Kentucky’s largest bourbon heist back in court

The case involving a high profile bourbon theft returned to court Friday morning. There were discussions over evidence. After a dead period in the Pappygate case the attorney for alleged ring leaders Gilbert and Julie Curtsinger was in a Franklin County courtroom Friday morning. Full story

Franklin sheriff says stolen Pappy Van Winkle bourbon will be destroyed, not auctioned

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton has backed off a proposal that 28 bottles of stolen Pappy Van Winkle bourbon should be sold at auction.

Late last year, Melton had told that the bottles of rare and expensive Pappy Van Winkle at the center of a bourbon-theft criminal case would be auctioned. Full story

Van Winkles oppose auction of stolen bourbon

If members of the Van Winkle family have their way, 28 bottles of stolen Pappy Van Winkle bourbon will be destroyed — not sold.

On Tuesday, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said he spoke with Julian Van Winkle, president of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, who asked that all bottles and barrels involved in a well-publicized racketeering case not be auctioned off for charity, as Melton had previously suggested to Full story

Bar offers Pappy Van Winkle at cost


Jeremy Johnson, the owner of Meta cocktail lounge (Louisville), wants to make the wildly popular –- and inaccessible – Pappy Van Winkle bourbons available to as many people as possible and is using his allocation to do just that.

“It’s this thing that nobody can get their hands on,” he says; and the bourbon is often priced many times over its cost. “Let’s make it so everyone can get it. Full story

How Pappy Van Winke became king: A Timeline

Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is insanely, irrationally, popular. It might be the most sought after brand of alcohol of all time. Bottles of Pappy fetch thousands of dollars in the aftermarket, which is effectively the entire market because few if any retailers put it on their shelves anymore—most reserve it for special customers, raffle off the few bottles that they get, or sell it off on the aftermarket themselves for higher prices than they could reasonably ask for at the store. Full story

Nine indicted in thefts of bourbon from Wild Turkey and Buffalo Trace, including rare Pappy Van Winkle

Nine people allegedly responsible for well over $100,000 in bourbon thefts, including ultra-rare Pappy Van Winkle, were indicted Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court. At least 18 barrels of bourbon from Wild Turkey in Anderson County and Buffalo Trace in Frankfort have been recovered by authorities, who also found 25 bottles of various labels of Pappy Van Winkle, also taken from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Full story

How An Obsession With Finding Pappy Van Winkle Took Over My Life

It’s hard to say when, exactly, I became obsessed with Pappy Van Winkle. I remember the first time I heard about it — Jan. 11, 2012, when I watched a clip from “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” in which my culinary idol David Chang called it his favorite bourbon. And I know that at some point in the middle of 2013, when it seemed every publication on earth featured a story on the Pappy phenomenon, I started seeking it out at liquor stores wherever I went. Full story

What Will the Future of Pappy Van Winkle Taste Like?

Right now, it’s sitting in my kitchen, high on a shelf, an icon in blue velvet: a bottle of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle. Numbered, sealed, and secure in its embroidered shroud, it isn’t so much a bottle of whiskey as an asset, like a municipal bond. Pappy Van Winkle has been making whiskey for generations. But nobody really appreciates it because of a historical accident of birth. All younger and future Pappies will be made, not at the old, now-shuttered Stitzel-Weller distillery, as their older cousins the 20- and 23-year-old Pappies were, but at the modern Buffalo Trace bourbon plant, an industrial compound that also produces Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, and 13 other bourbons. Full story

Louisville cocktail bar gains national news attention, praise and threats over Pappy Jell-O shots

Louisville cocktail bar, META, grabbed headlines after taking a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15-year-old bourbon and a bottle of 12-year-old and turning those sought-after sippers into Jell-O shots.Technically, he took the bourbon, blended it with bitters, muddled cherry, orange and syrup for a giant old fashioned cocktail, thickened it with gelatin and poured the blend into 80 individual cups, each containing a brandied cherry. Full story

Historian Michael Veach on Cooking Bourbons, the Theft of Pappy Van Winkle, and Distillery Buyouts


Michael Veach is the Bourbon Historian for the The Filson Historical Society, a society founded in 1884 boasting 1.8 million documents related to the history of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley, and Upper South region. Last year he published Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage which is one of the most comprehensive books on the history of our beloved American spirit. Full story

Small-batch bourbons make their way to New Orleans

The holiday season means more than the arrival of cold air and Christmas lights.

For bourbon lovers, the fall and early winter represents a special time of year — for ’tis the season of small-batch bourbons. A twinkle in the eye may be less inspired by visions of sugarplums and more inspired by shots of George T. Stagg, the crazed shopping rush incited not by the Playstation 4, but by Pappy Van Winkle 23. Full story