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PLCB opens lotteries to purchase more than 1,500 rare whiskeys

Whiskey connoisseurs in Pennsylvania can enter lotteries this week to purchase rare bottles that have skyrocketed in demand in recent years.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Monday announced its Limited-Release Lotteries for the highly sought-after products. Of 1,590 bottles up for grabs, 1,440 are made by Kentucky-based Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery and 90 bottles are made by Kentucky-based Old Forester.

“These have developed kind of a cult following over the last several years,” PLCB spokesperson Shawn Kelly said. “If you go back 12 or 15 years, these products would have sat on the shelves. But something happened where these have become more popular.”

Pennsylvania residents can enter into the lotteries until 5 p.m. Friday by visiting the Limited-Release Lottery web page, and Kelly said he expects tens of thousands of entries.

For the Van Winkle lottery, there will be a separate raffle for six different bottles. The Old Forester lottery also will have its own raffle, and residents can enter into both lotteries if they would like.

• Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Straight Bourbon 23 Year Old: There will be 36 bottles available, costing $399.99 each. Of those, 27 will be for individual consumers, and nine will be for licensees.

Van Winkle Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey 13 Year Old: There will be 69 bottles available, costing $159.99 each. Of those, 52 bottles will be for individual consumers, and 17 bottles will be for licensees.

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Straight Bourbon 20 Year Old: There will be 108 bottles available, costing $249.99 each. Of those, 81 bottles will be for individual consumers, and 27 will be for licensees.

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Straight Bourbon 15 Year Old: There will be 114 bottles available, costing $149.99 each. Of those, 86 bottles will be for individual consumers, and 28 will be for licensees.

Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Straight Bourbon 10 Year Old: There will be 315 bottles available, costing $89.99 each. Of those, 237 will be for individual consumers, and 78 will be for licensees.

Van Winkle Special Reserve Straight Bourbon 12 Year Old: There will be 798 bottles available, costing $99.99 each. Of those, 599 will be for individual consumers, and 199 will be for licensees.

• Old Forester Birthday Straight Bourbon 2022: There will be 150 bottles available, costing $159.99 each. Of those, 90 will be for individuals, and 60 will be for licensees.

Kelly emphasized winning the lotteries only gives residents the ability to purchase the products. They will not be given to them free of charge.

Participants must identify a valid store to pick up the product of their choosing, according to the PLCB. Every winner will be required to show valid photo identification.

Winners also must acknowledge they will not illegally resell products, and any entries with billing addresses that are not verified as a valid Pennsylvania address will be disqualified.

“Even something as large as the state of Pennsylvania doesn’t get a lot of these bottles,” Kelly said. “There’s a big demand. There’s a huge secondary market for these bottles.”

Logan Hullinger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Logan at lhullinger@triblive.com.

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