The cult bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserved 23 year, that everyone is chasing can be sampled at a Bellevue event. But it will cost you. And if you can't make that one, many rare 23- to 30-year-old single malts will be available at a Rainier Club tasting in Seattle.

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Would you shell out $500 to sample some of the world’s rarest whiskies?

That’s what John Howie Steak in Bellevue charges to taste a dozen cult bottles that usually fall in the hands of whiskey collectors.

Yes, that price tag includes a pour of everyone’s obsession — Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserved 23 year. (That bottle costs about $3,500-$4,000 on the secondary market.)

But those in the know are more interested in the less heralded offerings, including a 2016 Michter’s Celebration sour mash (only 256 bottles exist, about $5,000 a bottle), Laphroaig 32 year ($1,350 a bottle), a Littlemill 25 year ($3,300 a bottle), along with an early bourbon expression from Black Maple Hill and a 2015 Yamazaki Limited Edition, among others. That exclusive tasting includes bites of lobster, Wagyu beef, caviar and foie gras.

The tasting, called “The Ultimate Experience,” is the VIP portion of the “Rare & Well Done” whiskey shindig on Nov. 4 at John Howie Steak. About 150 ryes, bourbons and scotches will be available to sample for $150, along with snacks. Each pour is ¼ ounce, but more than 100 bottles to try is a lot. It’s not a bad consolation prize if you can’t afford the $500 VIP tasting. Some good bottles are available, including Hibiki 12 year, Angels Envy Cask Strength and the Glenmoragnie Signet. Attendees can also sample Wildwood Spirits Co.’s local bourbon from the barrel. (It won’t be released until February.)

Tickets are available at or contact Tim Lodahl at John Howie Steak (, 425-440-0880).

This is a big month for whisky lovers. Scotch connoisseurs will be flying in from around the West Coast for The Whisky Extravaganza at Rainier Club on Nov. 10.  It’s one of the year’s biggest booze events in Seattle. The $150 ticket gets you samples of many 23- to 30-year-old scotches, including a John Milroy Selection Bunnahabhain (1987) and The Classic Cask Glen Garioch (1989). Tickets can be purchased online at