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    In 2014, Jeremy Johnson made headlines by using his allocation of precious, precious Pappy Van Winkle bourbon to create Pappy Jell-O shots, which he sold at his downtown Louisville bar, Meta. This Derby week, he’s doing it again. Bourbon purists, clutch your pearls.

    “There’s a part of me that’s been hesitant to do it again because I’m not trying to relive my fifteen minutes of fame, but people literally ask me about it every day,” Johnson said. “Because we got a light allocation, because it’s Derby, because people always ask about it, I thought, ‘the hell with it, let’s do it one more time. We’ll have a little fun.’”

    Meta will have the Pappy shots for two nights this week, April 28 – May 2, Tuesday through Saturday. Johnson isn’t ready to divulge which two nights, but he did say there would be only 50 – 75 of the $10 shots (made with Pappy 12-year) for sale each night. Be ready to drop everything and get to Meta any night this week, because “we’ve got another surprise up our sleeve,” Johnson hinted.

    Pappy is one of the most prized bourbons in the world (people stand in line forever, form crime syndicates, etc. to get their lips on some) and Johnson’s aware his last round of Jell-O shots didn’t endear him to everyone. Johnson laughed, “when we did our Jell-O shots last time, like 20-30 different restaurants and bars called our distributor to complain because they felt they should have gotten the [Pappy] we used for the shots."

    Though Meta’s allocation of Pappy this year for Derby feels, in Johnson’s words “surprisingly quaint,” he doesn’t blame the distributors. “I feel for the people that distribute Pappy Van Winkle. Because everyone wants it…and there’s no way to not piss someone off.”

    Despite the controversy, Johnson likes that selling this high-class bourbon in Jell-O shot form levels the Pappy playing field. “I think having fun with it is the only way to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy it somehow. This way it’s not overly serious, it’s not cloaked in this sense of posh entitlement.”

    “I’m having fun with it. If you can’t have fun with it you probably shouldn’t drink whiskey anyway.”

    Images 1 and 3 courtesy of Meta. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or visit their website. Image 2 courtesy of Elizabeth Myers

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    About Elizabeth Myers

    Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.

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