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Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon 20 year old

In case you’ve been waiting for a reason to pour that bottle of Pappy that you’ve never cracked or still have some left in, today is the perfect day to pour it!

This week on March 22nd marks a significant milestone in the rich tapestry of Kentucky’s heritage: the 150th birthday of Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr., a towering figure in the bourbon industry, whose legacy is as enduring as the spirit he crafted. Would Pappy have dreamt of the legend (and the hunt) his legacy was going to create? Yes, Pappy was born on March 22, 1874.

Have YOU tasted any of the Van Winkle whiskey expressions? Tell us below your favorite and a memory you experienced while drinking the Pappy.

At, we’ve been fortunate to pour Pappy Van Winkle during a number of bourbon tastings we’ve hosted for various occasions – including the most recent “Who’s your Pappy” tasting at San Deigo Bay Wine & Food Festival. It has also been our pleasure to spend time sipping the Van Winkle family (pictured below) on occasions through the years.

This season not only celebrates Pappy’s sesquicentennial but also coincides with the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, which epitomizes the many traditions of the Bluegrass State.

These twin celebrations encapsulate a season of renewal, rebirth, and festivity, embodying the vibrant spirit and camaraderie that spring ushers in.
Pappy Van Winkle photo

The synchronicity of these events is nothing short of magical—a serendipitous alignment that enriches the season’s celebrations.

The opening of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery by Pappy on Derby Day in 1935, as the legendary racehorse Omaha clinched victory, forever intertwined the destinies of bourbon and horse racing in Kentucky lore.

This year, as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of both these iconic institutions, we are reminded of their shared legacy of excellence, tradition, and the relentless pursuit of perfection.

Pappy Van Winkle’s philosophy—”We make fine bourbon at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon”—has guided generations, instilling a commitment to quality that transcends mere business. As we celebrate these milestones, we honor not only the man and the derby but also the enduring legacy they represent: a testament to the spirit of Kentucky, where history, legacy, and tradition are woven into the very fabric of its culture. Here’s to celebrating the past, savoring the present, and toasting to the future, as the stories of Pappy Van Winkle and the Kentucky Derby continue to inspire and captivate us all.

Pappy Van Winkle 150th Birthday

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