Wondering what all the fuss is about cult fave Pappy Van Winkle? Here's everything you need to know:

1. Pappy Van Winkle is a rare, expensive bourbon released this time of year that almost anyone with a passing interest in whiskey wants.

2. People who want Pappy Van Winkle generally can't have it. Pappy's hype is far larger than its supply, which leads to phenomenal demand. That demand leads to outlandish behavior, like stalking the truck hauling Pappy to the liquor store -- or the theft this year of 65 cases from the Pappy warehouse, which police have said was likely an inside job.

3. Pappy Van Winkle comes in 15- ($79.99), 20- ($119.99) and 23-year-old ($259.99) expressions. The 23-year-old is generally most coveted but most experts favor the 15-year-old. "Fifteen is the sweet spot," said John Hansell, editor of Whisky Advocate. "A lot of it has to do with balance."

4. There is no Pappy Van Winkle distillery. Pappy has been sourced from several distilleries through the years and is presently made by Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Ky.

5. Buffalo Trace is painfully coy about Pappy. A company spokeswoman refused to answer any questions, saying by email, "Every story that comes out on it -- and we've not actively sought out any of them -- just fuels the fire and makes PVW fans angrier when they cannot get it."

6. Yes, people get angry. That makes this a miserable time of year for whiskey purveyors. "It started as a headache 10 years ago," said Brett Pontoni, head whiskey buyer at Binny's in Chicago. "Now it's the worst nightmare you can imagine."

7. Pappy Van Winkle is not the best whiskey in the world. "It's achieved a cult status, and if people want to have it, I understand that," Hansell said. "But if they're buying to drink and enjoy, there are whiskeys on the market just as good for a fraction of the price."

8. Pappy Van Winkle is wheated. Most bourbons are a mix of corn, barley and rye. Wheated bourbons substitute wheat for rye, which adds gentle sweetness in place of rye's spice. Can't find Pappy's? Try Larceny ($22.99), W.L. Weller 12 (also a Buffalo Trace product; $27.99) and Maker's 46 ($36.99).