Stetson Bennett Drinks Van Winkle to Celebrate Championship
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Georgia QB Stetson Bennett Celebrates National Championship by Drinking Rare Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Straight From the Bottle

After leading his team to the College Football National Championship Tuesday night and being named offensive MVP of the game, Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett IV celebrated in style, by drinking straight from a bottle of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.

Most stores in the U.S. only get one or two bottles of 23-year-old Pappy per year, so it’s incredibly scarce. The rare bottle retails for $299 but is frequently sold for between $3,000 and $5,000 — or even up to $7,000 — at auctions and by resellers.

It is the most lauded and limited release from the famed Van Winkle brand, distilled at Buffalo Trace and hand-selected barrel by barrel by Julian Van Winkle.

Bennett went from a walk-on at Georgia to a Pappy Van Winkle-sipping national champion, truly personifying the American dream.

It’s safe to say Bennett didn’t stop at a sip or two of the Van Winkle on Monday night. He appeared on Good Morning America the following morning, and the clip has since been passed around on social media, with many suggesting Bennett appeared hungover or drunk.

The Dawgs beat Alabama 33-18 to win the championship. Much of the game was largely a defensive battle, but Bennett delivered two crucial touchdown passes to complete a comeback victory.

This isn’t the first time a newly crowned champion has busted open a bottle of Van Winkle; after the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup in May 2021, left wing Robby Fabbri drank from a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 Year Rye Whiskey.

In October, a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year sold for $15,000 at auction.

Van Winkle bottles are so rare and valuable that people hoard and try to resell them, an illegal practice. In November, an undercover agent posing as an interested customer arrested man reselling a bottle of 12 Years Old Van Winkle Special Reserve.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.