With the emergence in the past year or so of Pappy Van Winkle as a fetish object for spirits enthusiasts and chefs (Charleston’s Sean Brock has been a leading evangelist), bourbon is experiencing a major recrudescence. A slew of high-end brands are appearing in bars that were previously satisfied with Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark, and variations on classic drinks like the old-fashioned are constantly emerging from the nation’s top cocktail bars. Although no other brand has Pappy’s cachet, top-shelf bourbon has found its place next to single-malt scotch as a luxury spirit.
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