Costco Sells Bargain Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, But Good Luck Finding A Bottle

Even if you're not a big bourbon fan, chances are, you've probably still heard of Pappy Van Winkle, that unicorn of bourbons that is so rare and expensive that it's been offered as a prize for state lotteries and has led to the sacking of state officials for hoarding bottles of it. We've even put together a list of 10 ways to score a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle. Turns out, one of those ways is through your local Costco if you're really lucky.

In July 2023, a Reddit user posted about an insane Costco find at the Bellingham, Washington Costco: A bottle of 10 Year Old Rip Van Winkle for just $64.99, which is actually below the MSRP of $69.99 (though aftermarket sales tend to go significantly higher). According to the assistant manager of the store, it's one out of just three bottles at Costco stores in all of Washington State. Based on a Facebook post in September 2020, a lucky fan managed to find a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 Year for $289.99 (MSRP $299.99) at the Costco in Everett, Massachusetts. Bottles of Pappy have also been spotted in Alabama and Wilmington, Delaware.

How some Pappy fans have gotten lucky at Costco

According to people who have gotten lucky scoring a bottle Pappy at Costco, the bottles are sometimes behind the glass case for premium alcohol, though they have also been found sitting out on a table. Sometimes there isn't even a bottle visible, but employees will hand out tickets to redeem for bottles. Some "drops" are first thing in the morning, but they have also occurred randomly in the afternoon, meaning there really is no way to predict when a bottle of Pappy will be offered for sale. Some Costco stores receive only one bottle, while others have received as many as 30 bottles in total or even per vintage. Sometimes drops of Pappy at Costco are announced on Reddit or other websites, and buyers have gotten lucky that way if they just happen to be in the area. 

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery only releases bottles of Pappy once a year, typically in early October, and bottles usually become available at retailers between late mid-October and early December. However, scores of Pappy at Costco have occurred at different times throughout the year. Given all this uncertainty, it's best to always check the liquor section at Costco, and hope you get really lucky.