Burbon Theft Ring Busted in Kentucky

Not one but two organized crime stories dealing with precious liquids surfaced in the Food News sphere this week. The first, a rehash of the Bogus Olive Oil scam, seemed like old news. But the other – involving barrels and barrels of top-notch Kentucky Bourbon – got a lot of people talking!

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon - © tripadvisor.comPerhaps the most costly target of the booze theft ring: Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.
The 23-year-old version is priced at just a hair under $300 per bottle!

It’s enough to drive a Kentucky Whiskey distiller to drink!

According to a CNN report, a total of nine people have been charged with multiple counts after police in Frankfort, KY, completed their investigation into the disappearance of more than $100,000 worth of premium Bourbon whiskey from two local distilleries. Sources said the probe started after empty whiskey barrels were discovered behind a backwoods shed in the area. Dozens of cases of ‘finished’ Whiskey were also seized in a series of raids.

In all, some 17 barrels were recovered, containing aging spirits from the world famous Wild Turkey Distillery and the lesser-known Buffalo Trace Distillery, makers of exclusive boutique brand Pappy Van Winkle.

Rest easy, Jim Beam and Four Roses Distillery fans: Officials at those establishments report they aren’t missing any inventory.

Foodies take note…

Premium Bourbon doesn’t just ‘fall off the back of a truck’ and turn up for sale through a friend of a friend at bargain prices!

Kentucky distillers and the state and federal authorities take their Bourbon very seriously. The people charged in the booze ring bust face counts including engaging in organized crime as members of a criminal syndicate. That’s a Federal Wrap, last time I looked.

Meanwhile, though… Some folks who simply admitted to buying cases of the hijacked hooch were charged with receiving stolen goods and face fines of up to $10,000. Buyers beware!

~ Maggie J.