The mere mention of Pappy Van Winkle elicits immediate reverence and respect in savvy bourbon circles, and these elusive bottles remain some of the most coveted on the market.
A new exhibit at Louisville’s Frazier History Museum details the life and legacy of the bourbon baron through family heirlooms, artifacts, personal items and photographs, alongside showy vintage decanters and a selection of rare bottles. Old Weller and Van Winkle whiskey labels form a custom wallpaper backdrop for the display.
Born in Danville, Kentucky in 1874, Julian Proctor “Pappy” Van Winkle co-founded the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in 1935, built on an uncompromising dedication to high quality. With a mash bill that relied on wheat instead of the more commonly used rye, the operation quickly amassed a loyal fan following for its smooth-drinking product.
Today, family descendants Julian Van Winkle III and his son, Preston, oversee the Van Winkle brand as part of the Buffalo Trace family.
“Pappy Van Winkle: The Van Winkle Family Collection” is on display now through July 2021 at the Frazier Museum on Louisville’s Museum Row.