TIL that Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, which sells for thousands per bottle, was so undesirable for decades that the brand was sold everywhere from “gimmicky decanters shaped like college mascots” in the 1980s to entire privately sold barrels for only $1200 as late as the early 2000s.

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It’s not particularly extraordinary bourbon. It’s extremely *exclusive* bourbon That largely gets sold via a gimmicky lottery. People only drink it so they can say that they drink it. I’ve tried Pappy. I believe the appropriate expression is “Paris syndrome”. I’d take Larceny or Eagle Rare any day over paying what suckers do for Pappy.


It got inflated with the bourbon-bros fad. It’s hilarious because even for years as Pappy’s price skyrocketed you could buy Weller dirt cheap still. Then the bourbon-bros found out it uses the same mash just aged in different warehouses and its prices rose as well.


I was at an upscale restaurant with a wealthy friend and when he ordered a round for the table our waitress said, “so, you like expensive bourbon, but do you like good bourbon?” Owned him a little, but proceeded to give a great bourbon education and we all enjoyed better for a lot less.


My family used to own a liquor store and apparently they couldn’t even give Pappy away (back in the day). They used to host regular tastings of it just so people would even consider buying it.


When I was a beverage director in the 2000’s, if I ordered Pappy, they would ask “How much do you want?”. These days if you ask about Pappy they tell you how many bottles you are allowed to buy.