Poor Man's Pappy. Who "invented" the blend?
On November 12, 2013, bourbon blogger Blake Riber of Bourbonr.com (pronounced "bourbon-er") published this post. He [may have] coined the term "Poor Man's Pappy" in describing a blend he had read about on straightbourbon.com (formerly known as the SB blend). On July 3, 2012, a gentleman by the screen name of Tico described the blend and called it "poor mans Weller Centenial" (sic), but that's the earliest reference I can find to the now famous "Poor Man's" moniker.
A deep dive into the "SB" conversation reveals that Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer Chuck Cowdery credits Canadian lawyer Gary Gillman with being the authority on blending matters. He has referred to the practice of home-vatting as "gillmanizing" since as early as 2005; it's very likely that Gillman was involved in developing the SB blend.
Riber's version of the blend is a 60/40 ratio of Old Weller Antique and W.L. Weller 12. A second version calls for 68% Weller 12, 27% OWA, and 5% spring water. Regardless, the result is a "substitute" for Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, Van Winkle Lot B, or even Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year. While some whiskey snobs and geeks snickered, everyone else started blending.
The "Poor Man's Pappy" concept was picked up by dozens of national publications to include Esquire Magazine, NBC News, and every hip blog on the internet, whiskey focused or otherwise. For the last two years, I've read about Poor Man's Pappy, was selected at random by another blog and received a sample of Poor Man's Pappy, and have attempted to make my own Poor Man's Pappy. But I've always wondered, who invented Poor Man's Pappy?
I started with Blake Riber. He told me today that he thinks he may have coined the term, but that he read about the concept years ago on straightbourbon.com. I listened to the interview he did for the Bourbon Pursuit podcast (go to the 13:55-14:00 minute mark) where he claims that a bourbon bar in Kentucky was the first to blend the two in an effort to replicate Pappy Van Winkle.
So the question I have for the bourbon blogosphere today is "does anyone know who actually 'invented' the blend?" Was it Gary Gillman? Was it some mythical bartender in the bluegrass?