The word is out. Pappy Van Winkle 25 Year is coming soon, but...here's the bad news -- just 710 bottles of the once-in-a-lifetime bottle of liquid sunshine will be sent to retailers. So as Vito Corleone would say: fuhgeddaboudit!
But at least you'll save a cool $1800 by forgoing the buy. And for secondary buyers...who the hell knows what you'd pay? I'm guessing -- if any shows up -- it will cost no less than 10 times retail, likely more.
So why only 710 bottles? According to Julian Van Winkle III only 11 barrels tasted heavenly enough to make the cut. So you can bet the Angels and the Devils both took their share, and unless you have a direct line to either you probably won't --- EVER!
How to Make Pappy 25
As the Buffalo Trace press release explains: the barrels "were distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and stored on the lower levels of a metal clad warehouse built in 1935 at the Van Winkle family distillery in Shively, Ky. In 2002 the barrels were moved to Buffalo Trace Distillery, where they continued to age for another 12 years on the lower floors in Buffalo Trace’s brick warehouses. The lower floor placement helped preserve the sweet, mellow notes of the world-famous wheated bourbon recipe."
So if they went in the barrels in 1989 why aren't they 27 or 28 years old. Well, in 2014 Buffalo Trace transferred the barrels into stainless steel tanks. Why? This stops the aging process and retains the mouth-satisfying flavor profile that has made Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, the best on the planet.
Bottom line, this is the original stock that so many Pappy Collectors yearn for.
The Pappy 25 will be packaged in handmade glass from the Glencairn Crystal Studio and the wooden boxes will be crafted with the staves from the lucky 11 barrels. And JVW III will place his name on the bottle.
But packaging don't mean shit. If you've ever had Pappy, you know what everybody really wants -- the 100-proof golden brown elixir inside the fancy schmancy bottle and box.
So there are sure to be some Pappy flippers who try to make a quick buck or 10,0000.
Who Will Get It?
Nobody really knows, but it will go out in April. I suspect some of the stores will do auctions and/or lotteries. So, as with the regular release, we will do our best to get you the lowdown as soon as we can and make you aware of any opportunities to find it. We will post these in the club section of the site. So if you're not already a member now is a good time to join. Here's how.
Anyway, I hope at least one of you reading this will find the unicorn of all Bourbon unicorns! If you do, please don't sell it -- even for a lot.
Not much left in this world that is truly once in a lifetime.