Virginia’s Old Van Winkle bourbon lottery opens this week

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control’s latest lottery for rare spirits opens March 23 and runs through March 27. This time, a few hundred bottles of Old Van Winkle Distillery bourbons will be made available.

Up for grabs are 1,207 bottles of Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 (241 bottles of which are reserved for commercial license holders such as bars and restaurants) at $89.99, and 361 bottles of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year (72 bottles for licensees) at $79.99.

Winners and non-winners will be notified April 11.

Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon
Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon. (Courtesy Virginia ABC)

Any Virginia resident 21 years of age and older, or business with an active ABC license, can enter the lottery online starting March 23. Each winner is eligible to buy one bottle at the pre-set manufacturer’s price, less than retail. However, entries are limited to one per individual or business.

Kentucky-based Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery releases its stock once per year to wholesalers who determine which retailers get the inventory. Limited availability makes the spirits extremely hard to find.

Virginia ABC releases special products for purchase by lottery throughout the year. But if you buy it, you own it. No unlicensed person or business can sell alcohol from Virginia ABC to another party, and doing so could result in a misdemeanor charge.

Virginia ABC says it conducts lotteries of hard to find spirits in response to customer requests to allow the maximum number of Virginians the opportunity to buy them.

Before this, the most recent lottery was for 5 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 Year, at $329.99 per bottle.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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