That’s Smooth: A Taste of Pappy Van Winkel by Grant Czerwinski


There’s a reason you don’t walk into a pub and see someone having a glass of milk, or a slice of toast. Bourbon is a tasty way to stir conversation and get to know people. “On the Rocks” is our new segment about exploring the world of bourbon and other fine spirits with you. Whether you’re an expert or newly entering the wonderfully complex world of spirits, you’ll enjoy as we share personal reflections around our favorite sips. We invite you to connect with each other over a glass of the good stuff. Grant Czerwinski, Geotechnical Project Manager in Chantilly, VA, shares about how his whiskey journey began. 

My whiskey journey began when I was about 21.  I recall my family and I were out to a nice dinner at the country club.  My father was chatting up the bar room manager when the discussion of nice whiskies came up, the manager had said to my father “I have something for you to try, I think you may like it”. The manager disappears into the back bar and a few minutes later pops out with an ordinary looking bottle of whiskey, pours 3 tastes (for my father, myself, and my brother).  We compliment the pour saying “that’s smooth”, unbeknownst to us we just had a taste of a $2,000 bottle of Pappy Van Winkel.  As I’ve grown older, I wish more and more to be able to go back in time and try that again with the palette I have developed today, at 26 it’s been a few years and I definitely know more now than I did back then.  Although, that’s the beauty of the journey I am on, I hope one day to be able to taste such a nice whiskey again, someday…