Pappy Van Winkle At Circa 81

I didn’t get this bartender’s name, but she posed with her restaurant’s bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for me:


On Thursday my family and I dined at Circa 81 in Morehead City.

The restaurant does tapas plates and calls itself a “Cocktaileria” — which is the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing.

The food was good. I had the chorizo black bean soup, a beet salad with chicken and also a shaved prime rib dish served on crostini with a lite horseradish flavor.

That quick recap doesn’t do the food any real justice, so I’ll post photos and copy from the menu below:


Chorizo black bean soup


And I also had this salad, which had a lot of interesting flavors going on:

Bibb lettuce with beets, chevre, sunflower kernels, radish, pear and a cinnamon pear balsamic vinaigrette.


Circa 81’s “Bibb Salad.”

Overall, I really enjoyed my evening here. Since my family and I were on vacation, we’d sort of been snacking all day — and as a result, we weren’t really looking for full, heavy entrees. The tapas-style focus of this restaurant was sort of perfect for us in that regard. We shared a number of different small plates and several of us got cups of soup and then there was also two different styles of homemade cheesecake which we had for dessert.

Oh, and I had a Basil Hayden neat, a Scrimshaw Pilsner and a B&B for dessert.

If I’m ever hear again on vacation (which I intend to be next summer, this place will be the third in my Top 3 to return to — the others being Arendell Room and Amos Mosquito’s).

Last but not least, the Pappy Van Winkle 23 year was $70 for a 2 oz pour.


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Pappy Van Winkle In Western New York

A local wine shop posted a picture online the other day that sent a few of my Facebook friends and I into full-on bourbon geek mode.

Bag & String Wine Merchants in Lakewood are a boon to have in the area. They’ve got an amazing selection of not only wines but also great spirits. The staff are friendly and knowledgable and the shop goes the extra mile, doing tastings and a monthly wine club and more.

And now they have three bottles of Pappy Van Winkle.

In their Facebook post, the shop said it’d acquired three bottles from a private collector — the 12, 15 and 20 year expressions.

Here’s their full post, screen-captured from my phone:

Pappy Van Winkle:

Pappy Van Winkle is a brand of bourbon owned by the “Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery” company (which does not actually own or operate a distillery, but rather has it produced under a contract with another company).

Pappy Van Winkle is distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company at its Buffalo Trace Distillery. The brand is regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world, and is rare to find on the market due to its very low production and high demand.

Further Reading:

Here is a link to a lengthy and interesting read, which bills itself as “The Complete Guide To Pappy Van Winkle.”

From their website:

Bag & String Wine Merchants is a boutique rare wine and liquor store with an emphasis on value and unique wines from around the globe.
Our primary goals are to provide unparalleled service, wine education and a selection that meets consumers’ needs and budget. Bag & String Wine Merchants — Purveyors of fine wine and spirits.


The shop is located at 119 Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood,N.Y., just west of Jamestown. For more info visit the shop’a website online here.