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Virginia ABC Opens Lottery for Limited-Release Elijah Craig Bourbon



More than 200 bottles of Kentucky's Elijah Craig bourbon are up for grabs this week through a state lottery.

It works like this: Enter your name and ABC store number, win, and be the one who gets to buy the bourbon. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control periodically runs such lotteries for highly sought-after liquors.

Up this week: the Elijah Craig 23-year single barrel bourbon for the low, low price of $200.69, and the 18-year bourbon for $129.99. There are 30 available bottles of the former and 192 of the latter.

The lottery opened today and closes Friday for a running total of 48 hours, ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Guild said in an email.

Guild said Virginia has received limited-release bourbon products from Elijah Craig in the past, including a small batch of barrel-proof last year, but wasn't sure about the specific varieties.

A lottery means they're pretty rare, right?

"There are a number of factors that play into the decision to make a spirit a limited availability product and therefore available by lottery," she said. Those factors include quantity, demand, availability and previous sales.

The lottery distribution model is reserved for the "most in-demand and least-quantity spirits."

What makes this bourbon so special?

The Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, Ky., where Elijah Craig is headquartered, has an answer on its website: "Only a handful of the millions of barrels of Bourbon aging in Kentucky have been allowed to mature this long."

Customers can enter once for each product on Virginia ABC's website. Entrants will be notified by Jan. 23 whether they're among the lucky group of winners.

Last month, the ABC department held three online lotteries for varieties of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

This story originally appeared on

Virginian-Pilot writer Kimberly Pierceall contributed to this report.

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