If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on bourbon, you might as well make it an experience.

By Mike Pomranz
November 14, 2019

Let's assume for a moment that you've waited your entire life to score a taste of Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve Bourbon. So you attempt to buy a bottle. Even if you are lucky enough to land one at retail, you're still paying between $120 and $300 depending on whether you get the 15-, 20-, or 23-Year-Old bottling. But let's say you got it. You crack it open, pour yourself a glass… and then what? You probably pass away with the bottle collecting dust in your liquor cabinet, too apprehensive to pour another tipple from your most coveted and valuable bottle of bourbon ever again.

The Westin Austin Downtown

Wouldn't you rather get a full whiskey experience for your money? That's where The Westin Austin Downtown has your back. The hotel in the heart of the Texas capital is offering "The Rip Van Winkle Package." Not only does it include a bit of bourbon tasting, but it also gives you a place to crash when you're whiskeyed out… because before Rip Van Winkle was famous for his bourbon, he was famous for his love of a good night's sleep.

"We're fortunate to get a full allotment of Pappy at The Westin Austin Downtown, but this year we decided to spread the love, and put a tasting together that's commensurate with the rare juice," Director of Sales and Marketing Nicole Sopko told me via email. "The best way to try Pappy is via several vintages, so we took it a bit further and had our restaurant, Stella San Jac, create an entire Pappy-paired meal. We can't wait to share this experience with guests (and perhaps live vicariously through them)!"

For $799 per night (minimum two night stay), the hotel will provide you and a guest a flight of three different Pappy Van Winkle vintages, along with a "chef cultivated menu balancing impeccably with Pappy" at Stella San Jac, which focuses on Southern cuisine with nods to home cooking and local dishes. The flight features a shot each of 10-year, 12-year, and 20-year bourbon from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. For the record, the first two bottles—though still highly coveted—are technically Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons. But that final 20-year-old will bear the Pappy Van Winkle label.

The package can be booked for dates from January 1 to October 1, 2020—or until The Westin Austin Downtown runs out of Pappy. (Some blackout dates may apply.) And all reservations must be made at least one week in advance. You can book your package by calling (512) 792-5664 or emailing pappy@westinaustindowntown.com.

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