Pappyland – the story behind Pappy Van Winkle’s Bourbon.

When I saw it on the shelf – Pappyland spoke to me immediately. I knew Pappy Van Winkel was a brand of Bourbon! This book is the story behind a great American brand.

A couple of years ago a European client asked us to do a deep dive into the American Craft Distillers’ industry. Like the the pet food business the distilled spirits industry is dominated by  very few players and hundreds of brands. Seven companies control over 95% of the available capacity. Over 1,200+ companies make up the rest.

It took only a few pages for me to know that Pappyland was a different kettle of fish. The author,  Wright Thompson, does a mash-up of father-son generational and sign of the times anecdotes. He jumps from personal to factual, while tracing the history of the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon brand.

Why do bourbon lovers consider this brand the best? It comes down to the taste buds of one Van Winkle descendant. Intertwined within the story of three generations of Van Winkle and three generations of the author’s family is plenty of detail on the history and the making of Bourbon in America.

Even though reading this book may open some old wounds inflicted by your own family, I highly recommend this book to lovers of Bourbon, makers of Bourbon and lovers of the American ability to create great products and brands!