To encourage a more spirited search for more than 200 stolen bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and rye, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton announced Monday that a $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
The case has stymied police and bourbon fans for a month and a half. Sixty-five cases of 20-year-old Pappy bourbon and nine cases of 13-year-old rye — more than $26,000 worth of liquor in all — were reported missing from Buffalo Trace's Frankfort distillery on Oct. 15.
"With the holidays approaching, I think the $10,000 reward is probably going to get some good attention," Melton said.
Bluegrass Crimestoppers put up $1,000, and the rest came from an unidentified donor, he said.
Melton said authorities remained optimistic about catching whoever pilfered the Pappy. Melton has said the theft was probably an inside job.
"We are narrowing in on our quest to track down this individual," Melton said. His detectives have interviewed more than 100 people, he said.
One potential lead — video of a man who inquired about the pricey whiskey at an Elizabethtown liquor store — proved unrelated, he said. The man turned out to be Bardstown High School principal Chris Pickett, whom Melton said was cleared of the theft late last month.
If you know anything about this crime, please call the Franklin County sheriff's office at 502-875-8740. You might get a $10,000 reward.