By Jeremy Wilson
Senior Staff Writer The Kernal
In a daring inside job, 222 bottles of legendary Pappy Van Winkle bourbon were stolen from a distillery in Kentucky. With the crime remaining unsolved, the finger of blame is now pointing at obsessive billionaires, local residents and celebrity chefs.
During the dying days of Summer last year, something very strange was happening in a nondescript 1920s industrial building on the outskirts of Frankfort, Kentucky. The building in question belongs to the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States, Buffalo Trace, and over a couple of months somebody was helping themselves to its prize store of “Pappy Van Winkle” bourbon. By the time the theft was discovered, 222 bottles of Pappy had vanished in what NBC News would later call “the bourbon theft of the decade”.
To understand why anyone would go to the effort of spending months siphoning bottles of booze from a secure room in a distillery instead of robbing a bank, you need to know one thing about Pappy Van Winkle: it’s rare. Very rare. The retail value of the 195 bottles of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve bourbon and 27 bottles of 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye netted in the heist is about $26,000, but that’s only for the favoured few on good terms with a prestige liquor dealership. Read more