Bourbon lovers camp out for rare booze

Published: Nov. 12, 2015 at 4:02 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2015 at 10:02 AM EST
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Bourbon lovers slept in tents overnight outside Party Source in Bellevue. (FOX19 NOW/Megan...
Bourbon lovers slept in tents overnight outside Party Source in Bellevue. (FOX19 NOW/Megan O'Rourke)

BELLEVUE, KY (FOX19) - The stormy weather late Wednesday and early Thursday didn't stop some bourbon lovers from setting up camp outside Party Source in Bellevue.

They braved the weather in hopes of getting their hands on a rare bourbon.

To many people, the scene of tents lining the outside of Party Source probably looked like a preview of Black Friday but here in Kentucky, the campout was more like a Bourbon Black Friday.

Some folks may have never heard the name Pappy Van Winkle, others may just think of it as another brand of bourbon in a glass bottle but to the people who camped out outside Party Source on Wednesday, Pappy Van Winkle is more than just a drink --- it's a passion.

"Every time you take a sip of it, the clouds part, the light of God comes down and angels sing. You take a sip and think, 'I understand now.' That is why I'm in line for this one bottle," said Scott Quinn, who drove from West Chester to Bellevue for his chance to get one of the rare bottles of bourbon that will go on sale Thursday morning.

He and dozens of other bourbon enthusiasts set up their tents more than 24 hours before the limited bottles went on sale .

"It's kind of a fraternity really, people gathering for a common cause. It's not something you see every day," bourbon enthusiast Tom Gawrosk told us.

Many folks we spoke with said camping out for the release of Pappy has become an annual outing for their group, an outing they  refer to as the "Black Friday of Bourbon."

But with heavy storms that hit the area Wednesday night, we asked the people in line if the wait for Pappy Van Winkle was really worth it. They said, for the love of Pappy, of course it is.

"If I do get a bottle, I'm going to put it on my bar and I'm going to make a little sign that says 'In case of a fire, grab this bottle first and then go back for my children,'" Quinn joked.

The limited bottles of Pappy Van Winkle range from $75-$225, depending on how long they've been aged.

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