The state drawing for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon has officially launched on the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control website.
Utahns who want a chance to buy the rare liquor at a more affordable price than anywhere else in the country have until Jan. 18 to register. Once the drawing closes, a computer will randomly select the winning names.
Utah received 181 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle products this year, including two bottles of the company’s highly prized 23-year aged spirit; four of its 20-year aged bourbon; 27 of the 15-year spirit; 58 of the 12-year product; and 90 of the 10-year.
With such limited distribution, the bourbons typically have a huge markup. The 23-year and 20-year bourbons, for example, sometimes sell for $1,000 to $2,000 (or more) in other states and online.
In Utah, though, those aged bourbons cost $299.99 and $199.99, respectively. It’s one instance when Utah’s legislatively mandated 88% liquor markup works in favor of consumers.
This month’s drawing also includes 167 bottles of other hard-to-get spirits produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery — including Sazerac Rye, Eagle Rare Bourbon, William Larue Weller Bourbon, Thomas Handy Rye and George T. Stagg. All are available for $100 a bottle.
Residents can register for all 10 items, but once your name is selected, you won’t be able to win another bottle. The state will start the drawing with Pappy’s premier 23-year aged bourbon.
The DABC launched the drawings in 2019 after being criticized for the way it handled these “unicorn” products, which are released only once a year and in limited quantities. The process gives all interested consumers a shot at buying the products.
During the drawing’s inaugural run, more than 16,000 residents entered for a chance to buy one of the bottles.
It’s called a drawing, not a lottery — which is illegal under state law — because consumers do not have to pay anything upfront to participate. It’s much like the drawing the state uses for hunting licenses.
Here’s what you need to know to participate:
• Consumers must 21 and older and must first create a personal profile on the DABC website — https://abc.utah.gov/ — that includes an email, birthdate and the last four digits of either their Utah driver license, passport, military or work ID.
• Consumers who are selected will have to show that identification when they go to buy the bottle at the state-run liquor store they listed at registration.
• Only Utahns and those in the active military in the state can put their name in the drawing. DABC employees may not participate; neither can restaurants, bars or other businesses with state liquor licenses.
• The names will be picked randomly by computer. Those selected will be notified by email. Only one bottle can be purchased per address, and reselling the product is prohibited.