Pappy Monthly – August 2017

 

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 YR Raffle Sign Up Ends August 24 @ Midnight (PST). Winner declared August 25! Sing up now!

Hello. Hello.

I love Fall. How about you?

It is the start of the college football season and the best time for hunting some of the tastiest Bourbon out there, including Pappy Van Winkle.

Bourbon Hunting Season kicks off with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and culminates (in Oct/Nov) with The Pappy Van Winkle release. So let's look at some of the hard-to-find Bourbons you can search for over the next few months.

September

  • Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017
  • Elijah Craig 18 Year
  • Elijah Craig 23 Year
  • Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
  • Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2017
  • Parker's Heritage Collection: 11th Edition
  • Redemption 10 Year Barrel Proof Rye
  • Redemption 9 Year Barrel Proof High Rye Bourbon
  • Redemption 9 Year Barrel Proof Rye

October

  • Barrell Bourbon Batch 014
  • Barrell Whiskey Batch 006
  • High West A Midwinter's Night Dram Act 5
  • Pappy Van Winkle Collection

November

  • Angel's Envy Bourbon Cask Strength
  • Barrell Bourbon 2018 New Year Bourbon Limited Edition
  • Woodford Master's Collection

December

  • Stranahan's Snowflake 2017

The Pappy List (New Additions) -

Ok. We've updated the Pappy List with places in FL, GA and Canada:

Florida

Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant
Panama City Beach, Florida 

"We do have the entire Pappy collection. We have had all Pappy in inventory for the last 5 years running. It is available in the lounge by the shot only." -Yonnie Patronis

Moxie:  Kitchen & Cocktails
Jacksonville, FL

"10 and 12 year. $15 for 10 and $18 for 12"

Georgia

The Pinewood
Atlanta, GA

"The bar had every year this year (10, 12, Rye, 15, 20, and 23). I didn't get the pour prices; however, I did get a flight. He was out of the 15 and 20 so I had the other 4. Flight was $100. Fantastic bar with great selections. Food was phenomenal also (chicken and waffles). 23 is about to be empty."

Canada

Petit Bill's
Ottawa, ON

"Just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of followers and searchers of Pappy Van Winkle in Canada as well. Petit Bill's has Pappy 20 for 60.00 CAD an ounce and Pappy 23 for 63.00 CAD an ounce." - Mike, Caskers of Ottawa Whisky Club

 

Bourbon Recipe of the Month

Bourbon BBQ Beef Tenderloin

Bourbon Basics

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOURBON, RYE, AND TENNESSEE WHISKEY [INFOGRAPHIC]

Cheers and Enjoy the Chase!

-Chris

Walker Percy Talks Mint Juleps on Kentucky Derby Weekend

"Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of Bourbon. Men fall facedown unconscious, women wander in the woods disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahlil Gibran and the limberlost….

Reader,…here’s my favorite recipe, “Cud’n Walker’s Uncle Will’s Favorite Mint Julep Receipt.

You need excellent bourbon whiskey; rye or Scotch will not do. Put half an inch of sugar in the bottom of the glass and merely dampen it with water. Next, very quickly—and here is the trick in the procedure—crush your ice, actually powder it—preferably in a towel with a wooden mallet, so quickly that it remains dry, and, slipping two sprigs of fresh mint against the inside of the glass, cram the ice in right to the brim, packing it with your hand. Finally, fill the glass, which apparently has no room left for anything else, with bourbon, the older the better, and grate a bit of nutmeg on the top. The glass will frost immediately. Then settle back in your chair for half an hour of cumulative bliss.”

Bourbon Dispatches No. 13 – 3 More Rules for Hunting Bourbon

This week I am finishing up the 3-part series on How to Hunt Rare Bourbons based on an article in Whisky Advocate by Fred Minnick about finding rare Bourbons.

To subscribe and read the article in its entirety go here.

Today we will hit on Minnick's third, fourth and fifth rule of Bourbon hunting. (Go here to see rule 2.)

Do Your Diligence

Minnick says the best "bourbon hunters stalk the brand, study the pre-release bottle count, and proactively reserve a bottle before a liquor store may even know about it" and they "act on the release announcements "before the major reviews hit newsstands or blogs." They touch base with liquor stores before everybody else and reserve a bottle.

And the most successful do not lean on cold calls. Instead, they go to the same store over and over and show they are loyal customers.

Work with Your Guide

He advises "if you only want rare releases, your best bet is to enter a lottery, because non-lottery stores are rewarding loyal customers." And Minnick explains that "being a good customer isn't always enough." "Good bourbon hunters befriend the liquor store associates, ask about their kids, bond over sports and put them on their holiday card lists."

It is akin to the advice you might find in a book about being a good salesman or schmoozer -- the "flattery gets you everywhere" strategy. But this doesn't always work as we've all probably learned before. Some people can take this as insincerity or may feel like you are playing them, which can have the opposite effect. So be sincere and read the person. If they don't like this approach let it go.

One more idea, which I have seen work for some, is to visit liquor stores that are off-the-beaten path, particularly in rural areas. Minnick, a bourbon historian, notes that "while larger markets receive most of the limited edition products, statewide distributors are keen on making sure reputable smaller-market retailers also receive allocations, a tradition that dates back to 1940s, when distillers targeted oil-field workers farmers, and the military."

Bigger stores and chains will likely use formal loyalty programs to keep up with your purchases and allocate the rare bourbons accordingly. Minnick cites Total Wine & Spirits which "uses a program similar to a grocery store where loyalty is based on shopping frequency and how much you spend. For every dollar, you earn roughly ten points as a Grand Reserve Member to get a shot at rare whiskey." But he also says that some states prohibit these kinds of systems and coupons for alcohol, including bourbon's home state Kentucky.

Hunt for Sustenance -- Not Sport

Minnick notes that at the end of the day "many retailers are bourbon lovers" and "prefer to see whiskey go to people who will enjoy it, rather than flip it for a profit." Some even require rare bourbon buyers "to break the seal of rare bottles" so it cannot be sold again.

Takeaway

In the end, rare bourbon hunting is more about the hunt and the appreciation of rare bourbons -- than selling or profiting. Sure every once in a while, you may have to cull and add other bourbons to your collection. There's no harm in making a little dough for your time and effort, but make it the exception, not the rule.

Instead, get deeply interested in the subject, pick the brains of fellow bourbon lovers and your local liquor store associates to learn as much as you can about fine bourbon and rare releases (not to schmooze), and have a helluva a time on your bourbon journey.

Godspeed and Happy Hunting!

Bourbon Dispatches No. 12 – Targeting the Next Generation of Rare Bourbons

This week I am continuing the series on How to Hunt Rare Bourbons based on an article in Whisky Advocate by Fred Minnick about finding rare Bourbons.

To subscribe and read the article in its entirety go here.

Under the second rule of Bourbon hunting, Minnick advises seekers to "Select Your Target Carefully."

He explains how some Bourbon hunters are moving away from the biggest fish in the sea like Pappy and BTAC (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) because "competition has grown too fierce." Instead, they're searching for --- and finding --- some of the hard-to-find Bourbons that aren't on every Bourbon drinkers radar --- yet.

He mentions three that he thinks fit this category:

  • Michter's 10 Year Old
  • High West Midwinter Night's Dram
  • Angel's Envy Cask Strength

Minnick notes "these brands are still hot and you must work hard to find them, but they tend to be regional hits. For example, Angel's Envy Cask Strength requires a raffle in Louisville, but may sit in Chicago stores for a couple of days."

He also says that savvy hunters are finding some great, rare bourbons at distillery gift shops, including Willett's where you may be lucky enough to stumble across 23 year old Willett Rye.

So if you want to be part of the next generation of rare Bourbon hunters you need to think beyond the Pappys and the BTACs to the next tier of "up and comers."

As Minnick concludes "while newbies are distracted with with BTAC and Pappy, veteran hunters are cleaning house with other rare Bourbons."

In the comments section below, tell us what other hard-to-find Bourbons you would add to Minnick's list.

Happy Hunting!