Van Winkle's ultra-popular bourbon often sells for 10 times its suggested price, but Virginia residents have a rare chance to buy a bottle at its regular retail cost
- The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Kentucky makes some of the finest bourbons in the world.
- Due to the popularity of the product, many sellers charge "far beyond our suggested
According to the descendants of Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle, the family's legacy in the
Indeed, the motto of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, reads: "We make fine bourbon: at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon."
One result of that philosophy is the the company has declined to significantly raise the prices of its line of aged whiskeys, even though the brand's popularity has grown astronomically to become one of the most sought-after spirits in the world.
But while those prices may seem high compared to most mainstream brands, they are an absolute bargain compared with how much Van Winkle bottles routinely sell for.
In most places, distributor and retailer mark-ups lead to prices as much as ten-times higher than what the distillers recommend, and that's if a bottle can even be found on a shelf.
Some avid collectors even turn to underground and private markets where prices can march even higher.
"Unfortunately, some retailers choose to use this demand as a reason to increase their pricing. We know it's often sold for far beyond our suggested retail prices," a statement from distillery reads.
Meanwhile, some state governments control the distribution of
On Wednesday through Sunday, the ABC will open listings for people 21 and older with a Virginia driver's license to enter their information for the drawing. Last year, more than 300,000 entries were recorded, Axios Richmond reported.
The Van Winkle selections will be a 12-year Special Reserve for $89.99 (966 bottles available) and a 10-year Old Rip Van Winkle for $79.99 (289 bottles available). The winner of the drawing then selects the store location where they will complete the purchase. Additionally, 241 bottles of the 12-year and 72 bottles of the 10-year are available for restaurants in a raffle.
All told, it's estimated that Van Winkle puts out about 7,000 cases each year, totaling about 84,000 bottles. By comparison, Jim Beam produces approximately 84 million bottles per year.
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