$70,000 worth of reportedly stolen bourbon returned

$70,000 worth of reportedly stolen bourbon returned
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:14 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - According to the Owensboro Police Department, 21 pallets of bourbon that were reported missing have been located. Officials said on Wednesday that a shipment was routed to the wrong location.

The barrels were returned and no charges have been filed.

Local bourbon expert and founder of BourbonBlog.com Tom Fischer said the case was reminiscent of the Pappy Heist. That was a series of bourbon thefts that became the subject of the Netflix documentary “Heist”.

Fischer was featured in that documentary, and as he told 14 News, there’s good reason for people to have believed the Owensboro bourbon had been stolen.

“We have seen the value of Bourbon rise exponentially,” he explained. “The bourbon boom happened 10 fifteen years ago. People got excited about it; they began demanding older bourbons because of that smooth oak taste.”

He said that niche items like vintage bourbons can be sold for as much as $300 dollars to more savvy distributors.

“What happens on the secondary market is it goes anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 a bottle,” Fischer said.

He said older stocks are also in lower supply.

“You have a 53-gallon barrel, it’s going to evaporate a lot over years,” he said. “So when you get ten, fifteen years [or] upwards, you’re not getting much in the barrel.”

He said that’s created a luxury market that could be exploited by someone with the know-how to steal bourbon.

In this case, he said he’s glad the bourbon was located with seemingly no foul play in sight, and it’s nice to shed some light on the industry.

“I want to make sure bourbon’s in the right hands,” he said.

Officials have yet to say why the bourbon was initially reported stolen.