Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons Prices & Buyers’ Guide

Few whiskey brands remain as enigmatic and elusive as the much-respected Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbon whiskies. Created by Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, the affectionately named “Pappy” debuted on liquor shelves in 1994.

Starting with the release of the 20 Year, they have expanded over time to include 10, 12, 15, and 23-year ages, as well as sole 13-year rye. Each bottle bears the iconic image of its namesake, Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle.

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons have gained legendary status in the world of whiskey, captivating enthusiasts with their exceptional taste and scarcity. If you’re intrigued by these highly sought-after bourbons, it’s essential to understand their prices and navigate the buying process. In this comprehensive buyers’ guide, we’ll delve into the origins, pricing factors, where to buy, and tips for acquiring your very own bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.

Pappy Van Winkle Price List

Growing into a global phenomenon, their popularity has risen to a fever pitch in recent years. Limited availability has given rise to a sort of black market of second-hand buyers and sellers. While Pappy Van Winkle is released at affordable rates for a justifiable cost, opportunists have skyrocketed costs for the average consumer.

Secondary market costs of Pappy Van Winkle bottles have been known to exceed well over $1,000 for an individual bottle or more. Nonetheless, this has only added to the intrigue of the brand, establishing Pappy Van Winkle as a premier bourbon in an often crowded market.

Below are the latest Pappy Van Winkle bourbon whiskey prices, along with ABV and bottle sizes-

TypeBottle SizeStarting PriceABV
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year750ml$799.99 - $1599.9953.5%
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year750ml$899.99 - $1599.9945.2%
Pappy Van Winkle's 15 Year Family Reserve750ml$1499 - $4,499.9953.5%
Pappy Van Winkle's 20 Year Family Reserve750ml‎$4,200 - $760045.2%
Pappy Van Winkle's 23 Year Family Reserve
750ml$5,000 -$8,95047.8%
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
750ml$1999.99 - $3999.9947.8%

Pappy Van Winkle’s Products’ Tasting Notes

Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons have captured the hearts of whiskey aficionados worldwide. Crafted by the esteemed Van Winkle family, these bourbons have become synonymous with unparalleled excellence and exclusivity.

To embark on a remarkable journey exploring the world of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons, it is crucial to appreciate the significance of their prices and delve into the intricate process of acquiring them.

Pappy Van Winkle 10 Year

The Pappy Van Winkle 10-Year Bourbon stands as the youngest offering in their esteemed line of bourbons, starting at $799.9. This remarkable bourbon presents a subtle palette adorned with sweet caramel tones and a clever hint of cinnamon flavor.

With its smooth finish, the 10-Year Bourbon is an exquisite selection, serving as an excellent introduction to the illustrious Pappy Van Winkle brand.

Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year

The Pappy Van Winkle 12-Year Bourbon elevates the tasting experience to new heights. A tantalizing blend of creamy sugar and butter entices the senses, accompanied by a subtle undertone of chocolate.

With a flavor that gracefully envelops your taste buds, the 12-Year Bourbon boasts a smooth mouthfeel and captivating complexity. As you savor this top-tier bourbon, starting at $899.99, you may witness the flavors evolve, with delightful hints of sweet vanilla and lingering honey aftertastes taking center stage.

Pappy Van Winkle 13-Year Rye

Distinguishing itself from the rest, the Pappy Van Winkle 13-Year Rye Whiskey is the sole representative of rye in their esteemed line. This exceptional rye whiskey showcases a well-balanced profile, featuring prominent notes of cinnamon and pepper.

It impresses with its remarkable maple and honey flavors, leaving a lasting impression. The aftertaste reveals a delightful interplay of spiced cherries and dried fruit. As the only rye offered by Pappy, this outstanding whiskey stands on its own merits.

Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year

Renowned for its toasted, sugar-like taste, the Pappy Van Winkle 15-Year Bourbon is a true masterpiece. Meticulously aged in charred oak barrels, undisturbed, this exquisite bourbon delicately blends its sweetness with an infusion of zesty fruit and spices.

The charring of the oak imparts a robust oak character that harmoniously complements the smooth caramel undertones. The price of a 750ml 15-Year-Old Rip Van Winkle ranges from $1499 to $4499.99, reflecting its rarity and exceptional quality.

Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year

The Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Bourbon holds the distinction of once earning the highest rating of 99/100 by the esteemed Beverage Tasting Institute. This highly regarded bourbon has acquired a cult-like following due to its scarcity.

With a starting bottle cost of approximately $4200, it is sought after by collectors and endorsed by prominent celebrities. The 20-Year Bourbon entices with a sharper bite and subtle hints of cognac notes. Its sophisticated balance seamlessly intertwines flavors of fruit, honey, and oak, making it a beloved choice among Pappy enthusiasts.

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year

The Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Bourbon, now shrouded in the realm of myth and rarity, has reached unprecedented demand. As elusive as the fabled Lost City of Atlantis, this bold and full-bodied bourbon captivates the senses.

Is Pappy Van Winkle Worth It For the Price?

While the brand continues to grow its cult-like following, the sky is the limit for this luxury spirit. Their vigilant approach to distilling their whiskies under alternative methods has cemented Pappy Van Winkle’s status as a legendary American whiskey. The brand continues to see itself in constant demand and all signs point to its position as an industry leader for years to come. With Pappy Van Winkle, you get exceptional quality and value in every glass. 


Existing for generations as bourbon distillers, the Van Winkle family has perfected the craft since the early 1890s.  Starting with patriarch Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, a prominent liquor trader in Kentucky, the brand is deeply rooted in American tradition.

Considered to be what’s called “wheat” whiskey, their bourbon distillation process relies heavily on wheat during the mash process. This yields a slightly sweeter and slightly fruitier result in the flavor of these suitably impressive bourbons. With this alluring taste profile, it’s clear to see what has made Pappy one of the most highly regarded spirits in the world of high-end whiskies.

Kentucky law states that bourbon distillations must contain at least 51 percent corn in their final result, along with the inclusion of rye and barley. Pappy is unique in that their bourbon removes the rye and replaces it with wheat instead. This slight adjustment makes a world of difference and differentiates Pappy from other competitors. The clever inclusion of wheat gives Pappy its trademark creamy palate.

History of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Origins and Family Legacy

The story of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons traces back to the late 19th century when Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr. entered the whiskey business. His dedication to producing exceptional spirits laid the foundation for the family’s bourbon dynasty. Today, the Van Winkle name represents a mark of excellence and tradition.

Rise to Prominence and Cult Following

Over the years, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons have garnered an almost mythical reputation. With limited production and consistently high-quality releases, these bourbons have amassed a devoted following. Whiskey enthusiasts eagerly anticipate each annual release, making them some of the most sought-after spirits in the world.

Understanding the Pricing

Factors Influencing the High Prices

One cannot overlook the substantial price tags associated with Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons. Several factors contribute to these high prices:

  1. Limited Production: Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons are produced in small batches, resulting in a scarcity that drives up demand.
  2. Age and Rarity: The lengthy aging process, particularly for the 20 and 23-year-old expressions, significantly contributes to their value. Older bourbons are rare and command higher prices.
  3. Reputation and Demand: The impeccable reputation of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons, coupled with the exclusivity surrounding them, fuels their desirability. Whiskey enthusiasts and collectors actively seek out these bourbons, intensifying the competition.

Where to Buy Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Authorized Retailers

To obtain an authentic bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, it’s advisable to purchase from authorized retailers. These retailers work directly with distributors and receive allocations based on their reputation and sales history. It’s essential to research and identify reputable establishments to ensure a genuine and satisfactory purchase.

Secondary Market and Auctions

Another option for acquiring Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons is exploring the secondary market or participating in whiskey auctions. However, caution is advised in these avenues, as counterfeit bottles can infiltrate the market. Thoroughly vet sellers and authenticate the bottles before making a purchase.

Tips for Buying Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Building Relationships with Retailers

Establishing rapport with local retailers who carry Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons can increase your chances of securing a bottle. By demonstrating your interest and commitment to the whiskey community, you may gain access to limited releases or receive priority in allocations.

Participating in Lotteries and Allocations

Many retailers and liquor boards conduct lotteries or allocations to distribute Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons fairly. Participating in these processes offers a more equitable opportunity to obtain a bottle. Stay informed about the registration period and requirements to maximize your chances.

Evaluating Authenticity

Precautions Against Counterfeit Bottles

Due to their immense popularity, counterfeit Pappy Van Winkle bottles have surfaced in the market. To safeguard against fraudulent purchases, it’s crucial to exercise caution and employ a vigilant approach.

Checking for Authentication Markers

Authentic Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons feature several security features that can help verify their legitimacy. Look for holographic labels, embossed stamps, and accurate bottle details when examining a potential purchase.

Storing and Enjoying Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Proper Storage Conditions

To preserve the integrity and quality of your Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons, it’s essential to store them appropriately. Keep the bottles upright in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations.

Serving and Tasting Recommendations

When it comes time to savor your Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, consider serving it neat or with a few drops of water to unlock its complex flavors. Allow the bourbon to breathe in the glass before taking small sips to fully appreciate its nuances.

Collecting Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons

Investment Potential

In addition to being exceptional spirits, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons can also hold investment value. The limited supply, growing demand, and historical price appreciation make them an enticing option for collectors and investors alike.

Building a Collection

Building a collection of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons requires dedication, patience, and a discerning palate. Strategically acquiring different expressions and vintages can result in a diverse and impressive selection.


Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons embody the pinnacle of bourbon craftsmanship, offering an unparalleled tasting experience. Understanding the prices and navigating the buying process are vital steps in embarking on your journey to appreciate these remarkable spirits.

By exploring the rich history, learning about the different expressions, and employing the tips shared in this guide, you can enhance your chances of obtaining and enjoying a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.


Are Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons worth the high prices?

Absolutely! Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons are renowned for their exceptional quality and complexity. Their limited availability and prestigious reputation justify the premium prices.

Can I find Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons at my local liquor store?

While it’s possible, the chances are slim due to the high demand and limited supply. Building relationships with local retailers and participating in lotteries increase your chances of acquiring a bottle

How can I spot a counterfeit Pappy Van Winkle bottle?

Checking for authentication markers, such as holographic labels, embossed stamps, and accurate bottle details, can help identify genuine Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons and protect against counterfeits.

Should I drink or collect Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons?

The choice is yours! Many enthusiasts enjoy both the taste and the investment potential of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons. Whether you choose to savor them or build a collection, these bourbons offer a unique experience.

What makes Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons so special?

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons stand out for their meticulous craftsmanship, long aging process, and exceptional flavor profiles. The combination of rarity, history, and unmatched quality makes them highly coveted by whiskey enthusiasts worldwide.

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