So, If you’re like me or not like me, you’ve never even tried Pappy in your life. I’ve never had access to it, and I certainly have never seen it in the wild. So why would I mix up a batch of Poor girl’s (man’s) Pappy if I have nothing to compare it to?
Well, the answer is…
Why the hell not!
But before we get into that, let us have a brief history lesson.
Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr was 18 in 1893 when he started working for W.L. Weller & Sons as a salesman. Fifteen years later he purchased the firm along with another salesman. In 1910 they acquired A. Ph. Stitzel distillery. One of the labels to hit the market before prohibition was Old Rip Van Winkle. During prohibition, they were licensed by the government to produce whiskey for medicinal purposes. After prohibition, the brand was not reintroduced again until the Stitzel-Weller distillery and its current brand names ( W. L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Stil) were sold to other companies in 1972. Pre-prohibition Old Rip Van Winkle was the only brand the Van Winkles kept the rights to.
In 1965 at the age of 89 Pappy Van Winkle passed away. At the time of his passing, he was the oldest active distiller in America. A photo of him lighting a cigar is what you see on Pappy bottles. Julian Van Winkle Jr resurrected the pre-prohibition Old Rip Van Winkle brand until his death in 1981 then his son, Pappy’s grandson Julian Van Winkle the 3rd took over the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery Company. Since 2002 Sazarc Company at Buffalo Trace has been the distilling and bottling place for Van Winkle brands.
Julian Preston Vanwinkle the 3rd said the 2013 bottlings of 23yr Pappy may be the last of its kind. So with this starts the almost cult-like following. Bourbon lovers of all stages have shown up for lotteries and overnight camp-outs just to secure a chance to possibly maybe score a bottle. With secondary market prices and fake bottles being sold, I’m glad I never caught the Pappy bug. Sure, I would never turn it down and if the price is right I would perhaps take a bottle, but I’m perfectly happy if I don’t.
Now on to the alternative that you can make lovingly in your own home. Totally call it whatever you’d like as well.
My friend Jeremy hooked me up with this recipe. It’s a simple one.
-You take equal parts Weller Antique 107 and Weller 12 in any increment you want. I did 1 cup of each.
-Let them plight one’s troth, do what comes naturally in an air-tight bottle/container for 30 days without opening once…not one single time.
Once 30 days hit you can either continue to let it mellow or you can open that baby up and have a dram. I will say that this is the best Pappy I’ve ever had of all the Pappy’s I’ve ever had.
Let me know how yours turned out.
Poor Girl’s Pappy review.
Nose: Smells good. Just like real Pappy that I’ve never nosed.
Palate: Tastes good. Best, not Pappy I’ve had in a long time.
Finish: It’s finished alright.