Pappy Van Winkle is one of the most high-end and sought-after Bourbons, and there’s a lot more demand than supply. The frenzy for Pappy is particularly crazy this year, probably because of the Pappy Heist, where 65 cases (195 bottles) of Pappy Van Winkle and 9 cases of Pappy Van Winkle Rye were stolen from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. The thief still hasn’t been caught.
I literally called 50 liquor stores this morning. There is nothing like the exhausted voice of a liquor store clerk at 9am, answering the questions they’ve been getting all morning. “No, we don’t have Pappy, yes, they’re all gone. No, we won’t be getting any more.”
I found two cases of 10 year at the Liquor Barn on Hurstbourne Lane. One of my co-workers begged me not to post anything and sprinted out the door. He returned triumphant later with a bottle of 10 year, and told me they only had six bottles left, which are almost certainly gone at the time of this posting. The clerk at Liquor World on LaGrange Road laughed when I called and said, “There’s a line out the door.” She let me know they had 10 year and 12 year available.
A New Albany liquor store owner confided in me that she has some Pappy coming in later this week, and a long list if people willing to pay “$400 a bottle”. I begged her to tell me the instant she got it in. She even hinted she may have some 20 year coming in. I begged her harder.
As of 10 am this morning, Turnpike Liquors in Shepherdsville Kentucky has two 15 year, six 12 year and three 10 year bottles. The 15 year is going for $400 a bottle. At this point, iyou may be tempted to turn to Craigslist for your Pappy fix, as a quick search on the less-than-reputable website shows lots of Pappy for sale. However, that's inadvisable as selling or buying liquor on Craigslist is illegal.
Liquorlist.com has a bottle of 23 year Pappy Van Winkle for $2000.00. The 20 year bottle on liquorlist is listed at $500.00. There’s an app for the iphone (it’s $2.99) called the Pappy Tracker, and it’s supposed to pick up the buzz on social media and the Internet to let you know where to score Pappy. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a list of vendors on their website.
Happy Pappy Hunting!
Photo: Elizabeth Myers