Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pappy Van Winkle

I have to start out this post by referring you back to an earlier post that I did regarding Van Winkle bourbon. And so, the story continues. This one is a real lesson in logistics.

Dave went back to Kentucky in June to visit family and go to a bluegrass festival. Funny, his brother Doug put together some camping gear and stuff for him to use at the festival; the cooler had a bottle of Van Winkle in it (which went over quite well with Dave and his fiddler buddy, Rob).

As part of that trip, Dave and Rob, our fiddler in Steel Pennies, and some of Dave's family toured a couple of distilleries. One of them, Buffalo Trace, is pictured below.

While they were there, Dave and Rob made sure to play some music for the folks, demonstrating their prowess as musicians.

About a month later, we were at High Mountain Hay Fever, where we performed and at the end of the festival, we went to a party at Ron Thomason's house (of Dry Branch Fire Squad). During the evening, Ron was lamenting about running out of his stock of Van Winkle bourbon. He drinks the most expensive version--the 20 year old. Dave decided he might be able to help Ron out. When we got back home, Dave called to Buffalo Trace in Kentucky and asked if they had any of the 20 year old left. As a matter of fact, they had 8 bottles. Dave then called Ron who said he wanted 6 bottles (they only cost $150 per bottle--that's all). So Dave called and bought the 6 bottles. Then he had to figure out how to get them here from Kentucky.

Next, he called his brother, Doug, and Doug went and picked up the stash.

He didn't hide it on the farm, as you might have thought from this picture, but he was looking forward to getting it off his hands.

Back here in Colorado, by chance, Rob got a ticket to Rocky Grass for his friend, Oscar, who lives back in Kentucky, too. So, Dave logically determined that this was the next step in the process. Oscar decided to drive to Colorado, and Dave asked him to bring along the bourbon. Oscar picked it up from Doug, who was glad to turn over custody.

Oscar and his friend, CJ, drove the long 20 plus hours with the bourbon and made it to RockyGrass, where they turned the liquor over to Dave. Oscar said he was glad to get it off his hands.

Dave was staying in Lyons, at our friends house for the festival--Hoss and Joey. Dave explained that the next step in the delivery of the bourbon to Ron Thomason, was getting it to Westcliffe. Hoss had a solution; he would fly Dave and the Van Winkle up there. He has a private plane and wanted the practice.

So that's what they did. When Dave notified Ron that they were flying in the Van Winkle via Airmail Express, he allowed that that was an awful high class method of delivery for the bourbon.

Dave and Hoss flew into Westcliffe, where our guitar player, Terry Skaggs, picked them up and took them out to Ron and Heidi's house for lunch. They had a great time.

Unlike the rest of the players in the chain of custody, Ron was delighted to get his hands on that Van Winkle.

On the way back home, Dave and Hoss flew over Terry's house outside of Westcliffe. It's the one in the top right quadrant.

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