I was on a mission: My boyfriend is a bourbon connoisseur and has pretty much every bottle but Pappy Van Winkle. I was looking for the 15- or 20-year to give him for Christmas (they also make a 10, 12 and 23 year, as well as a Rye). I called all the local retailers trying to find out when it would be delivered. I’ve always heard rumors of how hard it is to get, with folks waiting in line the day of delivery, and if you’re not one of the first five, you won’t be getting a bottle. So I kept calling stores until I found out the day and time frame it was being delivered. They didn’t know which bottles or how many of each were coming in, but I took the opportunity to get there early in hopes of beating the line. I was the first one in the store waiting for it—score! A bunch of guys came in asking about the delivery but none of them waited around long enough to see what would happen. I was dedicated (and maybe somewhat crazy?) and after waiting a good three hours, a delivery truck finally showed up. There were a handful of people waiting at this point, all eager to see what we’d get. The guy came out from the back room and offered me the 12-year, which I already had, so I declined and let them offer it to another customer. They didn’t even get the 15- or 20-year—I was devastated!
A couple weeks went by, and I’d forgotten all about the Pappy. Then I received a phone call from my mom who lives in Myrtle Beach asking, “Do you want a bottle of Pappy?” I immediately asked, “what year!?” She was at a local store where the shopkeepers were on the phone with another store. Turned out there was a bottle of the 15-year they were able to put on hold for me at the other store. I almost cried! My mom went directly to the store, picked it up, and shipped it up to me. It took everything within me to not tell my boyfriend (I’d already told him the first store experience and knew he would be beyond excited) but kept it to myself in hopes of winning “Girlfriend-of-the-Year”.
On Christmas day, the bottle was wrapped in a bigger box so he opened it thinking it was something else, and lo and behold, there was his beloved bottle of Pappy 15-year. I told him he owes it all to my parents. A lot of dedication and teamwork went into getting that bottle of bourbon, and it might have made me act/look crazy, but it was completely worth the effort. Best Christmas ever. Thanks again Mom and Dad!
—Jen Rocco, Graphic Designer/Production Specialist