The many sought-after bourbon in the world, Pappy van Winkle 23-year-old, starts life as 53 gallons that new-make whiskey in ~ 114 proof. 

What's left in the barrel after 23 years is a mere 14 gallons that bourbon at roughly 135-140 proof. What makes it right into the party is also less. 

So I chose to operation the numbers on just how much Pappy valve Winkle is left in the barrel annually after evaporation (aka the "angel's share").

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According to Harlen Wheately, master Distiller at Buffalo Trace, the angel's re-superstructure is 10 percent for the first year (because whiskey is absorbing into the timber of barrel and also evaporating), then 4 percent because that the following 8 years after that, then around 3 percent per year after ~ that. 

(They save the future Pappy in barrels in the components of the warehouse with the least evaporation together they know they desire it to period for a really long time.)


According to those calculations, there room 22.4 gallons left in the barrel, but this assumes that the alcohol percentage stays the same as it started. 

The actual last proof is about 140 (70% ABV), therefore the 14 gallons that Wheately reports are indistinguishable to about 17.2 gallons at the original proof of 114 (57% ABV). That's a lot of closer come the calculate number. 

Wheately filled me in top top some other practical factors for the mathematics discrepancy.

“We have done a most proprietary job-related to recognize the real proof drop while the barrels room aging so ns wouldn’t desire to reveal all ours info....

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While processing such little batches you get quite a bit of loss during the bottling procedure during the filtration process.

Also, throughout the course of 23 years there has tendency to be other factors such as leaks that increase the loss and are challenging to placed numbers to. A typical/perfect 23 year old barrel the wheated bourbon have to yield about 14 wine gallons with about a 1-2 gallon loss throughout bottling which gets it under to 12-13 alcohol gallons recovered.”

So as soon as you're paying for a bottle of Pappy valve Winkle 23 even at non-surge pricing, you're not just paying because that the raw materials used to make and also the time spent to age what's in that bottle, you're additionally paying because that the life materials and also aging that 39 gallons the bourbon that evaporated before it gained to the bottling facility, and also a complete of almost 80% that the initial juice that didn't do it into the bottle.