Pappy van Winkle


An emotional tasting note from Eatonton, Georgia

Pappy van Winkle 20 yo
A real Pappy

I was quite surprised to find the bottle high up behind the counter of Mr Nadal’s liquor store just outside Eatonton, Georgia. ‘$1200’, he said with some pride. ‘But, a real Pappy’, he added.


A real Pappy 

With some nostalgia we discussed the possibility of purchasing this beauty. I thanked him for the chat and stepped in my car with an affordable Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye. On the road my thoughts went back to Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse back in 2013 in New York’s Theatre District. After the copious dinner the waiter recognized our hesitation whether to go for a full dessert or just a coffee. He came up with a bottle of Pappy van Winkle’s Family Reserve, 15 or 20 year old, I don’t remember. ‘The gentleman might be interested, I thought’. On the label I saw a gentleman enjoying his cigar. Being a cigar aficionade myself I felt we had something in common.  Not knowing then what treasure he was offering, I said ‘OK, why not’. My stomach was still struggling with the $42 sirloin steak when he came back with a tumbler glass filled with whiskey and a cup of ice. ‘Enjoy’. After I had smelled the Pappy and had taken the first nip I knew for sure: this was my whiskey. $60 was pricey, yes, but worth a try. I can remember the bill was enormous, but so was the entire holiday.