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Pope Francis praises Pappy Van Winkle gifted by Lexington priest



Pope Francis is already a pretty likable guy, but he became even more endearing to Kentuckians last week when he praised one of the state’s finest products: a bottle of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.

Father Jim Sichko of Lexington presented the Pope with the bottle of Pappy at the Vatican last week, and Sichko told the Herald-Leader’s Janet Patton the Pope immediately recognized it.

“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.’”

Sichko procured the bottle through a friend and brought it, along with more Pappy, Four Roses, and Woodford Reserve, to Rome. He sent a special prayer up when he saw all the bottles survived the journey without being broken or confiscated:

He gave one of the Pappy bottles to the Commander of the Swiss Guard, who helped him get through the security line to present his gift to the Pope:

Very cool. For more on Father Sichko and what he plans to take to Rome the next time he meets with the Pope, head on over to the Herald-Leader.



Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

16 Comments for Pope Francis praises Pappy Van Winkle gifted by Lexington priest

  1. a21CATSfan
    9:50 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    He could have at least given him the 20-year-old. Pitino would agree.

  2. Twick39
    9:59 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Looks like he got a whole run. Not like he would have paid taxes on it anyway.

  3. unbridled
    11:27 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Pope Francis is a communist….and I’m a devout Catholic.

    • Blue Bill
      11:47 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Not too devout. Wow….

    • JPGott2
      1:45 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      uhhhh, this is he best Pope we have had in a very long time. He is kind and genuine. Saying he is a Communist shows me u have little education.

      oh, and I am Catholic.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      9:21 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Pope Francis seems all over the map ideologically. Part of that is because he doesn’t speak English very well, and Italian translators have a long tradition of “spinning” their translations (like the reporter who falsely claimed that Francis did not believe in the Devil, prompting a quick rebuttal in his very next speech). And too, he comes from a fairly provincial background before being named Pope, so he’s still not used to every flight of fancy that he speaks being taken as a religious edict.

      When Francis visited the US, he actually sounded very pro-capitalist, so I take statements to the counter with a grain of salt.

    • TPACAT
      9:37 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Unbridled is correct, he a commie…

  4. Bleednblu
    12:37 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    What site is this??? Is this about Kentucky Sports…or just whatever we can find to write about? And furthermore, a priest being happy about his bourbon getting through customs and to the Pope… Catholicism…gotta love it….. No I don’ makes me sick.

    • BigBlueMeade
      2:10 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      What is wrong with that? He gifted the pope products of our state. We should rejoice that he enjoyed them and they made it back.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:36 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      I liked the article; don’t read it if you don’t want to.
      I’m not Catholic; but, I frequented a pub in college where two priests were there quite often. They would drink their bourbon and smoke their cigars which I found interesting; I would nurse my beer, and we would have interesting conversations.

    3:19 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    This pope is a leftist. He’s like Obamapope.

    • Kernel Sanders
      7:30 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Pretty sure most intelligent folks would label Jesus a leftist too.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      9:26 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Jesus only preached individual, direct charity, which is the polar opposite of (and considered a threat to) leftist ideology. Personal charity is good; state charity is oppressive. Jesus did not trust any big governments (though He willingly submitted to their earthly authority by allowing one of them to kill Him). Within 70 years of his crucifiction, His teachings had destroyed Rome as it had existed during His earthly life. He didn’t even trust institutionalized church governments. Look what he did to the state-sanctioned money-changers (the ONLY time Jesus ever resorted to physical violence).

    • jaws2
      2:47 pm April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Third Eye, you’ve got this covered. The guy spent most of his life in a third world country, non capitalist, communist state. His ‘worldview’ is exactly what I’d expect. He’s a leftist and believes in it. I’m a ‘catholic’ as well as a Catholic. If you don’t know the difference then your Priest hasn’t done his job.

  6. symphonist41169
    8:31 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    While the brands he gifted were very good, it seems to me the brand that is the most natural fit to give the Pope would have been Angel’s Envy.

  7. Sentient Third Eye
    9:32 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    I think this is great advertising for the state economy, but I do wonder about one thing. Did the distillers gift these to the priest because of what he planned to do? I’m a teetotaller myself, but that’s probably at least five grand worth of booze. How did a lowly priest afford that on his stipend? I think that’s a question that merits an answer to make sure no tithes were misused. People don’t give on Sunday to buy booze for the Pope, after all.

    If the distillers actually did provide the stuff, then it was the best cheap advertising they will ever purchase.