Kentucky police have accused nine people of stealing some of the most expensive bourbon in the world.
Nine individuals have been indicted for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 worth of bourbon from Kentucky distilleries over the course of several years.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s department told Wall Street Journal that they discovered the theft ring after receiving a tip about barrels seen in the backyard of a man named Toby Curtsinger. The barrels were found to be stolen from Wild Turkey, a popular bourbon distiller based out of Lawrenceburg, KY. Detectives were able to link the discovered bourbon barrels to an employee at Wild Turkey who worked on the loading dock and helped to transport the barrels. Moving these bourbon barrels is no easy task, as just one barrel of bourbon can weigh 500 pounds.
The sheriff’s office was also able to recover more than 20 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Pappy Van Winkle is one of the priciest bourbon brands that exists, with variations that range in price from $50 to $250 a bottle.
Some of the recovered Pappy Van Winkle was traced back to a theft in 2013. Over 200 bottles of the brand’s 20-Year Family Reserve, which was worth over $25,000, was stolen from their distillery.
“For someone not inside,” Sheriff Pat Melton told Wall Street Journal, “doing something like this would be nearly impossible.”
These thefts come at a time when demand for bourbon is at an all time high. Distillers are struggling to meet demand since the delicate process of creating the drink takes over four years to complete.
Sheriff’s officials say more information about the theft-ring will be released soon, as the investigation is still underway.