April 2 Update—Thank you for joining The Bourbon Review and Tito Belvedere for April Fools’ Day! We’ll see you next year—if not sooner.
As a way to meet customer demand for limited supplies of product, Buffalo Trace Distillery announced this morning, April 1, that the 2019 release of Van Winkle bourbons will be done entirely in 50 ml bottles, also known as nips, or airplane servings.
The move comes as bottles of precious Van Winkle Whiskey reach all-time highs on the secondary market.
“Everybody wants a bottle, but until now we just haven’t had a way to make their dreams come true,” said Julian Van Winkle III in an exclusive interview this morning. “With smaller bottles, we can reach 15 times as many consumers.”
The smaller bottles, which bear all the same recognizable branding a labels as their gargantuan cousins, will start to see shelf time in the Fall, phasing out 750 ml bottles currently seen on the market.
“It’s our hope that these smaller bottles, combined with conservative sales techniques, will get Van Winkle products into more hands,” said Buffalo Trace Brand Manager Chris Comstock. “The old one bottle per person strategy is going to go a lot farther now.”
Comstock said the added advantage of selling smaller servings of Pappy and its siblings is that they can finally raise the MSRP without hassle. “The MSRP for the 50 ml bottles is actually just going to be the same as what we suggest for the 750s,” he explained.
Van Winkle said that in the future, this will allow them to be more generous to loyal customers. “I’m always getting asked for bottles, by friends, by family. This means I don’t have to say no as often,” he said. “This means I can carry handfuls around with me all day. They even meet TSA regulations.”
The new bottles are available for pre-order today, April 1.