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So You Wanna Find Some Pappy Van Winkle…

There are a lot of special releases coming out in September for Bourbon Heritage Month and beyond into October. This is when the Van Winkle collections are released (no, the 10 year is not called Pappy) as well as the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC for short).  You’ll also see special releases from Four Roses this year, as well as Heaven Hill and more (see below for a list of where you might be able to find them for sale online).

So how do you get your hands on these coveted bottles?  It might surprise you to learn you stand a better chance outside of Kentucky, where bourbon frenzy hasn’t yet reached epic proportions.  Call your local liquor store and ask if they have a waiting list.  These things are sometimes very political, so it helps to be a regular customer.

Van Winkle bottles
Good luck trying to find all of these bottles! (image via Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery)

There are also several stores that raffle off an entire collection.  You pay $20 or so for a raffle ticket and a month later you may win the entire BTAC collection.  Often these raffles are done with proceeds going to charity.

There are also search tools you can sign up for to help you find out when special bottles or collections are released.  Bourbonr is a website and an app that helps you keep track of your collection.  They also offer constant updates on special releases in their blog as well as a map indicating Pappy Sightings which could help you figure out this year’s distribution pattern.

Then there’s the Pappy Tracker app.  I personally have no experience with this, so I can’t say how or whether it works.

At the end of the day, though, your best bet for that Pappy Van Winkle bottle at a hopefully regular price is always going to be camping out in front of the liquor store to be the first in line, Black Friday style.  Back up and read that again: yes, people actually camp out the night before a special release in order to get these collections.  You gotta want it, people.

Editor’s Note: As a bonus, we’ve linked below to a range of online retailers by bottling you might have luck getting hold of one of these rare American whiskies from. Note though you’ll likely pay a premium – good luck!

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