Pappy Van Winkle bottle lineup

Here come the 2020 Van Winkles!

Good news: There will be more Old Rip Van Winkle Rye this year! Bad news: There will be less 20- and 23-year-old Pappys.

Yes, this year has been one we’d all like to forget. But the show must go on, and Pappy will be released in November, like in years past.

Everyone wants a Pappy in their collection, and I’m no different. (Quick fact: You should only refer to the Van Winkles as a “Pappy” if you’re talking about 15, 20 or 23 Year. All the others are simply called “Van Winkles.”)

And yes, you’re going to pay over asking price just about anywhere you go, if you’re even lucky enough to find one on a shelf. According to the news release that went out this morning, here are the suggested retail prices:

  • $69.99 — Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $79.99 — Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old 
  • $119.99 — Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old 
  • $119.99 — Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $199.99 — Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $299.99 — Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old
Pappy Van Winkle bottle lineup
Pappy fever!

But don’t blame producer Buffalo Trace Distillery or the Van Winkles for the crazy secondary prices.

“Unfortunately even though we suggest what we believe to be a very low and fair MSRP, we cannot control the price retailers charge, and some retailers mark it up even though we and the distributors that those retailers buy from ask them not to,” said Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, in the release. “We are committed to releasing quality whiskey at a reasonable cost and we hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

Your best bet is getting in on a lottery of some sort, so just keep your eyes peeled for those.

In the meantime, there is no cure for your Pappy fever.

Pappy Van Winkle

2019 Pappy huntin’ season begins in November!

Pappy Van Winkle

O Pappy my Pappy!

Oh happy Pappy day!

Word is out — the 2019 Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbons and whiskeys are coming soon to … well, technically liquor stores and bar shelves, but don’t ask me how to score one! Hunting season begins soon.

According to a news release that was issued Thursday morning, these Pappy products will be available in November:

  • Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof — ($69.99)
  • Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old — ($79.99)
  • Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old — ($119.99)
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old — ($119.99)
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old — ($199.99)
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old — ($299.90)

Of course, these are the suggested prices, but you’re not likely to find them for those prices — let alone find them at all.

“Unfortunately we cannot control the price retailers charge, so some retailers mark it up beyond our MSRP, even though we ask them not to,” said Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, in the release. “We are committed to releasing a quality product and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

We hope so, too.

Pappy, as you probably know, is a wheated bourbon (except for the Family Reserve Rye) that is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Technically, only the latter three — 15, 20 and 23 Year Olds — are called “Pappy,” so if you’re trying to impress people at a party, don’t be all loosy-goosy with the term. Just call the others Van Winkles or Old Rips.

I’ve been fortunate to sample all the Pappys over time — see, there I go using that incorrect umbrella word — and I tend to enjoy the 10, 12 and 15 the best. Now, I won’t turn down a bottle of 20 or 23 should I win one, but for drinking purposes, give me a 15 and a straw, and I’ll be set!

You’re likely not going to find these at a liquor store, so your best bet is to hope your favorite corner cocktail bar gets a set. Sip slowly. Do not add mixers. Enjoy. Buy one for me.