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Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old BourbonWhat is the availability of Pappy Van Winkle and where can you buy it and find it now? Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery tells that their Van Winkle and Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons will be back on shelves toward the end of November 2011.

The popularity of Van Winkle whiskey collection has led to a short supply.

The Van Winkle collection consists of Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon aged 10 years, available in 90 proof and 107 proof; Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon, aged 12 years; Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbons, aged 15 years, 20 years and 23 years; and Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey, aged 13 years.

Which is YOUR favorite? Tell us under comments and leave a reply at the end of this article!

Known for their smoother and sweeter flavor, Van Winkle bourbons are aged years longer than most Bourbons and have gained a strong reputation among some connoisseurs.

The Van Winkle line of whiskeys has won a number of awards through the years, including 2010 “Spirit of the Year” from Wine and Spirits Magazine for Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old; “Best of Show” and “Best Whiskey” at the 2010 Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition; a double gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; and gold medals at both the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition and the 2011 Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition.

Pappy Van Winkle Collection of whiskeys and Bourbons

And now for some history on Van Winkle Distillery and Van Winkle family..

Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.

After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.

In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed.'s Tom Fischer with Julian Van Winkle (far left) and son Preston Van Winkle (far right)'s Tom Fischer with Julian Van Winkle (far left) and son Preston Van Winkle (far right) during the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival 2011


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21 Responses to “Availability of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and Van Winkle Whiskey Collection”

  1. David Morrison

    All of the Pappy bourbons are really good for sippin’. I am a West Virginia lawyer, and at the end of a tough day, there is nothing quite like sippin’ some Pappy. I like the 23 year old best, but you can’t go wrong with the others as well. I haven’t tried the wheat yet, but I will.

  2. Scott Krell

    I think the 20 has the best finish in the world! The 12 has a good flavor for a great value but the 13 yr Rye is the KING of the sub $60 market.

  3. Boss Hogg

    Tried the 12, 15 and 20 year old, all very good. 12 was like vannila ice cream on apple pie, the 15 could work on pancakes. But the 20 was the smoothest. I’ m hooked need to save up for the 23 though don’t they know we are in a recession?

  4. C Brown

    My opinion, as a lifelong bourbon drinker, is that a fine bourbon should be a fixture, a constant, rather than a trendy phase. I realize that trends are not usually the doing of the manufacturer and that they typically just ride them out for what they are worth and garner whatever degree of success from it they can. I also realize my expectation or permanency is simply that – an expectation. I love this family or bourbons like no other but …. the seemingly impossible task of getting a bottle, the insane fervor around it, the reaction I have encountered from frustrated store managers, and individuals trying to capitalize on the short supply demand has forced me to move on. We see this phenomenon to a lesser degree with some craft beers out now.
    Some say it is better to have love and lost than to never love but when you can see your “love” on ebay for three times what you should pay for it, I may opt for the other option of never loved. The upside to the whole affair is I have found other great bourbons I enjoy. Admittedly I still have the last Pappy bottle (empty) in the wine rack – can’t bring myself to toss it. I hope the Van Winkles fare well from their popularity but can figure out a way to shake the “trendy” and get back to being a fixture. The outlook for all concerned would surely be brighter.

  5. Bertha Ruff

    Please tell me where in Alberta,Canada I can buy a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Reserve Bourbon aged 23 years or any other Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon?

  6. Edward

    I have been fortunate to sample the 12, 12 (Rye), 13 (Rye), 15, 20 and 23. All are good. The 20 and 23 are exceptional. I MAY prefer the 20 over the 23, but I would have to go back to them just to confirm. Whether the extreme prices on some of them is merited, I may not know, but I DO know that these folks make excellent whiskeys. Perhaps if OTHER companies routinely made such products (hint: Buffalo Trace), the Van Winkles would have some competition. Just saying….

  7. Don Van Winkle

    Don Van Winkle here, I am a Chief in the U.S. NAVY, and came across this site and wanted to say hey. I wonder if you could send me a bottle or a lable or something of memoribilia from the distillery. Being a Van Winkle, I would like to add it to my collection of VW things. I live in upstate NY and have been stationed all over the world in support of OIF and OEF. GOOOOOO NAVY!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tim Wiedemer

    My wife and I were fortunate enough to attend Whiskey Fest 2010 in NYC. The first booth we stopped at was the Van Winkle’s. After meeting the family and tasting some of their fine products I expressed my concerns about availability. No definate answer was given. I’m from PA and we seem to receive a VERY limited supply of all Van Winkle products. I’ve also tried NJ with no luck.
    Whiskey Fest is a great place to find and try some different things. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to attend. We found some very good available bourbons while we wait for more Van Winkle.