Visiting the pope isn’t like going to brunch at your friend’s house. You’re going to have to think of something better to bring than flowers or a cheap bottle of wine. When Father Jim Sichko visited the Pope in Rome this month, he brought one of the most coveted bottles of liquor out there—the rare, 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.
The Kentucky priest said he wanted to bring the Pope a real taste of home and obtained the bottle directly from the Van Winkles. “He knew I was from Kentucky, so when I handed it him, he immediately said ‘bourbon,’ and I said yes, and then he said ‘very good bourbon,’” said Sichko.
The rare bottle usually sells for hundreds of dollars and is so tough to find that it has even been subject to counterfeiting. One bar even claims it got banned from its yearly allotment of the bourbon because it made Jell-O shots out of it.
Sichko also brought extra bottles of Van Winkle, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses and Knob Creek for other Catholic officials and Swiss guards.
Now that’s one guest that will definitely get invited back.