Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is considered by most bourbon connoisseurs to be one of the finest in the world, if not the best. Sheriff Pat Melton from Franklin County was contacted in Tuesday and told that just under 200 bottles (65 cases) of the 20-year-old flagship bourbon had “gone missing” from the distillery.
The bourbon whiskey brand is owned by ‘Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’ but distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company in Frankfort, Kentucky. The bourbon is rare in America and production and supply of the liquor very low, making the heist that much worse.
Sheriff Melton said of the Pappy Van Winkle bourbon: “It’s highly coveted. It’s the best of the best.” He reported that on top of this nine cases of Pappy Van Winkle rye was also missing:
“We believe whoever did this took them out the back from the secured area over a period of two months. Obviously, the way this happened, it’s indicative of an inside job,” he said.
The exclusive bourbon whiskey has a listed retail price of $130 but in reality the price on the street reaches up to $1,200. Tom Fischer from bourbonblog.com said that as well as the excessive price tag on the bottle: “There is a lot of mystery around how to even get one.”
Being a personal fan of the amber nectar himself Fischer continues to rave about the liquor: “It’s the pinnacle of bourbon. If you’re around a bottle, it’s a special occasion.”
The total cost of the Pappy Van Winkle heist is estimated at around $26,000. A full investigation is underway, first and foremost to establish if any more cases are missing from the distillery’s stock.
It is not clear at this time who, if any, of the 50 employees at the distillery may have been involved in the heist as police and local detectives try to piece together the circumstances behind the robbery.