The Pappy Van Winkle Bandit Is Still on the Loose

On October 15th, 2013, 200 bottles of 20-year Pappy Van Winkle vanished from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. Kentucky.com reports that one year later, October 15th, 2014, police are still on the case as the rest of the whiskey world anticipates the 2014 Pappy Van Winkle release.

The vanishing Pappy is presumed to be an inside job though suspects have included the principal of Bardstown high school and leads continue to reach Franklin County Sheriff Merton. The stolen goods account for $25,300 worth of whiskey (one bottle of Pappy 20-year reserve went for $1,190 at an auction last year); there is a finder’s prize of $10,000 for the arrest of the responsible party.

The heist has enhanced the mystique of the already elusive Pappy Van Winkle, which can sometimes reach $20 per ounce. Hard Water, a whiskey bar in San Francisco offers a flight of 5 vintages for $100—but that’s only when there’s enough in stock. Bottles are infamously difficult to acquire. Whether the theft has impacted the availability of this year’s release wasn’t mentioned, but the report states there are hopes to increase output to 15,000 cases a year to assuage the demand. The only issue is that each bottle requires a decade or so to age. 2025 seems a long way away.

For on-the-minute release information, Bourbonr has created a 2014 Pappy Van Winkle release map and the PappyTracker. Or for those with an ear to the black market, you might recover a bottle or two of what went missing. [kentucky.com] [Image: Flickr/gungeekATX]