From State-Journal in Kentucky:
Some of the most sought-after Kentucky bourbon in the nation is now the subject of a whodunnit.
Roughly 65 cases of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon were stolen in what looks to be an inside job from a secure area at Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Frankfort facility, according to Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.
Melton said the theft was reported Tuesday and appears to have occurred over the past couple months. Detectives are investigating but have no suspects.
The thief or thieves made off with about $26,000 of the limited stock, which Melton said consists of about $25,350 in 3-bottle cases of 20-year-old Pappy and about $675 in nine cases of 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve rye.
“This is the mac daddy,” said Melton, who doesn’t drink bourbon but is well aware of Pappy’s cachet.
A Buffalo Trace spokeswoman did not return messages left by phone and email. A phone message left at the Van Winkle office also was not returned.
Pappy is one of the nation’s most sought-after bourbons, with a reported production of only about 7,000 cases a year at Buffalo Trace for the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. This bourbon is aged 20 years and bottled at 90.4 proof for a “wonderfully smooth and rich profile,” according to the Buffalo Trace site.
Melton said the 20-year-old bourbon retails for about $130 a bottle and is worth “$300 or $400 a bottle” on the secondary market.
Fortune once described it as “the ultimate cult brand,” and Buffalo Trace’s website describes Pappy as “the No. 1 rated Bourbon Whiskey in the world, with a 99 out of 100 rating by the World Spirits Championship.”
A 2008 Courier-Journal story said Pappy “runs right about $100 when you can find it locally. Once it hits the secondary market, such as online auction sites like eBay, prices skyrocket to double or triple the original price. Bottles of Van Winkle's priciest bourbon, the 23-year-old Pappy, will cost you about $200 in Kentucky, and $400 in Manhattan liquor stores.”
In May, Buffalo Trace Distillery warned customers that its supplies may become short because its supply wasn’t keeping pace with demand.
“We are making more bourbon every day,” Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director, said at the time. “Our warehouses are filling up with new barrels. Waiting for the bourbon to come of age is the hard part.”
Melton said there have been previous theft reports from Buffalo Trace, but not many.
“Their internal controls are pretty good,” he said, “and that’s why it’s been very, very rare for it to happen.”
And now, a person of interest:
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 1 of 1
10-26-2013, 02:25 PM #1Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
- Fairfield, NJ
Bourbon heist | Pappy Van Winkle stolen in apparent inside job