We managed to secure the whole line-up of the highly anticipated and highly sought-after Pappy Van Winkles! Bourbon-heads know how in-demand and impossible it is to get a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, let alone the entire line-up. Haven't heard of Pappy Van Winkle? Here's a quick background to the brand.
The beginnings of Pappy Van Winkle:
This entire endeavor started with one man and his philosophy of product over profit, and this man was Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle. As he puts it, he “simply tried to be honest and make a good product.” Pappy began working at W.L. Weller & Sons first as a traveling whiskey salesman and eventually as the President of Stitzel-Weller Distillery. He helped shape the industry during and after Prohibition.
Pappy's son, Julian Jr., operated the distillery from 1964 until the family sold it in 1972. After, not one to be defeated, he got himself an office and a secretary and formed a company called J.P. Van Winkle and Son. He got into marketing bourbon through many types of commemorative decanters, some of the more popular being for universities. But he never stopped bottling on the side. He created the Old Rip Van Winkle label as a side venture in case his son, Julian III, wanted to come into the business.
Julian III took over the business in 1981 after his father passed away. He was 32 years old. The premium bourbon business was in a lull, but 90 years ago, Pappy started from the ground up, too. So, with this same, innate passion, Julian purchased the Old Hoffman Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, for barrel storage and bottling purposes. He couldn't afford much advertising, but the quality of Old Rip Van Winkle sold itself. Buffalo Trace Distillery approaches Julian III for the distillation to be consolidated into Buffalo Trace. Julian III was honored, but not immediately interested. He had ample bourbon aging, but the concern was for future reserves, since by this time, bourbon was increasing in popularity. Buffalo Trace had bought the W.L. Weller label in 1999 and had been making the bourbon with nearly the same recipe as Pappy's. The transition was easy.
As of May 2002, Buffalo Trace has produced the Van Winkle bourbons, using Pappy's exact recipe. This change allows Old Rip Van Winkle to maintain their strict quality standards while producing more barrels for future enjoyment.
There is only one release of Pappy Van Winkle whiskeys per year, and this happens on the 1st of October every year. We will be tasting the 2021 release in this tasting. Needless to say, demand is extremely high and the bottles are only available through ballots. Sadly, the astronomical after-market prices are forcing people to flip their bottles and less and less are available for consumption. But we have kindly been allocated the whole range, so here's your chance!
In this tasting:
Buffalo Trace Highball Upon Arrival
1) Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo Straight Bourbon, 53..5% (Retail $600-1200)
2) Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve 12yo "Lot B" Straight Bourbon, 45.2% (Retail $1500-2000)
3) Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15yo Straight Bourbon, 53.5% (Retail $1400-3000)
4) Pappy Van Winkle 20yo, 45.2% (Retail $1950-4000)
5) Pappy Van Winkle 23yo, 47.8% (Retail $3200-5000)
When: Wednesday, 31st of August 2022
Time: 6pm - 7.30pm
Where: The Elysian Whisky Bar
Limited seats available, so don't miss out this rare opportunity and grab a ticket now!