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Billund, Denmark (01.04.2021) - Fans of both the highly anticipated Van Winkle line of bourbons and LEGO building sets will be excited to learn that a LEGO Ideas concept titled “Pappy Mania” has been approved to be released as an official LEGO Ideas set.
LEGO Ideas Design Manager Craig Stevens and Engagement Manager Frederik Jensen have announced that the annual Van Winkle bourbon release day will be captured as a LEGO set. Lego and bourbon superfan George Evans submitted it to the LEGO Ideas platform, before 10,000 other fans voted for it. Now that it has been approved for release an expert LEGO designer will adapt the fan design to make it suitable for an official box.
The Old Rip Van Winkle line consists of five aged bourbons and one aged rye, with three of those bourbons featuring an image of Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr., the company’s founder. Commonly referred to simply as “Pappy,” the annually released bourbons are known for their sweeter flavor due to the use of a wheat recipe as opposed to the traditional rye recipe found in most bourbons. The Van Winkle line has earned an impeccable reputation among whiskey connoisseurs, achieving an almost cult-like status.
While the bourbons are offered at a suggested retail price ranging from $69.99 - $299.99 depending on the particular expression, demand has reached such unprecedented levels one media outlet referred to it as The Bourbon So Exclusive Even Billionaires Can’t Buy It in a 2016 article. Over the years, the growing demand for these coveted bourbons has caused fans to do anything from follow delivery trucks from store to store to camping out in front of liquor stores in anticipation of the official release day - possibly the only chance many fans have to acquire a bottle.
The LEGO set design highlights Pappy release day, featuring a crowd of rabid fans encircling a liquor store as if they were wolves pursuing their prey. A traditional brick building is featured as the liquor store, and outside fans are shoulder to shoulder surrounded by tents, empty drink bottles from their overnight stay, and a bit of garbage strewn about for a realistic effect. Evans spared no detail in his design, including intricate details to the minifigures such as t-shirt designs applicable to the bourbon community.
The official set is scheduled for first release in September, 2021. It will be available for purchase alongside a purchase of a bottle of Van Winkle bourbon - a requirement suggested by Evans during the approval process and agreed to by LEGO as the set features a reference to alcohol, thus ensuring only those of legal drinking age would be able to purchase a set. It will be offered for a suggested retail price of $89.99.
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Based on the iconic LEGO brick, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials. The name LEGO is an abbreviation of two Danish words, “leg godt,” which means “play well.” Now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder, the company comprises more than 18,800 people in more than 40 countries. For more information please visit www.lego.com.
The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four-generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Stitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.
After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-Prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.
In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.
Please read this full paragraph related to the brands, elements, claims, and names depicted in this article. The claims represented in this article are 100% fictional. Any reference to brands including, but not limited to, names, logos, and product design have been used for parody purposes only. Any assertions or claims made here are entirely fictional and not endorsed by the brands depicted here in any way. Names of people depicted here are fictional. However, the “About” sections pertaining to both LEGO and Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon are true - we encourage you to learn more about these interesting and storied brands. If you’ve read this far, take a look at the publish date...have a laugh, grab a bourbon, and most importantly don’t spoil it for the next guy or gal! If you clicked through one of our social media channels go drop a clever comment that doesn't give it away!