Men's Journal

Van Winkle Won’t Be Releasing One Of Its Whiskeys in 2017

 Courtesy of Buffalo Trace

If your whiskey-loving friend is packing a car with camping gear, it might not be for a weekend in the mountains.

Next month is Van Winkle release season. It’s the time of year when die-hard fans camp out and go to crazy lengths for the coveted bottles. Well, most of them.

While the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which makes Pappy Van Winkle, says they have more bottles of 10, 15, and 23 year bourbons than last year, they’re not releasing any 13 Year Old Rye Whiskey for 2017.

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According to a release this morning, the company has a gap in their inventory—right now there are no 13-year-old barrels available for bottling. We’re not sure whether that means they have older stock they don’t want to part with, or that everything in their warehouses is truly 12 years of age or younger. But either way, there will be no bottles this year.

This has happened before. A couple years ago, half the usual number of 23-year-old bottles were available.

Here’s the hot take you don’t want to hear: this is a good thing.

Van Winkle had the opportunity to release a lower quality (or objectively different) product in the same bottle, just to sell more bottles. They didn’t. They could have dropped the 13-year age statement, but they didn’t. It’ll drive black market prices up for a year or so, but that’s nothing compared to the price surge that would have happened if they’d dropped an age statement.

Anyway, the rest of the bottles will hit the market over the next few weeks.

In case you ever wondered what the MSRPs for these bottles are, here’s the official listing:

· Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof $60

· Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old $70

· Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old $100

· Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old $170

· Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old $270

We doubt you’ll see those prices on shelves. Expect to pay several times more at minimum if you need to get your hands on this stuff.