Kentucky authorities are dangling a $10,000 reward for information that helps solve the disappearance of some sought-after bourbon.
It's become a compelling mystery in a state that produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon. What happened to 65 cases of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve rye? The whiskey was taken from the Buffalo Trace Distillery at Frankfort in mid-October.
The missing whiskey is valued at more than $26,000.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said Monday the reward could provide "a heck of a Christmas" for someone who helps crack the case.
Melton says a crime stopper's group put up $1,000, but he declined to identify any other donor.
The sheriff says his detectives have interviewed more than 100 people.
The principal of Bardstown High School is denying that he was involved in the theft of some of the world's most prized bourbon. Chris Pickett met with detectives Monday and denied claims that he offered to sell bottle of Pappy Van Winkle to an Elizabethtown liquor store.
An attorney for Pickett told the Courier-Journal that this client “did not” try to sell bottles of the famous bourbon. The lawyer says Pickett was simply inquiring as to whether any Pappy Van Winkle was available for purchase.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton—who is investigating the bourbon theft—said his office needed to verify information before clearing Pickett of any suspicion related to the case.
Sixty-five cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of rye were stolen from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. Investigators originally described the crime as an apparent inside job. Video surveillance taken October 20 at a Hardin County liquor store shows Pickett entering and leaving the store.
Sheriff Melton later described the individual in the video as a “person of interest.”
Police are searching for a man who tried to sell a large quantity of a famous bourbon to a Hardin County liquor store. The man—who was caught on surveillance tape—is wanted in questioning over a recent heist of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.
Police in Franklin County started investigating last week when 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of rye turned up missing at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, where the whiskey is bottled and aged. Pappy Van Winkle is routinely one of the most expensive whiskeys in the world, having gaining a cult-like status largely because there’s so little of it to go around each year.
The Courier-Journal reports that Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the man who tried to sell the Pappy Van Winkle to the Hardin County liquor store appeared to be between the ages of 50 and 60, and was wearing what looked like a Bardstown High School pullover. Melton described the man as a “person of interest” and said authorities believe he drove a late model Ford F-150 that appeared to be green with a tan trim.
You can find a link to the surveillance video here.
A master distiller who helped create the Woodford Reserve brand for Brown-Forman and came out of retirement in 2006 to help launch Angel's Envy has died.
A statement from Angel's Envy says 75-year-old Lincoln Henderson died late Tuesday. It did not give a reason.
Henderson was well-known and respected in the industry and was named as an inaugural member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
A statement from Brown-Forman said Henderson worked for the company nearly 40 years and was a "titan of the Kentucky bourbon industry." It said he tasted more than 430,000 barrels of bourbon to determine whether they were ready for bottling.
Kentucky's renowned bourbon brands are offering up a bit of their whiskeys for a special blend to benefit efforts to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease in honor of longtime Heaven Hill Distilleries master distiller Parker Beam.
The result of the effort is called Master Distillers' Unity. Bardstown-based Heaven Hill says a crystal two-bottle set of the one-of-its-kind blend will be offered at auction in New York City on Oct. 13. All proceeds will go to the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund, which is raising money for research and patient care by the ALS Association.
Parker Beam has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
The special blend includes bourbon from Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.