Lexington’s Chevy Chase Inn wants to wish you a “Pappy Thanksgiving."

By Mike Pomranz
November 13, 2018

For all its purported greatness, the beloved bourbon known as Pappy Van Winkle has two serious problems: It’s extremely difficult to find and, even if you can score some, it’s extremely expensive whether you’re hoping to buy it by the bottle or pay exorbitant markups to try at a watering hole. With that in mind, Lexington, Kentucky’s Chevy Chase Inn wants to help ease all of your Pappy problems. This Sunday, the bar plans to crack open the entire stash of Pappy it scored this season and sell it off at cost in a promotion it’s calling "Pappy Thanksgiving."

Courtesy of Kevin Heathcoat 

In announcing the pocketbook-friendly publicity stunt, Chevy Chase Inn — billed as Lexington’s oldest bar — said it’s just received its annual allocation and for one day only, they want to give as many people a chance to try it as possible. "We feel that bourbon this special should be enjoyed, not looked at. The prices being charged for Pappy Van Winkle has gotten out of control," Kevin Heathcoat, one of the bar’s owners, stated. "So many people right here in the heart of Bourbon Country can't afford to try this delicious bourbon. Pappy is actually one of the most reasonably priced ultra-premium bourbons when it leaves the warehouse. Our industry and the secondary market is ruining it for working class bourbon lovers everywhere."

So how do Kentuckians score their tipple? The bar plans to open its doors at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 18 and give everyone in line a wristband and a number. Then, at 4:30 p.m. the moment of truth: Chevy Chase Inn will sell one pour per person at cost. The bar says they can guarantee pours to the first 70 people in line.

And what exactly is "cost"? On their Facebook page, the bar breaks down all the pricing for 1.5-ounce pours: Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery 10 Year: $5.00, Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year "Lot B": $6.25, Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year: $8.50, and Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year: $14.25.

"The idea behind the event of course happened after a few bourbons had been consumed," Heathcoat continued. "My partners and I had been enjoying some great Kentucky Bourbon when our Pappy was delivered. One of us said, ‘Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could afford to try these bourbons?’ That is when we got the idea to host our First Annual Pappy Thanksgiving. We sobered up and still thought it was a great idea, so here we are."

You can’t buy publicity like this, can you? Or if you could, it would probably cost more than the markup on a few pours of Pappy, right? Seems like a smart promotion to me.

Advertisement