No It’s Not!
I thought about leaving the post with just those first three words. I’ve since decided to explain myself a little. I’ll try to keep it brief.
I was talking with a friend, I’ll call him Brandon, yesterday evening about Very Old Barton (VOB). We got on the subject because we were attending the Evansville Bourbon Society’s 2nd Annual Bourbon Affair and Josh Hollifield from Barton 1792 Distillery was there for a tasting of the club’s private barrel selection and the highly limited releases: 1792 Sweet Wheat and 1792 Port Finish.
We starting talking about Barton’s other releases which include the VOB line of bourbons. If you don’t like VOB, haven’t tried VOB, or haven’t been into a liquor store in a while you might not realize this line of bottom shelf yet very tasty tipples have been disappearing. A few months ago I could by a bottle of each (80 proof, 86 proof, and 100 proof) in any liquor store across the Ohio River in Kentucky. Now, all you can find is the 80 proof expression.
I asked Brandon why this is the case and I heard the line I’ve heard all too often recently. “People are saying it tastes like Pappy!” “That’s ridiculous,” I exlaimed in response. While it’s certainly ridiculous the trend has been heading in this direction for a while.
When Pappy disappeared people started saying the W.L. Weller bourbons were the same thing. Now, they have disappeared. I get the line of (flawed) thinking. W.L. Weller is made by the same distillery (Buffalo Trace) from the same mashbill (wheated) as Pappy. Okay. Still not the same bourbon. They are aged in different barrels in different areas for different amounts of time.
Now, people (I guess) are saying the VOB bourbons are the same as well. That is an even bigger stretch. The only connection between VOB and Pappy is both Barton 1792 and Buffalo Trace are owned by Sazerac. That’s it. They are made at different distilleries with different mashbills (VOB is a rye, not wheat-heavy bourbon), aged in different places for different amounts of time.
At this rate it won’t be long before everything is Pappy! I’m tired of it.
Newsflash people: Nothing is the same as Pappy! Pappy is Pappy! Believe me! I’ve tried Pappy! Nothing is the same as Pappy (even it’s not the gold standard of bourbon)!
These words will fall on mostly deaf ears. I will still say (actually type but you get it) them. Get over it! Move on! And leave me my delicious, cheap, and completely unlike Pappy VOBs.
That’s all. I guess it wasn’t quite as brief as I’d hoped. Cheers and Happy Friday!