Where to Find Pappy Van Winkle — The List

Pappy Van Winkle(Last Update March 29, 2016)

When I started this site months ago, I had a dream, albeit a humble one.

It wasn't to change the world, but rather to find a tasty corn elixir distilled in Kentucky named Pappy Van Winkle.

I had read an article about it, by a guy, a sportswriter, that was also a damned good bourbon storyteller.

I already loved bourbon but had never met Pappy, but I did and liked him. At 12, he was exceptionally good, but at 20, taste-bud blowing.

Now, of course, Pappy is not a person, but a distilled bottle of sour mash that is harder to find then mermaids or gold at the end of the rainbow.

Beginner's Luck --- Finding Pappy Van Winkle

But somehow, I did find it two years in a row.

First Pappy Van Winkle 12 year which was smooth and next the 20 year...which was...well  let's just say I wish I had another bottle and leave it at that.

photo (23)

No More Pappy

But alas, there were no more bottles of Pappy in the land until the next go round. Fall? November?

So I've given up. Not on Pappy. But on finding Pappy Van Winkle  in a bottle, at least at a liquor store in this great U.S. of A.

My New Dream

So here is my new dream and it's a bit more humble still.

I will pursue Pappy in the bars across the land or overseas. Wherever it may be found.

So if your favorite watering hole has it let me know. Or, if you like Wright Thompson -- the before-mentioned sportswriter/bourbon storyteller -- run across it in an airport, dive bar or high-class bourbon bar, please let me know and I'll add it to THE LIST.

So far I have sent a few tweets out and received a few locations.

Kentucky -- The Epicenter of the Bourbon Universe, BBall and My Fav Monk

Guess where? Of course, the land of Bourbon and Basketball. And my favorite monk.

Yes, I have a favorite monk. Thomas Merton who lived in a hermitage near Louisville and drank bourbon and beer and wrote some profound things until he got electrocuted by a fan in Bangkok.

The List

But anyway, back to THE LIST. If you can't have a bottle, you should at least, have a shot, a pour, or even a double if you have a nice, crisp benjamin (Franklin) on you.

So far THE LIST is very short (but growing):

1. The Husk - Charleston, SC

2. Bluegrass Tavern - Lexington, KY

3. Parlay Social - Lexington, KY

4. The Village Idiot - Lexington, KY

5. Henry Clay's Pub - Lexington, KY

6. Haymarket Whiskey Bar -Louisville, KY

7. Azur Restaurant and Patio - Lexington, Ky

8. The Aviary - Chicago, IL

9. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse - Dallas, TX

10. Pour Cafe and Wine Bar - Mt. Kisco, NY

11. Otto's - Covington, KY

12. Percy Street BBQ - Philadelphia, PA

13. The Crunkleton - Chapel Hill, NC

14. Palate - Millford, MI

15. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar -Covington, KY

16. WiseGuy Lounge - Covington KY

17. Congress Street Social Club - Savannah, GA

18. Seven Grand in Downtown LA -  Los Angeles, CA

21. On The Rocks - New York, NY

22. Hardwater Bar on Pier 3 San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

23. Charr'd Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge - Louisville, KY

24. Noorman's Kil - Brooklyn, NY

25. The Rhino - Missoula, MT

26. Acacia - Pittsburgh, PA

27. Butcher & the Rye - Pittsburgh, PA

28. Red Fish Grill - New Orleans, LA

29. Stache - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

30. Luxbar - Chicago, IL

31. Jack Rose Dining Saloon - Washington, D.C.

32. Hotel at The Lafayette - Buffalo NY

33. The Silver Dollar - Louisville, KY

34. Gamlin Whiskey House - St. Louis, MO

35. McCormacks Whiskey Grill - Richmond, VA

36. Murphy's Irish Pub - Sonoma, CA

37. Social Southern Table & Bar - Lafayette, LA

38. The Hamilton Kitchen and Bar - Allentown, PA

39. Twisted Spoke -  Chicago, IL

40. Tate's - Dallas, TX

41. Lilly’s Bistro - Louisville, KY

42. Rickhouse - Bardstown, KY

43. Springhouse - Alexander City, AL

42. Rye on Market - Louisville, KY

43. Bourbon’s Bistro - Louisville, KY

44. Proof on Main St. - Louisville, KY

45. Doc Crow’s - Louisville, KY

46. Seviche a Latin Restaurant - Louisville, KY

47. Z’s Oyster Bar & Steakhouse - Louisville, KY

48. The Old Seelbach Bar - Louisville, KY

49. The Old Bourbon County Kitchen (OBC Kitchen) - Lexington, KY

50. Longman and Eagle - Chicago, IL.

51. Eddie V’s - Tampa, FL

52. Half Barrel - Knoxville TN

53. Spark’s Steak House - Manhattan, NY

54. Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant - Newport, RI

55. Bourbon - Columbia, SC

56. Barrelhouse Flat - Chicago, IL

57. Foxes Cigar Lounge - Gilbert, AZ

58. Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant - Newport, RI

59. Burgers & Lobster - London, UK
Where and How Much? - 29 Clarges St, London W1J 7EF, United Kingdom (near Greek Park Tube Station) Pappy 12, Pappy 13 Rye ($16 - 12 year, $19 - 13 year rye) per double shot glass
Where and How Much? Fifth Floor Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ, United Kingdom Pappy 10, 12, 13 Rye, 15, 20  ($16 - 12 year, $19 - 13 year rye, $27 - 15 year, $48 - 20 year)  per double shot glass
Where and how much? 9 Stoney Ln, London E1 7BH, United Kingdom
Pappy 20 ($32) per double shot glass
62. Martin's Tavern - Washington, DC
"Currently we are carrying the 10 and 12 as well as Buffalo Trace Experimental Batch." - Cliff Brown

63. Black Fly - St Augustine, FL 

"10 and the 12 year bottles"

64. Morimoto - Napa, CA

 65. Parker Garage - Parker, CO

"They have the 12, 20 and 23"

66. Barrelhouse Flat - Chicago, IL

"Pappy 15-$29 glass"

67. Neat Kitchen + Bar - Westmont, IL

"Has all 6 Van Winkle marks. His place rocks! One of the best whiskey spots anywhere!"

68. Modis - Breckendridge, CO

69. J’s Liquors - Owensboro, KY

"They have every PVW year plus many other very rare bourbons at the cheapest prices I’ve ever found. Awesome place."

70. Park Hyatt NoMI Lounge - Chicago, IL

"Has a little 23 left for $110/pour, and I believe a younger also, but don’t recall price."

71. Bourbon & Branch. - San Franciso, CA.

"$95 a shot for the 23."

72. Big Jones Chicago - Chicago, IL

Stay updated on the Pappy List.

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*Thanks to all those who sent locations. Keep them coming.


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Join the Pappy Club Now!


The Pappy Club is planning to hold a private auction tonight, Tuesday, April 19 from 7pm to 10pm EST.

One of our Pappy Collectors will offer a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 12 Year.

Besides private opportunities to find Pappy Van Winkle here are some of the other benefits of membership.

Our bottom line focus is to help you find and enjoy a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, the best bourbon in the world.

We'll try to accomplish this by offering a handful of services:

  1. Scouring the internet and other private sources to provide you weekly updates on where you can find some Pappy Van Winkle. That could include an online retailer, auctioneer or contest -- or a private seller who wants to offer or trade a bottle or two. Some of these events will take place through our site, while others will be handled through third party sites or locations. Many of these will be classified by states, regions, countries, etc. for your convenience. (Sure you could do some of this yourself, but do you really have the time?)
  2. Providing private, members only content, including interviews with Pappy Hunters/Finders, Industry Experts, Bars, Liquor Stores, Distributors, Distillers, etc. We'll pick the brains of those who have found multiple bottles over the years and introduce you to some of their strategies for finding it. We'll also keep you in the know about other rare bourbon releases, such as the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.

What's Ahead

We also have two other initiatives in the works --- a weekly or monthly podcast and a site for all things bourbon, called bourbongear.com. Once these are launched, you'll get free access to the podcast and discounts on the bourbongear.com site.

Why There's No Risk

Plus, if you're not 100% happy with the Pappy Club, you can ask for a refund anytime after the first 30 days and before the end of 2016. (So your satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed.)

This is a private membership club for those 21 years and older. It is designed to help you locate a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle or other hard-to-find bottle of bourbon for your collection. 

(Must Be 21 to Join.)

Join Now.



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Profiles of Pappy Hunters: Blake @ Bourbonr.com


In this post, we will pick the brain of Blake @ Bourbonr.com, who runs one of my favorite bourbon blogs. It's also home to the Pappy Release Map, as well as a few other cool whiskey tools, like the Whisk(e)y Library. So enjoy his take on Pappy and Bourbon and then take some time to check out his site @ bourbonr.com

How did you get interested in Bourbon?

Hard to pin it down. I don’t come from a family of bourbon drinkers (or drinkers in general) but I think it just started with liking the look of Maker’s Mark bottles and snowballed from there. Bourbon was always a “cool” thing to drink.

When did you first discover Pappy Van Winkle?

Probably a year or two after getting into bourbon. Long enough ago for it to be sitting on shelves, but not back in the day when no one really knew what it was. Plus, the bourbon game in FL is a little bit behind other states.

So tell us about your first hunt or the first time you found and tasted Pappy?

The first time I tried Pappy was at a bar for a friends bachelor party. They had 15 and 23 so I tried the 15. This wasn’t a super nice bar or even a bourbon bar, but those were different times. I had been reading about how great it was and while $20 for a 2 oz pour seemed crazy (at the time) I figured I’d give it a shot.

So did you find it at retail or did you have to pay the "Pappy Mania" tax?

 Found a bottle at retail after trying. Seemed like a huge premium at the time. Turns out it was more like a 90% discount.

When did you start putting out the Bourbon release map?

They started in 2013 shortly after starting the blog. I noticed a lot of posts in the Facebook groups about if "X" state had released. I thought it would help to consolidate those questions.

How do you go about pinpointing the release dates? Is it just a matter of hearing from your blog community once it arrives or do you have other methods you can share?

These days it’s a mix. I know retailers and some distributors which will give me dates. Other states it’s just from a reader that sends a picture of the bottle to verify.

What about your Whiskey Library tool at Bourbonr.com? How does that work?

That was the original idea of Bourbonr. A way to keep track of all your bourbons and reviews. Kind of like a social network for bourbon. The blog grew out of that and is now the focus

Give us a quick overview of what your overall bourbon collection looks like?

I probably have too many bottles. Close to 200 bottles if I had to guess. It’s in two categories. Trying for the blog and collecting. There’s a lot of open bottles in both categories.

The collecting bottles range from dusty releases to BTAC (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) and Pappy to Four Roses Limited Editions.

What are your favorites?

I have one of the original gold wax Pappy 23’s that’s probably my favorite. Or, the Jim Beam Distillers Masterpiece #2. Very rarely do you see those bottles pop up on the trading groups so it’s cool to have them.

What about your favorite "I-can-walk-into-any-liquor-store-and-get anytime" bourbons? 

I have three. Four Roses Small Batch, Blanton’s and Booker’s. I could never buy another bottle and get by on those for the rest of my life if I had to.

Do you hunt or collect any other rare bourbons? If so, which ones?

Yes, hunting is a lot of the fun for me. You don’t find much anymore, but it’s still fun. I look for the obvious bourbons as well as old National Distiller bottles or older Wild Turkey.

Any that you want, but haven't been able to find yet?

Lots! I’ve cut back on buying/hunting but would still love to get my hands on a 2010 Michter’s 10 or a Michter’s 20. The 20 pretty much never makes it’s way to Florida

List the top 5 bourbons you've actually tasted in order of your preference.

 That is tough. These probably aren’t in order but I’d say they’re the top 5. Pappy 23 decanter, 10H- Michter’s 10, Jefferson’s 17, Old Weller Original (I don’t remember the year) and Sazerac 18 (because it’s fresh on my mind). I’m sure I’m forgetting some better bottles but still a solid 5.

Thanks Blake!

Hope you enjoyed this take and take some time to check out Blake's blog @ www.bourbonr.com

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Profiles of Pappy Hunters – Andrew Esserman

A Pappy Hunter Who Had a Pretty Good Year
A Pappy Hunter Who Had a Pretty Good Year

Andrew Esserman is first and foremost a coffee guy. Just over 10 years ago, he launched Coffee Bean Direct,  an Internet-based coffee roaster and direct-delivery company. And just as his company has grown so has his Pappy Collection.

So let's jump right in and see how Andrew gathered this fine collection of Pappy Van Winkle and other rare bourbons.

How did you first hear about or get introduced to Pappy Van Winkle?

I was introduced to Pappy by a good friend. I was not a bourbon drinker at the time. He told me it was the best and nothing even came close.

What made you decide to start hunting multiple bottles? 

When I found out how hard it was to acquire bottles, a new challenge was born.

What exactly was your strategy for finding all the bottles? 

I established good relationships with distributors. I purchased a lot of expensive red wine throughout the years. It also didn't hurt to hand out 5lb bags of coffee from my coffee roasting business.

Did you get any at retail or did you have to pay extra? 

I think 4 years ago most bottles were bought at retail. After that, it seems like every year the price is much higher than retail.

Give us a quick breakdown of how your overall collection looks? 

I'll send a picture. Its the best way to describe. 

Pappy Van Winkle Collection
Pappy Van Winkle Collection (Before 2015)

What are your favorite bourbons other than Pappy Van Winkle? What is your favorite "I-can-walk-in-to-any-liquor-store-and-get anytime" bourbon?

Jefferson Presidential Select 21 year old and Michter's 10 year are a couple of my favorites.

Do you hunt or collect any other rare bourbons? If so, which ones?

I have been trying to collect some of the older more established brands. I don't like to buy the new brands that just popped up because bourbon is popular now. Some of the brands I acquired are: William Larue Weller, George T. Stagg, Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel, Single Oak Project by Buffalo Trace and Black Maple Hill isn't too bad either.
List the top 5 bourbons you've actually tasted in order of your preference.

1. Pappy 20 yr
2. Jeffersons 21
3. Michter's 10 yr
4. Colonel E.H Taylor single barrel.
5. Makers 46

Thanks Andrew. 

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So Pappy Season Is In Full Swing…

Pappy Van Winkle Full Swing

Ok so we are here...

...meaning "Pappy Season" is in full swing. People are camping out in KY, AL, and other locales just to sight and maybe even get or taste a bottle of the GOOD STUFF.

But you know what there is this really good guy down or over in Louisville, KY that is (or was) selling Pappy at cost. Last year, he offered it up in jello shots (sacrilege to us purists), but this year in addition to watching it jiggle, he is also selling it at cost. Good guy. Marketing genius. Just plain stupid? Depends on who you ask.

But I say Hurrah! The world needs a little more Pappy at cost.

Went into my local place today and asked if the Pappy was on the way. He wasn't sure, but he did have a shipment of 7-year Weller (hard to come by in these parts), so I bought two. He reminisced about years ago (probably 10) when Pappy came in bottles just like Weller.

I asked when did Pappy just get crazy? He opined it was 5 or so years ago (which is about the time I got in the game).

So anyway the main reason I am writing this meandering post is to tell you about a few things and share a few links.

  1. If you hurry and live near Louisville, KY you might be able to get Pappy at cost.
  2. 2 Tales of "Pappy Camping"
  3. And a BLAST from the PAST (just incase you forgot some dudes stole Pappy last year)

So good luck Pappy Hunters. Here's hoping you have knocked on wood, karmaed, or whatever else you do to put luck in your favor in order to get some Pappy this year. Apparently, there is less out there and more of those despicable types who buy it to sell, instead of sip. DAMN THEM!

I've got a bottle of 12 in the cabinet and if, and when, I get the call for a new one I will pop it open and sip, sip, sip.

Here's hoping the call comes soon.

Cheers and hope you get to crack open a bottle of Pappy this year.



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