Monday, January 23, 2017

Sellers of Pappy in Pennsylvania, beware!

A bottle of coveted whiskey has a York County man facing a misdemeanor count of sales of liquor without a license.

Officers from the state Bureau of Liquor Control say they responded to an ad on Craigslist and subsequently were sold a 20-year-old bottle of Pappy Van Winkle by Wade Ashley Collingsworth, 45, of York.

The rare bottles of bourbon and whiskey produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky are so sought after that the state Liquor Control Board has held an annual lottery. In 2016, it ran from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 and 1,601 bottles up for grabs.

The whiskey and bourbon brand sells for upwards of $2,000 a bottle. No information was provided on what Collingsworth allegedly asked for the bottle agents say they bought.

It's not the first time some lucky winners found themselves in hot water with the LCB. Resales of liquor in Pennsylvania are illegal, and after each auction, the bureau keeps an eye out for online sellers.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pappy is on the menu at Donald Trump's new hotel bar

President-elect Donald Trump has made a supposed fortune by slapping his name on mediocre products and selling them for exorbitant prices. So it should come as no surprise that the beverages at Benjamin Bar & Lounge, the cocktail bar inside Trump’s new Washington DC hotel, might induce extreme sticker shock.

When the hotel opened, Benjamin’s cocktails were $18 to $21. That’s quite pricey, but not too uncommon for a fancy cocktail bar in a big city. But now, as the Washingtonian reports, the cheapest drink you’ll find checks in at $24. Ouch.

That $24 will get you a “romanesque revival,” made with 24 Revival bourbon, honey, mint, and ginger. Six more drinks run in the $25-to-$29 range, and anyone itching to burn through a serious wad of cash can order “the Benjamin.” An amalgamation of rye, potato, winter wheat vodka, raw oysters, and caviar costs a cool $100. The bar’s menu doesn’t explain how, exactly, the drink is served, or the sources of the oysters and caviar.

The beverage list offers an extensive selection of liquor and wine, and big spenders can brag about their bank accounts with several three-figure options. One ounce of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac rye can be had for $175.

And for the grand finale.... ONE OUNCE of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is available for $250.

The hotel is located at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Pappy Van Winkle appears briefly in Utah

The rare bourbon "Pappy Van Winkle" made a surprise appearance at a handful of Utah State Liquor stores on Thursday, where it was snapped up in minutes.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said the bourbon was sent to stores in Ogden, Cottonwood Heights, St. George, Riverton, Salt Lake City and Provo.

"We didn't get all that much," DABC spokesman Terry Wood said.

Pappy Van Winkle is made in limited batches, and a quirk of Utah's liquor laws means that people here get it for much less than other states. Where a bottle can sell for hundreds of dollars outside Utah, our liquor laws mandate cost plus 86% markup. A 20-year batch bottle can sell for about $160 here. In contrast, some bars charge up to $100 for a shot of the stuff.

It's unknown when Buffalo Trace, the distiller that makes Pappy Van Winkle, will send another shipment. To avoid long lines and a mad scramble, Wood said the DABC may look at other ways of getting it to customers.

"We may try to go to some kind of lottery system next year," he said.