Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin
The demand for Pappy Van Winkle is so high that it drives the secondary market to sell Pappy 20 and 23 almost ten times their retail value.
Who could resist such a smooth taste, memorable nose, and long-lasting finish?
But what is Poor Man’s Pappy, and can it emulate one of the most lauded bourbons in the world?
Poor Man’s Pappy: What Is It?
Poor Man’s Pappy is a Pappy Van Winkle alternative, and it is not a secret way to get the bottle but a recipe to mimic one of the most lauded spirits in the world .
Since the retail price on the secondary market for Pappy Van Winkle bottles skyrocketed, indulging in a Pappy alternative is not bad.
If you want to drink Pappy without the month-long waiting list or to spend $1000 for a bottle, Poor Man’s Pappy can be a solution.
One popular alternative for Pappy Van Winkle is a combination of Old Weller Antique and WL Weller 12.
History & Origin
Poor Man’s Pappy is a recipe made in an attempt to make an alternative to Pappy Van Winkle bottles in 2013.
In 1972, Old Rip Van Winkle Brand set out on its own after selling Stitzel-Weller Distillery. When Buffalo Trace made a joint venture with Pappy Van Winkle in 2002, Buffalo Trace had already purchased WL Weller in 1999.
Pappy Van began using Buffalo Trace’s wheated mash bill, similar to the mash bill used for WL Weller bourbons.
While Poor Man’s Pappy cannot replicate Pappy exactly, it comes close.
Tannic oak, warm spices, vanilla, caramel, cherries
Sweet butterscotch, char, oak, cherry, wood, dark coffee, caramel, and maple syrup
Beautiful golden to dark amber
Lingering butterscotch, caramel, sweet vanilla, baking spices
The Poor Man’s Pappy combines two bourbons from Weller, containing 100.2 Proof (50.1%).
Based on the recipe, it is a combination of 60% WL Weller Antique which features 107 Proof (53.5% ABV), and 40% WL Weller 12 Year, which boasts 90 Proof (45% ABV).
Let’s do the math here:
WL Weller Antique =107 Proof (60%) = 64.2 Proof
WL Weller 12 Year = 90 Proof (40%) = 36 Proof
Poor Man’s Pappy Alcohol Content = 60% WL Weller Antique Proof + 40% WL Weller 12 Year
Poor Man’s Pappy Alcohol Content = 100.2 Proof (50.1 %)
Therefore, Poor Man’s Pappy contains 100.2 Proof, which is slightly near the proof of Old Rip Van Winkle and Pappy Van Winkle 15-Year.
How Much Does Poor Man’s Pappy Cost?
Poor Man’s Pappy costs around $379.98 in Drizly online. A WL Weller Antique costs roughly $129.99, while a bottle of WL Weller 12 Year is around $249.99 in Drizly online.
It is cheaper than buying Pappy Van 15 Year, which now costs around $1699.99 in Drizly. But why is Pappy Van Winkle very expensive?
Can Poor Man’s Pappy Get You Drunk?
Yes, Poor Man’s Pappy can get you drunk. Based on our calculation, the recipe contains 50.1% ABV, which can make you drunk.
You can get drunk at 50.1% alcohol content; however, it depends on your consumption and other factors such as gender, body mass, and alcohol tolerance.
Can You Use Any Pappy Bourbon To Make It?
No, you cannot use any Pappy bourbon to make the Poor Man’s Pappy. To make Poor Man’s Pappy, you will need the WL Weller Bourbons.
Pappy bourbon is a hard-to-find bourbon and can be expensive.
How To Make Poor Man’s Pappy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes to 2 weeks
- 2 parts WL Weller 12 YO
- 3 parts WL Antique
For immediate consumption, pour two parts of Weller 12 Year and three parts of WL Weller Antique into a glass and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
If you are patient enough, let the mixture sit in an empty glass container for at least two weeks to taste better.
How much Poor Man’s Pappy will get you drunk?
You will need at least three to four shots of Poor Man’s Pappy to get you drunk.
Poor Man’s Pappy contains 50.1% ABV, enough to get you drunk, especially if you consume the shots within an hour.
Is Poor Man’s Pappy easy to make?
Yes, the Poor Man’s Pappy is easy to make. You must measure the two bourbons based on the exact ratio needed and combine them.
You can consume it immediately or wait for a few weeks for a better taste.
Can beginners drink Poor Man’s Pappy?
Yes, beginners can drink Poor Man’s Pappy. It is sweet, smooth, easy, and enjoyable to drink.
However, don’t be fooled by its taste because it is packed with a kick, as it contains 50.1% ABV.
If we’re comparing the real deal between Poor Man’s Pappy and Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, the made-up recipe nailed the sweetness.
However, it lacks the rich texture and sharper, darker Pappy.
On the other hand, it is not a bad alternative because it is cheaper and more convenient to get.
With the high demand and price, sitting and swirling this delicious Poor Man’s alternative is way better until the hype dies.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.