Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Available Soon

Bourbonr Notes

*I’m not a retailer. There’s no list on this site to buy Pappy. I think some people may have Bourbonr confused. This is just a blog that talks about bourbon.

  • Less 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle than usual, and far less 20-year-old and 23-year-old. About half as much as last year. Seems to be the theme for Buffalo Trace this year. Fewer bottles will mean insurmountable odds for a lot of Bourbonr’s. However, I’m not one to back down from a challenge
  • “We have not raised prices and do not intend to do so drastically in the future.” – Julian Van Winkle “Drastically” is an interesting word here since BT/VW has always commented that they won’t be increasing prices. The biggest jump seems to be the rye at an additional $30 per bottle. Nothing too drastic in my opinion. Either way retailers have the right to charge what they want. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean gouging. I still consider anything 1.5X or less the listed retail to be “retail” pricing.
  • Available starting in November. That’s about a week later than last year. It will be interesting to see if any distributors jump the gun and release in October.
  • The Bourbonr Pappy release map is coming soon! Probably the beginning of next week.

2015 Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon - Retail price

            FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Oct. 14, 2015) – The long anticipated annual release of the Van Winkle bourbons is nearly here, but unfortunately some of the angels were extra greedy over the past two decades, leaving us less bourbon than in previous years.

Barrels yield less 15, 20 and 23 Year Old Bourbon than usual 

“When bourbon ages over 15 years, much is lost to the angel’s share.  Many of the 53 gallon oak barrels often yield less than 20 gallons,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director. “Unfortunately this year we experienced poor yields on the older Van Winkle whiskeys.  Furthermore, we have strict quality standards here at Buffalo Trace and several of the older Van Winkle barrels did not meet those standards. This makes a drastic difference in volume, considering we have very few barrels as it is. The result is less 15 year-old Pappy Van Winkle than usual, and far less 20 year-old and 23 year-old. Frankly, about half as much as last year.”

            Known for their smoother and sweeter flavor, Van Winkle bourbons are aged years longer than most others and garner an impeccable reputation among connoisseurs.  Although the bourbons have become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, very little is sold overseas, so that most of these coveted bottles are available in the United States.

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

  • $49.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $59.99 – Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
  • $99.99 – Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey 13 Year Old
  • $79.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $149.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $249.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

“Although a lot of retailers charge more than our suggested pricing, we are not asking them to do so,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We have not raised prices and do not intend to do so drastically in the future. We are committed to our quality and our pricing.”

The Van Winkle line of whiskeys has won a multitude of awards through the years, including the 15-year-old being named “Excellent/highly recommended” in the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; the 20 year-old awarded “Extraordinary/ultimate recommendation” in the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; a double gold for the 20 year-old in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; and the Chairman’s Trophy and “Extraordinary/Ultimate Recommendation” for the 20 year-old in the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

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.



    Last year it was the Pappy “theft,” this year it’s the angel’s share. Always finding creative ways of marketing rare bourbon shortage hysteria.

    And I mean this sincerely, what happens to the stuff that is older than the weller 12 that doesnt meet their standards? Sold off, bottled under another name?

    I was wondering the same thing.
    Will we see a Weller 15 in the near future or maybe they left it in the barrel to see how it continues to age? Or does it get sold as a private bottling to someone else? Also, any ideas on the age of OWA 107?

    My presumption is that all the 12 that doesn’t become Pappy (“Lot B”) is sold as Weller 12. All of it. That which they choose for the Pappy line is kept and aged, becoming the 15, 20 & 23 and the rest all makes its way to the market.

    I don’t see an abundance of Weller 12 in the marketplace, and in fact, see shortages just about everywhere. So I think it’s doubtful they’re holding any back for further aging.

    If I am reading the release correctly sounds like some of the older stuff wasnt selected because of quality. If that means at least 12 years old then I wonder what they will do with it…

    I took the tour at Buffalo Trace last month and the tour guide told us that no barrels are marked Pappy they are all marked Weller and members of the Van Winkle family come in and taste all of the barrels the ones that pass are sent out for Pappy and the rest are put out as Weller

    The PR/Marketing side of the business wants everyone to think that the barrels are labeled “Pappy 23”, “Pappy 15”, “Weller 12”, etc. from day one but I don’t think that’s true. I’ve always heard the story that the tour guide told you. It makes more sense.

    I want to try the 15 Year Family Reserve so bad but I just looked online and the vendors that already have Pappy listed have inflated the prices into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars which I will never be able to afford. Very disappointed I want have a chance and very disgusted with the vendors and their greed !!

    Your best luck will probably be at a bar then. After the release hits your state, look around to see if any high end restaurants or whiskey bars have some for sale.

    Expect to pay between $20-$50 for around a 1.5 oz pour

    Another Bernie supporter speaks? Greed? Those mean vendors! I’m sorry but it’s called capitalism. Free markets. Supply and and demand. But don’t you worry, the pretty people will eventually move on to the next big thing and I predict a glut of bourbon 5 to 10 years down the road. Like the cigar industry after the boom where quality had suffered and it took time for prices to fall back in line, but inevitably things came full circle and so it will with quality whiskey.

    Have a contact at Buffalo Trace. He’s going to inquire where the “unacceptable”(!) stuff might
    be headed. He reasons: not yet another label – more than enough now as it is. His best guess:
    blending down to the next, or lower, level. Re-fermenting would be a long term crap shoot.
    Added aging would bring little benefit and could spoil what they have. He thinks they will
    blend and move on.
    I’m to hear back by Monday aft. Will pass along whatever he shares.

    Great reporting, Blake!


    That would be my gues too. It gets blended in something else. I know they do a lot of experimental blending so they can easily test if it will hurt or help a batch

    Thanks for the information, how do it get on a waiting list. Does this website have a waiting list? If it does I probably signed up already, been a while now.. can anyone advise??? Thanks…good luck to all

    I’m pretty much condoned to the fact that I’ll never get a bottle without paying over a thousand dollars for it. We get notified of the sale starting….AFTER….most people have left for work and on the same day the sale starts. Needless to say it’s gone quickly and then that same night it’s for sale on Craigslist for staggering prices from people who had no intention of enjoying it but instead making a huge profit. A better system needs to be put in place but I’m sure that won’t happen.

    Can you reserve me two bottles of the $250., if I send you a check in advance? I don’t know where else to get it. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!!

    I haven’t seen so many females interested in bourbon before. I mean, I know they exist but this blog really brought them out. Blake, you must have some sort of power, these women come calling for you and your bourbon. I wonder where this confusion even came from.

    The Pappy release is my favorite time to do blind taste tests of other high quality bourbons vs Pappy 15 or 20. I’ve never had more than half a crowd pick Pappy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty bourbon. But if you want it because it’s “the best bourbon in the world” then you need to broaden your horizons a bit and you might surprise yourself.

    Ive been a bourbon enthusiast for about 7 to 8 years now and so far the best I’ve found was Jeffersons Presidential but I am told (by articles and publications ) that Pappy is the best I’ll ever drink. I know many drinkers and none of them can tell me they’ve even seen a real bottle up close. I’d love to know how I can achieve just getting one bottle of the 20 year. I’ll even buy the 3 if I have to.

    One solution is if you feel like spending and can get to one of the 4 cities that have whiskey fest you can usually try most of the lineup, if you dont mind waiting on a moderate line.

    If ANYBODY ON THIS BLOG PAYS $1250.00 FOR A BOTTLE OF 15 – I’M COMING TO YOUR HOUSE AN MOVING ALL OF YOUR FURNITURE 1″!! — I’ll never tell you in which direction!! It’ll drive you nuts… Slowly… MOOOO HOOOO HAAAA HAAAA!!!

    This weeks blind taste test: I put a Kentucky Spirit against a VW12yr. Two very different tastes but 3 of the 4 people chose Kentucky Spirt (and that fourth person waffled a lot). Just saying…

    VW & BTAC are Very Good stuff – but NOT the best (which of course is all personal taste) – I did a RYE tasting 2 weeks ago with 3 friends – Willett 2 Year, Rittenhouse, Willett 6 year, Jefferson’s 10, & VW 13. Everybody favored the Rittenhouse. Crazy right!! But it was richer! More complex! Just all around better!! It was just a really superb batch I guess. Look around. There is better stuff for your money. WARNING!!! AVOID THE HORCHSTADTER’S VATTED RYE!! TASTES LIKE ARM PITS IN STATEN ISLAND IN JULY!!! Dumped the bottle after 1 glass & ruined my palate for the rest of the night.

    Thanks LuCifer for the warning. I was on the fence about buying HORCHSTADTER’S. Sounded too good to be true. I guess I’ll head out to local store to buy the last 2 bottles of Old Scout BP 8 y/o rye sitting on the shelf that I know of (This way I’ll feel better when I miss again VW 13 rye this year – especially at its new price).

    I am lucky enough to live in the motherland of bourbon and have tasted or own every whiskey release worth having for the past 6ish years. Honestly I wouldn’t put any Pappy in my top ten over that stretch. On a year to year basis it would probably make the list just because there aren’t that many releases per year anymore. The 13yr Rye is by far my favorite. Granted most of my personal list never leaves KY, but just road trip it up if you guys really want to try everything before paying insane second market prices. Head to Lexington, KY and go visit Bluegrass Tavern. Thats one of the few spots I can name that can pour damn near every item from my fav list in one sitting. I would make a healthy wager that you wouldn’t stumble out the door with Pappy as your personal best.

    Hi Blake…broader question Im hoping you can help us with. Very excited for a Kentucky roadtrip next week. Planning on bourbon trail visits…wondering if you have suggestions on which to visit? Trying to whittle down the list with a few recommendations? Thanks in advance!

    I would say Buffalo Trace, Willett, Four Roses and Beam would be the top stops. All depends on which bourbons you like best

    Couldn’t connect at Buffalo Trace this Aft., so follow-up on “Unacceptable” juice
    will have to wait a day or so. Side bar: Contact also advised that Weller’s
    “Special Reserve” is (as I recall) 7 years. SO IS THE “ANTIQUE 107”. Same stuff,
    same years, he says. They simply cut the 7yr old juice to 90 proof for the
    “Special Reserve” bottling!
    Thirsting for something (still) affordable ? Try that Antique 107. I know: it doesn’t
    have that 12+ year pedigree, but it’s a damn good dram, never-the-less – – –
    and you can FIND it – – and AFFORD it .
    (Also, I must admit, I’m a Wheat’r freak, so discount as your bias directs).

    I too am becoming a Wheat’r freak and it’s all because of the Weller line. The Special Reserve and 107 are some of the best values on my shelf and are under appreciated I feel, which is fine by me because as you said, they are very affordable and we can actually find this stuff.


    Love the Weller 12, the others not so much. I didnt like the larceny at all.

    Any thoughts on the Bernheim 7 year and the Buffalo Trace experimental wheated?..

    I haven’t gotten to try the Weller 12 or the Buffalo Trace experimental though I’m sure I’d love the W12 based on how much I like the Special Reserve and the Antique. Between Bernheim and Larceny I actually enjoyed Larceny more. I didn’t see anything special with Bernheim, it was very light and no punch. I would buy another bottle of Larceny well before buying another of the Bernheim. I guess I prefer wheat as a secondary grain rather than the primary grain.

    Cool, thanks. And if you can find the Weller 12 near retail definitely try it. If I had to pick the best value/everyday drinker for me I would pick that.

    It’s funny, I’m reading all these comments asking about a waiting list. They’re hilarious. I mentioned this on the BTAC Map thread, but if anyone would like to know a solid way of investing in getting a bottle of rare whiskey, you should check out this blog called Whiskey Goals. It’s no instruction book, but it’s about two guys who chronicle their way to a bottle of Eagle Rare 17, but apparently they already got promised at least a bottle of Pappy 23 along the way. Good example to follow and it’s pretty fun to keep up with.
    By the way, Blake, your blog is awesome. Sorry you get so much confusion from some people.

    Rumor has it this landed in New Jersey already??? Official post from BT advised they wanted distribution in November but may some retailers are jumping the gun?

    Someone in Hoboken, NJ just put one up for auction, a 20 year old 2015. Unreal. BTW Blake, your 52% OBSK 4R pick? I dream about finding it again one day.

    I have some Pappy 15 year old and a 20 year old that I purchased 3 years ago. Couldn’t get it again but maybe this year. A few bourbon bars in DT L.A. have Pappy but the price is $$$$$. Let’s hope this is the year for more Pappy!


    I was lucky enough to get my husband 6 bottles of Pappy’s 5 years ago. (3 of them are 23 year olds) Since then have not seen one on the shelves anywhere. Most liquor stores either do a lottery or save them for their best customers. Have been extremely lucky here and made friends with our local liquor store manager and have bought many high end liquors from him so he saves me a bottle of Pappys every year. Not the 23 year but this year I was very grateful to get a 10 year as well as an antique collection Weller. Support your local business and you may get lucky! I am very grateful to be able to get this for my husband every year. Hopefully it will continue.

    Is anyone interested in a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 years old Bourbon Whiskey purchased in 2016? The tag and velvet case are included.

    are these prices legit??

    $49.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
    $59.99 – Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
    $99.99 – Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey 13 Year Old
    $79.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
    $149.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
    $249.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *