Few whiskey brands remain as enigmatic and elusive as the much revered Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbon whiskies. Created by Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, the affectionately named “Pappy” debuted on liquor shelves in 1994. Starting with the release of the 20 Year, they have expanded over time to include 10, 12, 15, and 23 Year ages, as well as a sole 13 Year rye. Each bottle bears the iconic image of their namesake Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle.
Existing for generations as bourbon distillers, the Van Winkle family has perfected the craft since the early 1890s. Starting with patriarch Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, a prominent liquor trader in Kentucky, the brand is deeply rooted in American tradition. Considered to be what’s called “wheated” whiskey, their bourbon distillation process relies heavily on wheat during the mash process. This yields a touch sweeter and slightly fruitier results in the flavor of these suitably impressive bourbons. With this alluring taste profile, it’s clear to see what has made Pappy one of the most highly regarded spirits in the world of high-end whiskies.
Kentucky law states that bourbon distillations must contain at least 51 percent corn in their final result, along with the inclusion of rye and barley. Pappy is unique in that their bourbon removes the rye and replaces it with wheat instead. This slight adjustment makes a world of difference and differentiates Pappy from other competitors. The clever inclusion of wheat gives Pappy its trademark creamy palate.
Pappy Van Winkle Pricing
Growing into a global phenomenon, their popularity has risen to a fever pitch in 2020. Limited availability has given rise to a sort of black market of second-hand buyers and sellers. While Pappy Van Winkle is released at affordable rates for a justifiable cost, opportunists have skyrocketed costs for the average consumer. Secondary market costs have been known to exceed well over $1,000 for an individual bottle or more. Nonetheless, this has only added to the intrigue of the brand, establishing Pappy Van Winkle as a premier bourbon in an often crowded market.
Below are the latest Pappy Van Winkle bourbon whiskey prices –
|Type||Bottle Size||Starting Price|
|Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year||750ml||$500.00|
|Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year||750ml||$700.00|
|Pappy Van Winkle's 15 Year Family Reserve||750ml||$1429.00|
|Pappy Van Winkle's 20 Year Family Reserve||750ml||$2000.00|
|Pappy Van Winkle's 23 Year Family Reserve||750ml||$2600.00|
|Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye||750ml||$1500.00|
Pappy Van Winkle’s Products’ Tasting Notes
Pappy Van Winkle’s 10 Year finds itself the youngest offering in their line of bourbons. With a subtle palette of sweet caramel tones, this bourbon also gives off a clever hint of cinnamon flavor. Retaining a smooth finish, the 10 Year is an exquisite selection and excellent introduction to the brand.
12 Year takes things to the next level with its enticing blend of creamy sugar and butter, against a subtle chocolate undertone. With a flavor that slowly envelops your taste buds, the 12 Year has a smooth mouthfeel and complexity. As you continue to sip this top tier bourbon, you may notice the flavors beginning to evolve, with sweet vanilla and honey after tastes coming to the forefront.
Pappy’s 13 year offering stands out as the only rye whiskey in their line. Sharply balanced with cinnamon and pepper notes, this rye hits on all cylinders, pushing forward a superb maple and honey tasting profile. The after taste continues to deliver with spiced cherries and dried fruit continuing to make their presence known. Considering this is the only rye offered by Pappy, this is an outstanding whiskey that stands on its own merit.
15 Year is highly remarkable for its toasted sugar-like taste. Notably aged in charred oak barrels and left to mature undisturbed, this delicious bourbon delicately blends its sweetness with an infusion of zesty fruit and spices. The charring of the oak gives the 15 Year its robust oak character and plays well alongside the caramel smoothness within.
20 Year boasts the distinct claim of having once held the highest rating of 99/100 by the Beverage Tasting Institute. Scarcity has created a cult of personality around this highly regarded 20 Year bourbon. Endorsed by many prominent celebrities and much sought after by collectors, this gem stands out as highly remarkable. Having a much sharper bite, this bourbon has a subtle taste of added cognac notes. A smooth sipper, the 20 Year blends the flavors of fruit, honey, and oak against a sophisticated balance, making it a widely favored choice for Pappy enthusiasts.
23 Year may as well be found in the fabled Lost City of Atlantis since its rarity has exploded with demand at an all-time high. This bourbon presents itself upfront as a bold and full-bodied blend. Darkly spiced with magnificent notes of coffee and rich buttery oak, 23 Year is expertly balanced alongside delicate anise and dried fruit undertones. An excellent representation of the high-quality bourbons offered by Pappy Van Winkle, the 23 Year is a much-lauded rare spirit.
While the brand continues to grow its cult-like following, the sky is the limit for this luxury spirit. Their vigilant approach to distilling their whiskies under alternative methods has cemented Pappy Van Winkle as a legendary American whiskey. The brand continues to see itself in constant demand and all signs point to its position as an industry leader for years to come. With Pappy Van Winkle, you get exceptional quality and value in every glass.