Ever since nearly 200 bottles of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle were reported stolen from Buffalo Trace distillery, the case has been making international headlines. The hard-to-find bourbon has been gaining popularity over the past few years.
"Five years ago, you could find a bottle on the shelf. Three years ago, it was tough. Now, I mean, forget about it," said Seth Thompson.
Thompson publishes The Bourbon Review. He says the 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle blend is of fine quality, but there's something else that makes people go crazy for it.
"People want what they can't have and the Van Winkles have come into a situation where their supply is maintained, but the demand is going up and up and up," Thompson said.
Demand is so high that someone decided it would be worth the risk to steal nearly 200 bottles from Buffalo Trace distillery. That's more than $26,000 of the bottles that retail for $130 apiece. Pappy Van Winkle is nearly impossible to find in stores. Thompson says this theft will boost Pappy Van Winkle's profile even more.
"People, I guarantee, that never knew the first clue about bourbon, what they're asking is hey, where can I get Pappy?" he said.
The Franklin County sheriff says he's gotten several tips after releasing this surveillance video. He says a person of interest went into a Hardin County shop and offered to sell a large amount of the bourbon. Thompson says the thieves may have bit off more than they could chew...or sip.
"I think they got a little over zealous with what they allocated for themselves. I'm sure the perpetrators will be apprehended sometime in the near future. It's just hard to hide $26,000 worth of product," Thompson said.