Friday, November 30, 2012

Pappy Just Keeps Getting Harder to Find

The Most Wanted Man
in New York City
About a year ago, I wrote a story on the recent boom in high-end bourbons and highlighted Pappy Van Winkle as the patron saint of the genre. I wondered at the time how long bourbon's vogue would last.

So far, it seems to be just getting stronger. Over on the Atlantic Wire, Jen Doll has a short piece on the scarcity of Pappy Van Winkle in New York City, where a bottle of the 23-year-old stuff can run $250 and customers are harassing liquor store owners to try to get a spot on waiting lists that are already nine-pages deep.

In my bourbon boom piece, I shared what was then the insider's trick for getting a jump on the competition in the hunt for a rare bottle. Watch the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery's Facebook site, I advised, where they announce when each state's allocation ships, and "you can start staking out your local liquor store and hounding the owner for your bottle."

Turns out a lot of people took just that tactic. This fall, the Van Winkles are no longer posting the ship dates for states allocations because, "we had big backlash from retailers and wholesalers who were bombarded with phone calls as soon as we posted that shipments had gone out, even though we would suggest giving it a couple of weeks for inventory to arrive."

So, don't expect to just walk into a liquor store near you and pick up a bottle of Pappy any time soon. And please, let's take it easy on our poor liquor store proprietors. It ain't their fault.


Gene said...

There's a tiny tapas bar here in Seattle that claims to have the last bottle, well half bottle actually, available in a bar, but at $45 a shot, I just couldn't bring myself to go for it. Don't know if I'll regret that decision later on or not.

Robert said...

I'm with you. It's good stuff, but I'd never shell out $45 bucks for a single glass.

NMissC said...

I think this has hit some higher level of frenzy this year. The price gouging has gone completely off the charts, too, to look at reports on the Facebook page.

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