Publication Date: June 6, 2023
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The story of how Julian Van Winkle III, the caretaker of the most coveted Kentucky Bourbon whiskey in the world, fought to protect his family's heritage, in a world where authenticity, like his product, is in very short supply.
Julian Van Winkle, the third-generation head of the Pappy Van Winkle distillery, now is thought of as something like the Buddha of Bourbon. His grandfather presided over a magical kingdom of craft and connoisseurship, but, when Julian took over the business after his father’s death, he faced the challenge of his lifetime: how to preserve the taste of Pappy, the taste of his family's heritage, in a new age?
Wright Thompson was invited to be his wingman as he set about to try. The result is an extraordinary testimony to the challenge of living up to your legacy and the rewards that come from knowing and honoring your people and your craft. Wright learned those lessons from Julian as they applied to the honest work of making a great bourbon whiskey in Kentucky, but he couldn't help applying them to his own craft, writing, and his upbringing in Mississippi, as he and his wife contemplated the birth of their first child. May we all be lucky enough to find some of ourselves, as Wright Thompson did, in Julian Van Winkle, and in Pappyland.
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