A Cheap Way To Snag Some Pappy – If You Are In Pennsylvania

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / December 10, 2015

Remember awhile ago when we wrote about control liquor state Pennsylvania beginning to hold state sanctioned lotteries for the right privilege to buy rare whiskies? They are about to hold another one for the unicorn of all bourbons, Pappy Van Winkle. The kicker to this is the bottlings will actually be sold at MSRP, not the super inflated costs normally associated with these whiskies.

So, now that you are ready to throw down for said bourbons at the prices listed further on in this article, take note – you (1) must be a resident or licensee (liquor store) based in Pennsylvania and (2) you must be registered on the state’s liquor sales site (yes, they have one of those in this state), with billing information on file in your online account, by 11pm on Saturday, December 12. The drawing is December 14.

Van Winkle bottles

image via Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery

Here’s more information to know, pulled directly from a news release about this lottery:

The following products, listed in the order in which they will be drawn, will be available through the lottery.  Numbers of bottles offered through the Lottery are estimated based on what is anticipated to be received from the supplier this week.

  • Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year, $249.99 each – 24 bottles – 18 for retail customers, 6 for licensees
  • Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, $99.99 each – 30 bottles – 23 for retail customers, 7 for licensees
  • Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year, $79.99 each – 111 bottles – 84 for retail customers, 27 for licensees
  • Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year, $149.99 each – 210 bottles – 158 for retail customers, 52 for licensees
  • Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, $49.99 each – 384 bottles – 288 for retail customers, 96 for licensees
  • Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year, $59.99 each – 780 bottles – 585 for retail customers, 195 for licensees

While retailers in other states often charge far more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, Pappy Van Winkle bottles available for sale in Pennsylvania are sold at the price suggested by the supplier.

Separate drawings will be conducted for each of these limited-release whiskeys, and lottery participants may opt into one, several or all drawings. Purchase is limited to one bottle per participant, and if a participant wins a bottle in a drawing, the participant will be removed from subsequent drawings. The drawings for the items having the smallest allocation of bottles will occur first, and will be followed sequentially by drawings for the items having larger allocations.

Because licensees constitute about one quarter of the PLCB’s annual sales, 25 percent of the inventory will be available to licensees, while 75 percent will be available to individual consumers.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) seems to be on to something here with these lotteries. Data shared from that first set of drawings and also a subsequent one indicates that for the 603 bottles total released there were over 21,700 entries “received from licensees and individual consumers, and winners were randomly selected from pools of eligible entries as high as 51 participants in a licensee drawing and as high as 3,856 participants in a drawing for individual consumers.”


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