Pappy Van Winkle. You've heard about it, read about it, and seen Anthony Bourdain tweet about it. But have you had the opportunity to sample the elusive elixir of the bourbon gods?
We have. And this rare bourbon, distilled in Frankfort, Kentucky, is worth the hype.
Bottles of this amber nectar retail for upward of $500 -- if you can find one, that is. Even a trip to the distillery yields no Pappy in the company shop (although you can find a bourbon creme that's absolutely scrumptious and sold exclusively on-site).
Why is Pappy in such demand? It's all in the blend, son. Van Winkle is made with corn, wheat, and barley instead of most other bourbons, which are made from corn, rye, and barley. Taking out the rye makes for a sweet and smooth experience.
So, if we've gotten you thirsty, you might want to head over to Radio Bar tonight for their Bourbon & Beats event. Each Thursday, guests can order special bourbon cocktails for $8 each, while listening to "beats" curated by Miami's best up-and-coming DJs. Each week, you'll also have the opportunity to try a rare bourbon. This week it's the Pappy Van Winkle 15 year Family Reserve.
Rated 98 by the Beverage Tasting Institute, this 107 proof bourbon has a rich tobacco nose, with herbal notes. It's a masculine bourbon with a lot to say and it's being offered for $65 a glass -- while supplies last. Is it worth the money? Yes -- at least once so it can serve as a benchmark for your other bourbon experiences.
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And the $8 cocktails? They're made with premium bourbons, too, like the Primal Fear that features Knob Creek, dry vermouth, cinnamon, lemon, peach bitters, and egg whites; the Old Fashioned with Basil Hayden, Demerara sugar, Angostura bitters, and house orange bitters; and the Whiskey Smash with Makers Mark, lemon, Demarara sugar, and mint.
Just for heaven's sake, don't mix the Pappy. That one's meant to be savored solo.