The Mission & Values of Pappy & Company: Sustainability

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Celebrating the mission, values and heritage of Pappy & Company:



Sustainability isn't just a buzz word, it is part of our mission - one of the principles that make up the foundation of Pappy & Company. 

While we actively explore opportunities to adjust our business practices to find the most effective ways to be mindful of shipping, sourcing, and production methods that are as actively sustainable as possible, the main we practice sustainability everyday happens to at the very core of who we are as a company - and what we make. Through our most unique and signature collections - our Made from Barrels collections (including our Barrel-Fermented cigars, Barrel-Aged gourmet collection and our barrel-crafted collection) sustainably reuses, recycles and repurposes our retired Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels. 

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gourmet Collection
Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Fermented Cigars

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Made Home, Bar & Accessories Collection

It also honors our commitment to doing things the way Pappy envisioned and championed.  He believed that “nature and the old-time know-how of a master distiller get the job done. This is a distillery...not a whiskey factory." We've adopted his approach - that you don't need to interfere with the production of quality products - things can be made simply (minimally processed)- if they are made right.  As Pappy famously said, "if you make the stuff right, you don't need chemists and laboratories to fix it up."   We agree, and maintain not only our commitment to his original promise of quality, but believe that today's business practices that tend to prioritize profit over all else have contributed to an increase in business models that don't practice sustainability. This was something that even Pappy himself recognized, so many years ago, " some use shortcuts, we don't believe in that. Fine bourbon ought to make itself with just a little help."

 Quality and craftsmanship will never be compromised - even it means a longer production time or higher cost to us.  Putting quality first means we start with sustainability. We seek out partners who share a similar dedication to their craft. People that still work with their hands and do things the old fashioned way. We use simple, quality ingredients and continue our efforts at increasing sustainable business practices. 

  The nature of the bourbon making process requires that barrels are not reused for the purpose of making bourbon, rendering the barrels reusable in the very industry they are responsible for. As a practice, this doesn't quite honor their role in the process. Understanding what remains with the barrel after they are dumped, the remnants of the bourbon they once held for anywhere from 10 to 23 years, lovingly aging them, finding a way to give them a new life was of the utmost important to us.

Reclaiming Signature Flavor: Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Aged Gourmet Collection

 As the bourbon rests and passes through the oak barrel,  taking on the charred and woody flavor, the bourbon itself returns the favor as it stains the wood with its own individual markings and flavor. Once dumped, these remain as reminders of the process.  So naturally, for us, we want to release what is left of the signature Pappy Van Winkle flavor. Our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gourmet Collectionwas created to soak up that incredibly unique flavor and infuse it into a variety of products.  

 From Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee to Nib Brittle and cocktail mixers, the unmistakably unique flavors of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon can be enjoyed in a variety of products. The first of which, our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pure Maple Syrup - remains our stand-out to this day. Commonly referred to as the closest you can get to the real stuff, the combination of the natural sweetness of pure maple syrup aged in barrels, taking on the complementary bourbon like flavor notes of vanilla, oak, butter, and caramel for a luxuriously rich and unique maple syrup that delivers on signature Pappy Van Winkle flavor. 

Once retired, we keep a certain amount of intact Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon barrels, that still carry the wafting fragrance of the recently released bourbon, for our barrel-aged gourmet products. We pass them along to our partners, such as Bissell Maple Farm, Olive & Sinclair, Good Folks Coffee, Midland Ghost, Bittermilk and our cigar partners, Drew Estate, to age the specific gourmet products - often for as long as 18 months. The unmistakable flavor notes are carried on and given new life, and can be enjoyed by a new audience - one who appreciates flavor, tradition, hospitality and legacy. 

Repurposing Signature Craftsmanship: Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Made Collection

In order to be used for bourbon aging, the barrels must be oak.  Once emptied (or dumped, which, yes, is the technical term for this step in the process) weigh about 125 pounds. Stored in warehouses and strategically moved in regular intervals, the aging process doesn't exactly take it easy on the barrels. They bear the signs, the warping, discoloration, level of char, and the wear and tear of the process. These markings tell the story of the bourbon. One with a knowing eye can even decipher how long they held the aging amber liquid, or where they were in the warehouse and what conditions, weather and temperature, they experienced. Held together merely by pressure and an iron barrel hoop frame, it seems almost an entirely magical process they undergo.  

After selecting the barrels to be used for our gourmet collection, we carefully deconstruct the remaining barrels for a variety of barrel-crafted and barrel-made products. Much like a butcher or farmer, we use every element of the barrel - from the barrel heads, the barrel stave wood and even the barrel hoops, leaving none to be wasted for their efforts. 

Crafting a selection of kitchen and bar accessories not only allows us a creative outlet for these barrels, but also allows us to work with a variety of artists, artisans and crafters to create completely unique, one-of-a-kind items that are as singular in taste and craftsmanship as the bourbon they were once responsible for.  Carefully restored, the barrel staves are repurposed in a variety of ways - crafting home goods and accessories like our serving trays, cutting boards, vases and even kitchen tools like our Middleton made knives, and our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Stave Smoking Chunks - to give your grilling an extra flavor boost! 

Perhaps our most unique barrel made items are the ones that honor the bourbon itself - our Genuine Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Heads. Reclaimed, restored, and repurposed into collector's items that carry through the legacy of the man, and the bourbon, that they represent. Learn more about the unique nature of repurposing our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Heads. 

Redefining Signature Pairings: Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Fermented Cigars


An iconic image of Pappy Van Winkle, that is featured on his eponymous bourbon bottles, has come to represent his legacy. Distinguished, stately, yet still a man who enjoyed the fruits of his own labor, and enjoyed pairing it with a cigar. He was known to enjoy and indulge in these small luxuries, and we continue to celebrate and encourage that today. Our premium cigar collection was born out of that connection, and honors his legacy. While our line of Tradition Blend cigars is inspired by him, and hand selected by Julian Van Winkle to honor the connection between bourbon and cigars,  our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Fermented line is truly unique. 

A barrel-fermentation process, that uses the pressure of retired Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels,  rather than the standard pilones (read more here) process of layering tobacco to create a natural fermentation process, our Barrel-Fermented cigars have the added element of not only pairing perfectly with their namesake spirit, but are infused with the signature flavor of Pappy Van Winkle, for "the best tasting cigars in the world."