!

    John,
    I agree. BT wins here. They force the retailer to buy 40 cases of Fireball for a bottle of Pappy. They unload bad whiskey mixed with antifreeze. Look it up. I feel bad for the retailers as they need to offset their costs by jacking the price up.

    They don’t mix antifreeze. They use propylene glycol which is used in a number of food products.

    Unbelievable misinformation.

    Well, not exactly. Pappy used to sit on shelves 10 years ago, readily available because most of the public wouldn’t dare pay that much for BOURBON and many bourbon enthusiasts prefer rye recipes as well. This past decade and the fetishization of bourbon has brought us to people paying $1000+ for a single bottle, whereas we used to get Old Weller Antique off the shelf for less than $20. Things will return to normal, however long it takes. Either supply will catch up to demand or demand will eventually drop

    I found a bottle in Wisconsin last year 2 months after release. Liquor store apparently just puts bottles out randomly so the average Joe can get a bottle. Still sitting on a shelf for just the right occasion.

    I walked into a newly opened Binny’s liquor store next door to my work year before last and walked out with Pappy 15 year :)… miracles do happen.

    I would love to buy some bottles from you… I can give you my information and we can set something up. I have been hunting for these products for a long time and can’t trust the seller or find a decent price. Let me know your thoughts. Matt

    Carl,

    Kentucky allows sales of liquor out of a private collection to a licensed retailer. I know of several bars in Louisville that are currently procuring rare and vintage bottles and could put you in contact if you’re interested

    I am a lawyer and bourbon collector. I have 2 bottles of Pappy 20 yr. I don’t believe it is illegal to sell alcohol (wine suctions go on all the time) privately. The only caveat may be sales tax issues when selling. Putting that aside, if I sold one of my bottles to a friend or stranger, who or what authority has standing to complain or bring a criminal action against me? I’m always ready to be educated, so if someone is smarter than I am about this issue, I’m all ears. The danger is counterfeiting (for buyers). Same issues in the wine collecting world.

    My thought exactly!. This stuff about going after the small guy and not being able to do anything about the retailers is a bunch of BS. I would rather pay a guy I know $400 for an Old Rip Van Winkle that some Liquor barn that is selling it for $900. Until they go after the retailers I give them no appreciation for going after the little guys. Tell retailers that if they are caught selling pappy and more than x % over MSRP, then they are banned from ever getting pappy shipped to them again. This duality convices me that they just don’t want to upset THEIR (BT) money flow and that they don’t really care about our money flow.

    Hi Carl,

    I live in Missouri which is very open to liquor laws, selling and shipping. I would love the opportunity to purchase some bottles from you and would pay via PayPal upfront so there is no risk on your end.

    Respectively,

    John

    I have a few bottles of Pappy and Rip in my wife’s bourbon collection. It tokk several years and paying 4 to 5 times the suggested retail to get them. If Buffalo Trace was really serious about retailers price gouging then they would punish them by not giving them any of the limited stuff in the future. The whole reason I stopped buying Sazerac “Buffalo Trace” products, as they aren’t going to get one cent of my hard earned mo ey!! I live in West KY, and about 90% of the liquor stores within a one hour drive of my home is owned by Indians. They don’t care about customer loyalty, satisfaction, etc.. Their only care is to make the absolute most amount of money they can.

    Some states allow for resell without marking it up. Some states don’t allow any resell unless you have a license. Safest option depending on state is to sell to someone you already know. Depending where you live I would be interested in some of what you have. Thanks

    I would love to purchase the Pappy!!!! I am looking for a special gift for my father for his 80th birthday.
    Please email me if possible with your price.
    Thanks so much

    Ive never had Pappy before and want to try! Id love to see if we can work out a legal deal so I can purchase some from you.

    You can still sell spirits legally on the secondary market through a licensed auction house. I have bought a number of rare and hard to find spirits this way and it is the best way to buy and sell liquor legally while also guaranteeing quality. I would be happy to put you in touch with them Carl or give you the name of a number of well known auction houses.

    Sazerac, the owner of Buffalo Trace can control retailer gouging by simply taking away their (the guilty retailers) allocation. I am a retailer and I get a couple of bottles each year, usually only the 10 & 12 year. I sell them at a fair and reasonable mark-up. Yet retailers who sell the whiskey for $100’s more then I do seem to get a large supply of all ages. So, I think its bull they say they can’t control the retail price.

    In my state, South Carolina, the suppliers have little say on who gets what, as every alcohol has to go to a distributor first. So, as Sazerac can influence the distributor and put pressure on them not to reward retailers that price gouge, there is not much they can do ultimately. I run a small chain of liquor stores in SC is the only reason I know how this works. Also, keep in mind that we do often have to buy a lot of crap that we might not be able to sell, which we have to reflect in the Pappy pricing. Trust me, it is a little more complicated that what many people think.

    These guys are really starting to piss me off. You want to be concerned about counterfeits, fine, but how is a retailer selling at or above secondary prices any different than someone selling in the secondary . I really think these guys are hypocrites. They control who wholesales their product and then claim no responsibility after that which is just bs. If they paid better attention to who wholesales their product, less and less would fall into the hands of retailers who hike prices up or do not offer it to the public at all. Sorry, but I am sick of Julian Van Winkle absolving himself from any responsibility when they could do a lot more. It is disingenuous at best and insulting to the bourbon loving public. They relish the fact that their now very average bourbon has cult like status. I have been drinking it for 25 years and the product is not even close to what it used to be. Maybe they should worry about that a little more!

    I agree. Ive never had Pappy but want to try just to know what Im missing. Ive seen it sold be the glass for $150! No way Im paying for that. Whats your favorite bourbon? Ive heard that Weller is very similar to Pappy. I have a couple bottles of Weller but its getting harder to find.

    10 and 12 year Pappy is very ordinary. Same as Weller 12, but it is just the first picked barrels so tends to be slightly better. I am a big Michters fan as I think they do an excellent job. Their 10 year product is much better than Pappy 10 and 12 and this years 10 year rye is great. Hell, I prefer their toasted barrels over the 10 and 12 year Pappy. I still have a few bottles of Jefferson Presidential 21 which I would take over Pappy any day of the week, but that is much harder to find now. My friends and I use to drink Pappy 15 and 20 by the case when no one was buying it. We also loved Black Maple Hill back in the day and I wish I had more bottles left of that. I am drinking a Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Barrel Proof right now that is surprisingly great at 137 proof. The lower end EH Taylors are good every day drinkers also as is the US1 Michters line and Elijah Craig. Everyones tastes are different so you just need to try different bottles and see what you like. I used to go to bars with great selections just to try something before I bought or opened it. Always a good idea as nothing sucks more than paying secondary for something you do not like. Little long winded, but I would never pay secondary for Pappy, but I do for bottles I know I like and can not get and that is what the secondary is all about. It got started so people like me could get the older bottles that are no longer available and then morphed into pure flipping. While I am not a fan of flipping, we live in a somewhat free country and we should be able to spend our money how we see fit! The van Winkles wax on but they do not really care about the consumer.

    Most of what this distillery produces is overrated, and average at best. Pappy is no different. Glad someone else finally said it’s just average.

    Jason, please feel free to pass on that very average VanWinkle to me. I’d hate to see you suffer a less than outstanding bourbon. Glad to take the hit for the team. Carry on!

    Thanks for the offer Teresa. I usually get a bottle or two from my local shop at retail every year and I open them up and share it with local customers and my employees (and for the record most of them prefer the other good stuff I share with them!)

    “starting to piss you off”? LOL!! This whole Pappy thing is beyond ridiculous. Suggested retail for 20yo is a mere $199 LOL. Retailers mark this up 7.5x and charge $1,500. And considering what their discount percentage is, they’re more like marking it up 10x their cost. I too drank Pappy many years ago, back when I could buy a bottle for $60. Not to mention buying MANY bottles of George T Stagg, Sazerac 18, and the like for $40. And those too are now retailing for $600 – $800 if you’re lucky to even find one at that price. I met Julian at a Whisky Fest in NYC about 16 or 17 years ago. Back when you can still buy a bottle for $60. And even back then he had a major arrogance about him that no other whisky producer at the event had. So in summary, thanks but no thanks. I’ll stick with Balvenie as my whisky of choice. Cheers !!

    You are absolutely right about that. What BT is saying verses their actions is a complete disgrace to the Bourbon community! I’m from California and here is a example of what some restaurants and store’s have to deal with
    1 btl of 10yr = 3cases of BT
    12yr = 5 cases
    13yr = can’t get
    15yr = 6cases
    20yr & 23yr = 18 mixed cases of BT products & they make you use BT as your well Bourbon.
    All of that = $ in BT pockets

    Ive never had Pappy before and want to try! Id love to see if we can work out a legal deal so I can purchase some from you.

    As for them asking for us (I’m a retailer in IL) to not mark up beyond MSRP. What Julian fails to mention is in IL “Pappy Points” are held over our heads all year long this is both for on & off premise accounts. The more money we spend with Sazerac (parent company) the more “Pappy Points” you get. In years past they’ve also forced multiple sizes for all brands i.e. for Fireball to max your “Pappy Points” you’d need to purchase 50ml’s, 100ml’s, 200ml’s, 375ml’s 750ml’s, 1L’s, & 1.75L’s. Granted Fireball is an easy sell but Sazerac’s portfolio is vast there are many dogs that don’t move. So, while Julian Van Winkle may not be charging retailers crazy high prices his company benefits greatly via forced sales of products that frankly just collect dust on the shelf. My store is large and my Pappy allocation is normally pretty solid…I’ve never felt any guilt about charging much more than MSRP, in my mind it’s justified by the tens of thousands of dollars I spend supporting their other products.

    Amen brother we own a store in western ky and we have people follow the trucks this time of year. LOL
    we have to buy a bunch of other crap liquor to get pappy. I love weller 12 myself better. but its hard to get also. buffalo hold there ;iquor and allots it because they know they can get rid of it. its the store owner who has to invest in other liquor to get what sells. and the customer doesn’t think about how much money you have invested. so I say you are correct.

    Exactly and this is part of the problem that the distillery completely washes their hands from even though it is the wholesalers that they hire that are a serious part of the problem. This goes on nationwide. If Mr. Van Winkle is serious about being part of the solution they need to start cracking down on their wholesalers! Nothing worse than someone complaining about a problem that they can actually help solve.

    Ummm….if none of you did this, if all of you were smart enough to not play the game, you wouldn’t need to charge out the ass for pappy. The problem is that you all can’t tell them to fuck off because you’d rather fuck over each other and the customer. I live in California and 90% of store owners jack shit up out here. Only 1 store I know charges 50 above msrp. They can do it, everyone can do it

    Justin, sorry but you are wrong. Run a business with your own money and your families livelihood on the line for a while. After that you can preach all you want about what you deem fair and justified but until then I’ll take care of my house thank you.

    Joe, being a general contractor in business for 20+yrs, I completely understand what your saying. I get that bs all the time for pricing. I don’t make the prices of materials nor the fuel, insurance, licensing, unemployment, Obamacare etc. I feel the pain. I live in the DMV and prices here for everything is crazy. I walked into a hole in the wall of the beaten path people don’t think to stop at this Feb or March and they had two 12yrs for $599. Was in the middle of a job and should have purchased, but didn’t. Anyways, stopped there two days ago to see if they had it yet again, for they told me they get a good supply every year. Going to be the same pricing $599 for 10-12yr and $2500 they get for the 23-25yr. I get people not fans of flipping, but supply and demand drive these prices and flipping. I flip houses and well IMO it’s like people saying you shouldn’t flip for profit. Think people buy toys every Xmas and do the same. It is what it is. I support you owners for selling it higher rates. Your being forced to in a sense and I get it. Godspeed bro and many prosperous years to come. For I am now on the list, you only live once and wtf is $600 bucks in now a days modern times?? Chump change. Lol

    Depending onyour state you may be able to sell them to a retailer from your private collection. For example, Justin’s in Lexington KY buys personal collections legally.

    Please contact me by email. I am a third cousin of the Willett’s makers and the grandson of William I. Willett of Fancy Farm, KY. I am interested in what you would be interested in trading to me in return for a donation to you of Legal Tender of these United States.

    Sincerely,

    Robert P. Federle
    robfeds@me.com
    Livermore, CA

    here’s one thing I can’t quite figure… others please school me on this….
    Back in 2004, PVW was gettin’ pretty scarce and the “secondary” market was starting to emerge. The handwriting was clearly on the wall. So why wouldn’t the good folks @ Buffalo Trace have taken note of what was going on *then* and significantly have cranked up PVW production, which now – in 2019 – would have resulted in an ample stock of PVW 15 yr.?

    With that comment you assume back in 2004 BT had a crystal ball telling them the market in ’19 would be equal to and/or greater than ’04. Throwing $$ at trends is a very risky business plan especially when your ROI in 12+ years away.

    Could have just too shortsighted. Yet Glenfiddich and Glenfarclas did just that with scotch. When everyone was drinking clear spirits they INCREASED production and they are now laughing with stocks, age statements and lower prices compared to competitors. In comparison Ardbeg, Macallan and Beam-Suntory are raising prices and dropping age statements like f bombs

    You can take it to any bar or store and sell it to them legally under the Vintage Spirits Law in Kentucky. Justins House of Bourbon in Lexington will buy it. I am sure Prospect Liquors would make you an offer. Ask for Bill.

    I beg Buffalo Trace to comment on their own employees stealing the pappy foil tops and selling fakes on craigslist. What other steps is Buffalo Trace taking with respect to anti-counterfeit packaging. Anything? Bueller?

    With all due respect sir, I’m guessing you don’t need the money if you’ve had the bottles this long. Why not have some friends and fellow bourbon drinkers over and open a few of the bottles? Creating that type of experience for others my well out weigh the profit on a sale.

    I think you have to sell to someone with a liquor license or ship to an auction house overseas. However, I will buy from you if your selling! Haha

    There are far more available selections at a much more reasonable price point for the ‘average’ consumer then Van Winkle. It is a ‘treat’ to find a bottle on hand somewhere but that ‘treat’ quickly becomes a ‘trick’ when you see the per pour price or the resale price of a bottle and CHOKE…unless you have large amounts of disposable funds its just not worth it. It actually takes the fun out of it and makes you pursue other offerings. I would rather find a reasonably priced bottle and enjoy it then ‘fret’ over the hunt and maybe find an elusive bottle at a ridiculous price. There will always be a demand and the few that are able to acquire a bottle should enjoy theirs… I’m just not going to spend my precious time and funds chasing a propped up overpriced product when there are sooo many other wonderful choices available.

    Somewhat difficult but in many cases I have seen for sale listings as “collectible bottles only” indicating that they are not selling the item for the alcohol content but rather the collectible packaging. Older sealed-collectible decanters never get any attention as that is typically the purpose for purchasing so many have identified their bottles in the same manner.

    It’s the secondary and shortage of production that’s given the average at best bourbon its legendary status in the bourbon world. How many $100 or less bourbons smoke them in blind taste tests?! You can blend W12 and Antique to give you the tasting notes of the now $119.99 15yr for half the cost.
    If fighting the counterfeit bottles is the real goal, all they need to do is INVEST in better bottling techniques that the secondary average Joe can’t get or afford to duplicate for such little profit in that market.
    They’d rather “invest” in chasing down the bourbon lovers who don’t have access to bottles through stores or bars in order to “crack-down” on the market.
    Fix the internal problem of what walks out the backdoor and who you distribute through and maybe you won’t see the issues you have with fakes and over-priced bottles everywhere! I walk into more stores that have “museum” bottles than I’ve ever seen in the past 10 years!

    Wish I had an answer for this, would be excited to talk with you about what you have. I’ve been looking for years but unfortunately not only can’t afford the secondary market, but now the retailers have put it out of range as well. Guess I just need to keep entering the retailer lotteries that are still pricing at MSRP and hope to one day get my name drawn to purchase a bottle.

    How about this, Go fuck yourself Pappy. I can get 10 bourbons that are available and $50 and very close to your product. Eat Shit.

    I’ve tried their expressions and frankly, it’s all over-hyped. Stuff isn’t that great after all. I was pissed about what I paid to try it. Thankfully they were 1oz-ers at bars and not full bottles! The whole hype around PVW is a joke and I just don’t involve myself with it anymore.

    Look, most people understand these bourbons go to very select customers and retailers. The average Joe doesn’t stand a chance. It boresome and bothersome to read the constant marketing pitches about Van Winkle as if anyone can get one of these. It’s essentially fraud in the inducement. And, it’s backfiring on them. I for one have totally turned off. Many others will follow. So just stop the crap and be honest about it.

    A whiskey this rare is irrelevant to the regular bourbon drinker at large. If bourbon drinkers cannot drink it or even try it, Pappy Van Winkle loses its place to influence palates and thus markets. It cannot be readily referenced as a standard by which other bourbons are measured. Unobtainium is for bragging rights.

    Depends on the state- I have a liquor license so can buy from you in certain specific circumstances. pyrotekniks at gmail dot com

    Sazerac not putting a security seal on these bottles is insane and non of their excuses make any sense. This is singlehandedly the only way to prevent fakes.

    My on problem with the distillers is the little effort and what appears to be a disregard for the true brand loyal customer. That loyal customer will stay, as long as you let them know they matter. There is at least two ways or Ideas I could name that would be so easy to implement, sales would increase, customer loyalty would be even stickier and you would cut bottle flippers by 70 percent and counterfeit bottles would be eliminated by 95-98 percent. I would be almost impossible to counterfeit.

    So the Company’s need to take care of loyalty which will translate to a better bottom line

    While all this may be well and good I have been trying to get a bottle of 15 year locally here for decades and never have been able to get one. I’ll probably go to the great beyond without ever tasting the stuff. A sad thing for me.

    I have a 2016 Pappy 23 year old bottle & waited till some time in 2018 to try it. I did get lucky i thought at the time & won the right too buy it at regular cost. I really do like wheat bourbon, & even not counting the $300. I paid just base ing it on taste, I have 10 maybe 15 other bourbons out of my 280 or 290 bottles in my cabinet that i like better.

    My only shot is the annual Ohio lottery for Pappy and Old Rip. Last year I think we had 30,000 plus folks who entered. When you are only giving out maybe 300 bottles , do the math….virtually no realistic chance. Its genius when you look at what Van Winkle family has done, they have created unobtanium.

    Overhyped? Yeah, I paid up for a shot of 15 in a Bardstown bar. It was good, sure, but worth all the accolades and fawning praise from bourbon reviewers? Perhaps not. My advice is find other stuff that you can actually get. There are numerous little guys making the juice out there who have lower production than Van Winkle, making their bottles actually rarer. The difference is that no one is making a run on them. Seek em out , enjoy em and don’t tell anybody. Half the reason Pappy and Rip are so big is due to the endless stream of articles written praising them. Thats the trouble, bloggers and reviewers who won’t stop blabbing their mouths about how great BTAC and ORVW and PVW are the ultimate, the best etc. They darn near ruined Mckenna 10 as well. Thanks Whiskey writers, we really appreciate not being able to get these whiskies, we wholeheartedly thank you.

    Carl,
    God-willing, you will be with us for awhile. A buddies father-in- law passed a couple months ago. Left a ton of older Pappy. It was sold for $$$. My suggestion, have a party that you will remember forever(I will come from Minnesota). Either way, open every bottle with a friend and enjoy them!

    More than a few years ago, I was fortunate to be able to buy many bottles of Pappy and still have a few but today there are many other bottles of good bourbon that are a tenth the price. I wouldn’t pass on a bottle at retail but I’m no longer interested in chasing something that is overpriced and not any better than many other good brands out there. When my local store marked a 20 year Pappy for $1200.00 I have never graced that store with my presence.

    I once challenged a local bartender about why his pappy shots were so expensive and he said “It’s simple. You need to make your money on the first drink…because after they try it, nobody ever buys a second.” That stuck with me and I have to agree that the myth is better than the reality. The old sourced SW was an experience to drink. The modern version is good, but not “buy it again” good. If the Van Winkles really wanted more people to have the chance to buy it, they would sell it in 375ml instead of 750s. And if they wanted to fight fakes, they would put at least some effort into one of the dozens of bottle labelling strategies or rfid approaches that are proven to deter counterfeits. But they don’t. Instead they put their focus on this insanely self-centered and egotistical fight to shut down markets as if they only exist to serve pappy. In reality, the real enthusiasts have already tried van winkle, realized it’s average, and moved on to truly rare whiskies from the past or readily available private label offerings from the present. In the end, this is just another effort to keep the myth of van winkle alive and in the press. And it’s pretty horrible that the chip they played to do that invilved removing the primary source of bottle acquisitions for bourbon’s most passionate enthusiasts.

    I am a 53 yr bourbon drinker. I had a few bottles of Pappy and Rip before it became crazy popular. Now for most of us diejard enthusiasts it has become almost impossible to obtain at a realistic price. Second markets, backdoor retailer’s and flippers have overtaken the market for all quality bourbons. To bad it has come down to this. As with most things unscrupulous people trying to turn a quick profit are destroying the honest marketplace.

    I was in New Orleans last week. $1000 for a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle. The hotel we stayed at had Pappy, just add a 0 to the year and that is what a 2oz pour cost. To rich for me.

    I would love to come meet with you and purchase what you are wanting to sell. I was paralyzed in 2005 and have a hard time getting to the raffles/sales when they are released each fall. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. Thank you. TJ

    This entire comment thread illustrated the futility of the whole thing. All these folks clamoring to buy the old guys whiskey illegally. Price no object. You can smell the desperation in these comments. Oh, pick me, pick me, pick me…pathetic really. The seller here wishes to do it LEGALLY! Did no one read that? His options are sell it to a licensed retailer in Kentucky, period. That’s it. Anything else including shipping to another state to a private buyer is illegal, PERIOD. Oh, I’m above the law, it’s my husbands anniversary, I’m a collector, I have impeccable taste, im only selling the bottle itself as a collectors item, I’m an attorney, I don’t feel it’s a fair law, blah blah blah, I’ve seen it all. Yet look at the people fight for it. Van Winkle has created this giant illusion that they have the best, the greatest and you are missing out if you don’t get a bottle. No thanks…

    So I see a lot of folks on here bitchin but here the question? if you had a bottle of any year of pappy and u paid retail for it. the guy behind u says hey that was the last bottle i’ll give you $1,500 for that bottle.u at the very most paid 200.00 retail what percent would sell it to the guy? or a retailer has a bottle and one guy says i’ll give you 200.00 for it the other guy says I will give you 1000.00 who wins? that’s how the market is money,money,money! it works with anything cars.trucks boats etc. your gonna sell to the guy where you can make the most money. Simple! same thing retailers and flippers are doing. you never gonna stop alcohol,drugs,tobacco.

    I got a 15 yesterday at retail cost. Would I flip it for profit? Hell No! But what’s wrong with collectors trading amongst themselves? I’ve never sought it out not once. Not even really interested in it. Why then would it be bad to trade it for rare bottles I may want from a collector?

    Waited in that line all night one time. Won’t do it again. After reading all these post, most are correct. Pappy is not worth the wait. Blanton’s, Clyde May’s 92, EH Taylor small batch, Yellowstone, are all good drinkers, besides that, one years batch from another year of the same age might not taste the same. You never know with any Bourbon what the taste is. Bought a bottle of the top 25 bourbon’s, I won’t call them out, but a wouldn’t waste a coke to mix it with. Bad bourbon’s get coked in our little group.

    All this talk about retailers….. Why not complain about the bar that is selling 2 oz pours of 20 year old for $75 and up($1200 per bottle when done). Most states they pay the same wholesale price as the retailer.

    The same math applies for all products at a bar. Coke, Tito’s, Jack Daniels, Merlot etc…
    Your paying for the experience of being out. If you don’t like it stay home.

    Auctions and raffles seem to work so well on the local level, why not take it national? Winners get to pick up the bottle at their local store and pay the store the MSRP. Everybody wins that way and so many that would otherwise get a chance to see a bottle get a fair and fighting chance to own one… AND price gouging is solved!

    I went to a bourbon raffle. There were a few bourbons that I was interested in. The liqour store had 1 fifteen year old Pappy. The person who was drawn to purchase the Pappy hesitated when the store said the price would be 850 dollars, but he did purchase it. I like Pappy, but I would not pay that much for a bottle. I prefer 18 year Eligiah Craig at almost 1/8 that price.

    I’d be willing to sell my 2014 23yr old thats been hidden in my safe all these years for the right price but then again whats the right price? I paid $1350 retail.

    I have 2 bottles of Pappy 20 yr old given to me as gifts 10 years or so ago (had 3, but one was consumed). I agree that there is bourbon I like better that Pappy20 (Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, being one that comes to mind). I was tempted a couple of years ago to sell these 2 bottles on Craig’s List, or whatever (college tuition for my daughter ain’t cheap), but my wife (who is a wine collector) said — “Hell no! If you like it and enjoy it, drink it! (One of the reasons I love my wife). That said, I also agree that the market rules, and if I chose to sell the bottles, I’d sell them for the most money I could get. I don’t think that is wrong.

    A couple of comments: our province (yes, Canada) has an annual lottery – I talked to a guy at the provincially-controlled liquor control board last year and he told me that the odds were approximately 1 in 1,700 or something. However, any resident can enter for nothing.

    My second comment: I’ve never had Pappy, and the prices being thrown around are too high for my snack bracket, however it does strike me that a number of the afficianados on here, who clearly know a lot more about bourbon than I do, malign BT for making this entirely commercial exercise of choked supply for a product that is not worth the cost, while at the same time criticizing the little guy who would participate and make a couple of bucks off of the “suckers” (my assumption based on the comments) who will vastly overpay for the product just to say they have had it. I understand that this may be generally a sad tendency of the capitalist system, but it is simply market forces at work. Not sure why staunch disapproval. If I grabbed a bottle, I would sell it to one such person and use the proceeds to taste a number of the appreciated recommendations in this thread.

    Not debating with anyone – just adding to the discussion. Thanks to all for the enjoyable exchange here.

    My take is the VWs really want to do something but BT could care less as it just makes all their rare products a little questionable. I know people who have reached out directly to BT about folks who are buying bottles off ebay and refilling and selling and they did nothing. They had specific evidence but it went no where. As for targeting the secondary market instead of retailers pretty lame. Let the market sort it out.

    You can have all the righteous indignation in the world, but when you sell the rights to the big boys you’re at their mercy.

    People freaking out over Pappy crack me up. Anything Stitzel-Weller and special with Pappy Van Winkle died with him.

    The pappy bourbon is old Boone bourbon. Which isn’t even wheated. His grandson found a pic of pappy slapped it on a bottle and started grasping at whatever old barrel he could get his hands on. Yet couldn’t sell this crap 15 years ago to anybody but the Japanese. It’s amazing how people think this bourbon is anything other than decent old bourbon. It’s definitely not from buffalo Trace (yet). Possibly some of the younger options. Whole line is a delicious joke. Whatever is in those bottles is tasty and unique but we don’t see that kind of age often so of course it tastes unique.

    Buffalo trace started production in 2002. So 10, 12 and 15 would be all BT. 2023 would be first year for 100%BT juice on the 20 year and who knows on the 23 because in 2004 it was claimed there wasn’t anymore Stitzle-Weller produced juice left and BTs juice won’t be old enough until 2026. Would love to know of an alternative bourbon that has the scotch-like dried apricot and peach note of the 10 though. That’s the only van winkle I chase because of that nose and palate note.

    Meh. PVW is good stuff no doubt, I have a bottle of the 12yr and have had the 20 at a friends. but anyone paying >$300 for even the PVW23 is only buying it for bragging rights or on pure speculation to mark it up 2x or 3X in resell, thus the silly $1000 stupid-pricing going on out there. Its the stupid secondary market driven not by bourbon enthusiasts but by guys trying to make a buck by scalping suckers in resell at ridiculous prices that is making such great bourbons so rare for the true bourbon drinkers to find, buy and enjoy. I am GLAD BT and others are cracking down on the secondary and underground markets and hope some sanity will soon return to where I can actually once again find Antique 107 on the shelf at $45 instead of on some rando’s black market website for $200. #DrinkItDangItNotResell

    I know PVW is hard to find in stores, I know there are lotteries. I have tried multiple years to find one as a Birthday and/or Christmas gift with no luck! Travel is no issue – does anyone have any “hot spots” they know of that you can sometimes get lucky in stores? I know i’m talking about less then 5% chance of that but hey, never know! I’ve heard middle of no where WY sometimes… but open to any options!

    Try Herman’s in Ottawa, IL. 815-434-0075. They are selling their bottles in “packages”. They currently have 10, 12, and 15 year. Packages range from $300-$900. Packages were put out today.

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