Will you be able to find the elusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon?


Bourbon drinkers anxiously await the annual limited release of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. But, will you be able to find it.

Bourbon has grown in popularity. Over the past couple of years, the only American spirit has experiences a resurgence. Men and women, old and young are clamoring for bourbon and bourbon cocktails. One bourbon remains legendary, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

While bourbon has several criteria to be labeled bourbon, the Old Rip Van Winkle distillery is stepped with legend. The distillery once produced medicinal bourbon, had family feuds and now is steeped with a bourbon lore. Those bourbon fans who have found a bottle of Pappy could be considered lottery winners in the bourbon world.

(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A bottle of the special Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve should retail for around $50-$100. But, the hype and legend surrounding this bourbon sends the price soaring to hundreds to thousands of dollars per bottle, if you can find it. No one is quite sure why this particular bourbon has become so elusive or expensive.

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One reason for the high price is the limited supply. While the distillery says it tries to increase production, no one can actually prove this increase in production. Without specific numbers or statistics, the whole discussion is circumspect.
With a limited supply, the stores may only receive a few bottles of the uber popular Pappy bourbon. Those precious few bottles might have a huge crowd seeking to buy one. From long lines to bribing a store, many people will almost anything to get their hands on this particular bourbon.

Bourbon fans are passionate about this particular bourbon. Even those fans who can’t get their own bottle are willing to spend a large amount of money on just a couple of ounces. Restaurants and bars often sell two ounce servings for over $100. But is this particular bourbon worth all that money?

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon is a wheat bourbon. This combination of corn, wheat and barley brings a sweet flavor to the bourbon. The taste is more caramel forward, which some drinkers prefer. But, Pappy isn’t the only type of wheat bourbon.

A popular, and easy to find, alterative wheat bourbon would be Maker’s Mark. While Maker’s Mark doesn’t have the legend and hype surrounding Pappy, it is a really good bourbon. Plus, bourbon drinkers can get several bottle of Maker’s Mark for just one pour of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.

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Have you tried Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon? Where did you find it and how much did you spend? Share your comments below or tag us with #FoodSided.