Pappy is Back

Sort of. Virginia ABC is offering a lottery for this elusive bourbon.

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Are you feeling lucky, bourbon fans?

It’s Pappy Van Winkle season in Virginia and the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is hosting online lotteries for drinkers interested in buying a bottle.

Released state by state in small batches, the elusive aged liquor made by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky has garnered a passionate following. Now it’s Virginia’s turn.

Virginia ABC, which has no control over how many bottles it gets annually from the distillery, launched its first of three lotteries for Pappy products on Thursday morning at abc.virginia.gov.

Before 4:30 p.m., the lottery had already attracted 9,404 Virginians entering for the chance to buy 96 bottles of $99 Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15-year-old bourbon. The lucky few will be notified Dec. 12 if the software program that picks entries at random chose theirs. Winners are chosen at random.

It’s the first time the agency has offered the bottles in a lottery versus sending them to the state’s retail stores.

Two more are scheduled for Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Virginia ABC will host a lottery for the $69.99 Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year-old bourbon and the $59.99 Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year-old bourbon, respectively.

The agency’s waiting list for the Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old bourbon is also dwindling. There are 612 people waiting for up to three bottles each since the list was capped in 2015, and ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Guild said the agency received 402 bottles this year priced at $169.99 each.

“It will still be several years before everyone on the list receives a bottle,” she said.

Looking for Pappy's 23-year-old bourbon? You won't find it in Virginia. The state didn't get any this time.

UPDATE: Over 25,000 entries were received for the lottery, reports the Times-Dispatch. There are 96 bottles and the winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 12.

Feel like you missed out? You can put your name in the hat on Thursday, Dec. 8, for Pappy Van Winkle’s special reserve 12-year bourbon and again on Thursday, Dec. 15 for its the 10-year-old variety.

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