Pappy fans, it's that time of year once more: Buffalo Trace has unveiled the 2022 Van Winkle lineup. Compared to prior years, there will be more bottles of practically every new Van Winkle whiskey this year. How come? Well, ten years ago Buffalo Trace stored more of these infamously difficult-to-find whiskeys, and ironically, the same whiskeys produced larger yields than usual when they were transferred from barrel to bottle. Nevertheless, the chances of locating and buying a bottle (and at the suggested retail price) remain small because of continued national allocations.
How do these new whiskeys compare to those that were released the year before? The lineup looks the same on the surface, with the following whiskeys having the identical names and prices:
The five Van Winkle bourbons all use the same wheated recipe, which results in the extended age and softer, sweeter tastes that are essential to the Pappy spirit.
(The rye, on the other hand, is still the sole rye the company has ever provided.)
Buffalo Trace and the Van Winkle family agreed in 2002 that Buffalo Trace would produce, mature, and bottle all of its whiskeys in order to continue the family history, and this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of that agreement.
While the starting prices are what the Buffalo Trace team and the Van Winkle family agree are reasonable, the real retail pricing—both at authorized liquor stores and in unofficial (not advised) channels—skews much higher, with bottles fetching hundreds of dollars on the secondary market. Buffalo Trace has intensified its efforts in recent years to discourage Van Winkle aspirants from buying the whiskeys on websites like Facebook or Craigslist, and it also actively encourages customers to report inflated pricing to the Better Business Bureaus. As in years past, your best chance of getting a bottle this year is to participate in a retailer lottery; Van Winkle whiskey will start arriving at shops' shelves later this month.