150 bottles will be sold by lottery. 

By Mike Pomranz
November 19, 2018

If you’re interested in scoring some of the hardest to find bourbon on the market, a grocery store is probably the last place you’d think to look. But in Kentucky at least, customers seeking rare bottles from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery—like much ballyhooed Pappy Van Winkle—might want to give Kroger a try.

Louisville Division Kroger Wine and Spirits Stores will reportedly be selling the coveted bottles of booze via a lottery system that can only be entered into for four hours on Black Friday. From 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. on November 23, interested whiskey fans can head to any of the 47 locations to put their name into the lottery—up to one entry per store. Then, the next morning at 9 A.M., the chain will announce the winners, giving each one 48 hours to come hand over between $59.99 and $229.99 depending on which type of bottle they’ve been selected for. Kroger says you don’t have to be present to win; they’ll give you a call to let you know its bourbon time. The brand also say that all 47 stores will be selling a minimum of three bottles, though just which bottles have ended up where isn’t disclosed. This year, Old Rip Van Winkle has released a 10 year, 12 year, 15 year, 20 year, 23 year, and 13 year rye.

The Washington Post / Getty Images

“This is an incredible opportunity that we wanted to offer our customers,” Erin Grant, corporate affairs manager for the Louisville Division of Kroger, was quoted as saying. “Pappy is rich in lore, scandal and history.”

Different states, stores, and bars all seem to have different ways of selling their Pappy allocation to the public. Lotteries tend to be popular to assure that everyone has a fair shake (and to prevent any sort of mad rush). But Kroger isn’t the only place in Kentucky making news with their choice of distribution. Over the weekend, a bar in the state promised to sell all of the Pappy they obtained this year at cost.

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