As Zac Brown sings, "The whiskey's gone." Someone in Frankfort, Kentucky must like Pappy Van Winkle bourbon an awful lot because they made off with 65 cases (195 bottles) of the rare bourbon, which is valued at over $25,000. Nine cases of Pappy Van Winkle rye were also missing.
The 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is hard to get (unless you're a master thief, anyway). “We get phone calls from people asking, ‘Do you have Pappy in stock?’” said Bill Thomas, owner of the Jack Rose Dining Saloon, where a two-ounce shot of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle will set you back $65.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton, who is leading the investigation, says that the bourbon is "highly coveted" and is "the best of the best." Melton says that he is "being told that it's going for $300-$400 a bottle, if you can find it."
The sheriff thinks that the Pappy Van Winkle bourbon heist, which occurred at a warehouse at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, is probably an inside job. "We believe whoever did this took them out the back from the secured area over a period of two months" Melton said. "I don’t think anyone could walk out with 74 cases of bourbon. Obviously, the way this happened, it's indicative of an inside job."
Sean Brock, the owner of Husk Restaurants in Nashville and Charleston, S.C., has his own theory of how the bourbon was stolen. “I’m pretty sure it was George Clooney and the boys from Ocean’s 11," Brock said.
Bourbon aficionados are heartbroken, no joke. Pappy Van Winkle bottles fly off the shelves and even the super rich have a hard time finding the bourbon. "We have people with literally billions of dollars who can’t find a bottle," said Julian Proctor Van Winkle III, the current head of the Wan Winkle family dynasty. "They could buy a private jet in cash. They’d have an easier time buying our company."
If you were going to toast the stole bourbon, what would you use? Respond below. (And if you say "Pappy Van Winkle," prepare to have Sheriff Melton come knocking on your door.)
I'm thinking @RyanSloaneCNN better have a good alibi because while he was off, there was a Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon HEIST in KY!!!
— Jennifer Feldman (@jenniferfeldman) October 18, 2013
[Image via Twitter]
There may be some thieves out there getting very drunk -- or at least a little bit richer. A rare bourbon was stolen: http://t.co/CGmbnwkzH9
— WTOP Living (@WTOPLiving) October 18, 2013