Whiskey Nips: Better than Pappy

With the current bourbon boom, there are many allocated bourbons that are hard to get. Pappy is one that a lot of people have chased, but never got their hands on. Landing some of these bottles takes time, commitment, and sometimes just pure luck. I know I’ve missed out on a few, while putting in a lot of time hunting these bottles down.  I haven’t been hunting for long, but I’ve quickly grown tired of it. That’s because I’ve found something worth chasing that can be just as good as, or better than, some of these allocated bourbons. I’m talking aboutprivate barrel picks.


Why are they better than Pappy, you ask? First things first, they are more readily available to the everyday consumer. Yes, some of them sell out pretty fast, but there’s plenty to go around. They can also offer a unique profile on something you already know and love. This makes them more exclusive than Pappy. With these being single barrel products, there will only be 150-200 bottles released on average in comparison to the however many thousand bottles of Pappy. Yeah, ok, cool, you have a bottle of Pappy, but have you ever had a bottle of Eagle Rare that was a bit different, with an explosion of brown sugar with a super long and spicy finish? Oh yeah, it was only $30.

Private barrel picks, in my opinion, can be some of the best values out there, while also being the most unique. A lot of times bourbons can start tasting the same and there’s nothing memorable about them, but when you get one of these unique profiles from a private barrel pick, they can leave a lasting memory.  You’re likely to share more of your private barrels with friends and have fun, which is what bourbon means to me. Next time you are out at your local bourbon bar, look for a private barrel selection, or ask if they have one. This might be the best pour that you ever had and may never get again.


Tony Freund


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