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Will This Be the Most Coveted Bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Rye Ever?

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A rare artifact from Pappy’s pre-hype days has hit the market.


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There is no such thing as a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle that isn’t rare and expensive. In fact, outside of maybe “delicious,” I’d say those are the two best words to describe the whiskey. But even within the wild world of Pappy, there are levels of price and rarity. And one of the priciest and rarest bottles in all of Pappydom has just hit the auction block.

Taking place over the next few days at Sotheby’s New York is the Whisky & Whiskey Featuring The Richard Gooding Collection auction, which includes a number of highly prized whiskeys (and whiskies), including some 50-year-old Macallans, a 64-year-old Glenfiddich and a 23-year-old Pappy decanter. But the belle of the ball when it comes to the American whiskeys on offer has to be the ultra-rare bottle of Lottas Home Papa’s Private Family Reserve that’s up for grabs.

What is Lottas Home Papa’s Private Family Reserve?

In the late 1990s, the Pappy Van Winkle hype train was in its infancy. The move to Buffalo Trace Distillery and the corresponding bourbon craze that turned every bottle of the stuff into a unicorn was still a few years away, and bottles — or even barrels — could be purchased for prices one could actually describe as fair.

In 1998, Old Rip Van Winkle released the first bottles of its now-iconic Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old. At the time, it was exclusive to the Japanese market, with the first American release not coming until the following year. But there was another version of the liquid that made its way to some shelves in Germany under a different name.

Stephan Macha, the owner of Weine & Feines in Heidelberg, Germany, purchased 60 bottles of 13-year-old rye from Julian Van Winkle III in 1998 to sell at his store. Since Pappy wasn’t a big draw yet, Macha created his own custom label for the whiskey, christening it “Lottas Home Papa’s Private Family Reserve 13 Year Old” after his daughter.

Lottas Home, left, is one of several rare bottles of Pappy hitting the auction block.Sotheby’s

Given the bottles’ extreme rarity, provenance and unique place in Pappy Van Winkle history, they’re considered one of the ultimate grails for Pappy collectors. And one has just gone up for sale.

The rare rye whiskey, bottled with an ABV of 47.8% at the now-closed Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY, is listed in the lot at Sotheby’s Whisky & Whiskey Featuring The Richard Gooding Collection auction in New York. With five bids in as of this writing, the bottle has already surpassed its reserve and currently sits at $22,000.

With another three days remaining in the auction, it seems likely that Sotheby’s estimate of $26,000 will be surpassed by the time bidding ends on March 15 at 11:02 am EDT. Toss in a bid at the link below to take your shot at owning a piece of Pappy history.


Lottas Home Papa’s Private Family Reserve 13 Year Old

Just 60 bottles of this rare 13-year-old rye ever existed, making it one of the rarest and most interesting releases in the history of Pappy Van Winkle.





13 Years


A once-in-a-lifetime bottle

An amazing conversation starter


Few will ever taste it

Ludicrously expensive

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