Why Is Pappy Van Winkle So Expensive?

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is a brand of bourbon whiskey owned by Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. Due to its high demand and low production, it is rare and has high demand among people. Pappy Van Winkle is one of the finest bourbons available worldwide. The bottles are made in Frankfort, Kentucky. It has become something of a cult among collectors and aficionados of the classic American spirit. There are 3 classes in particular. They are Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve bourbons aged 15, 20, and 23 years. The 20-year-old was first launched in 1994, the 23-year-old in 1998, and the 15-year-old in 2004. So, why is pappy van winkle so expensive? let’s find out in this article.

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery (which actually isn’t a distillery at all), only releases between 7,000-8,000 cases (and we’ll talk about that number for recent releases) of Family Reserve every year, which makes it excruciatingly rare and highly collectible.

More about Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey

The bourbons are named for Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr., a founder and long-time president of Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Shively, Kentucky until his death in 1965 (via The New York Times). The Old Rip Van Winkle brand, created by Pappy, was kept alive by his son Julian Van Winkle Jr. after Stitzel-Weller was sold in 1972 (it’s now closed), and Julian Van Winkle III added to the portfolio after his father’s death in 1981. At that time, Old Rip Van Winkle was only available in 10-year-old 90- and 107-proof bourbons. It was Julian Van Winkle III who introduced the now-legendary Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbons, which, since 2002, have been made in a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. A 12-year-old Van Winkle Special Reserve and 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye have since been added to the collection (via Buffalo Trace Distillery).

Why is Pappy Van Winkle so expensive?

Pappy Van Winkle is expensive and high in demand. In economic terms, this happens when a limited supply meets very high demand. It’s the scarcity principle in action. For supply and demand to reach an equilibrium, The Business Professor explains, the scarcity principle dictates that the price of a rare product be increased until only a favored few can afford the limited offerings available. In the case of Pappy Van Winkle, the backstory is as much a part of the allure as the well-aged liquor in those notoriously hard-to-find bottles.

There are mainly two main factors behind the high prices, supply, and demand. Bourbon fans everywhere want to taste this elusive beverage, but the manufacturer only releases approximately 84,000 bottles each year.

Cost of Pappy Van Winkle Whisky 

The spirit has a small production run, and its aging process takes between 15 and 23 years, a limited supply/high demand situation exists, making it elusive at its $120 starting price. In bars that stock it, shot prices range from $75 to more than $100, and collectors’ sites list the whiskey for $5,000. A 20-year bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey costs $149. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old costs $99 and is widely available. After the 2021 release, all Van Winkle releases doubled their price. People would pay when they get to the store. 

How Much To Pay For Pappy?

A suggested retail price of $69.00 is offered. Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10-Year-Old 107 proof went from $299 to $99. People can buy Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old for 99 cents a bottle. It is normal for people to pay much more for a bottle when they find it.

For each glass of Pappy Van Winkle, Depending on the size, it costs and people have to pay $5 to $14 per 5-ounce pour. On the other hand, Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old can cost $150 at most other bars in the United States, whereas it is only available at Pappy Van Winkle in the state of New York.

Investment in Pappy Van Winkle

Most Bourbons make good investment choices. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is indeed an excellent addition to any portfolio provided to people to have access to it.

What Is The Most Expensive Pappy Van Winkle?

The price of this bourbon is so high that every shot costs $315 per shot. This is one of the world’s most expensive and rarest bourbons. Bourbon Pappy Old Rip Van Winkle is considered to be one of the rarest in the world. 

One ounce of this 25-year-old bourbon costs $315 for a shot and comes from a very rare batch. Pappy Van Winkle bottles are technically $130 each. The price of one at a legitimate liquor store serving Buffalo Trace, Pappy’s parent company, will be at least 10 times that.

How Much Pappy Van Winkle Can Be Sold for?

Pappy Van Winkle sells for $59. It is 99 cents for the 12-year-old Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon. $99. The Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey 13 Year Old sells for $99 a bottle. $79. The price of the 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon is 99 cents. $149. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old costs $99 and is widely available.

What makes Pappy Van Winkle special?

Pappy Van Winkle, is enriched with wheat than most of the bourbons in high percentages. Bourbon is considered bourbon when it has at least 51 percent corn. It does not use typical rye, instead, it uses wheat. It creates bourbon that is sweeter and fruitier.

How rare is Pappy Van Winkle bourbon?

Pappy Van Winkle is rare, quality bourbons. It produces around 84,000 bottles which are 7,000 cases a year.

Is Pappy Van Winkle an investment?

The Bourbon blend is now 100.2 proof and much closer in taste to the 107 proof Pappy 15. Some suggest that it is best to let it sit for several weeks before you drink. It does taste better after mingling for a few weeks but it still taste great right after it has been mixed.

How Much Is A Glass Of Pappy 23?

There was a cost of 95 cents per shot in California – CA.

What tastes closest to Pappy Van Winkle?

Weller Special Reserve“Weller Special Reserve is absolutely the closest thing to Pappy that you can find considering it has the same build as Pappy and is made by the same parent company, Buffalo Trace,” says Torres.

What bourbons have the same mash bill as Pappy?

Blame this on whiskey geeks who discovered that Weller is basically Pappy (made at Buffalo Trace using the same mash bill), but aged for different amounts of time and in different warehouses. This makes Weller probably the closest thing to Pappy you can find, and for that reason it has become another cult whiskey.


Pappy Van Winkle is the unicorn of bourbons. It is known for its quality. The whiskey is one of the hardest-to-find bottles. This is because of the low production and high demand. It is available and appreciated worldwide as the ultimate form of quality. Bars in NY sell each shot of Pappy for $315 each. Pappy Van Winkle bourbon brand has a rich flavor. It is a spicy-sweet blend of nutty oak. They have special notes of honeyed citrus, maple, and vanilla. It provides the finest bourbon of all time and you can be assured of its taste and quality. 

William James

I help consumers answer their nagging queries about products, services, and companies. We aim to provide in-depth, well-researched, and accurate information in easy-to-follow guides and articles. Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button