The $26K “Mac Daddy” of Whiskey Heists

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 17 2013 10:22 PM

The $26K “Mac Daddy” of Whiskey Heists

A distillery worker stands in the storeroom in Norfolk, England.

Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re going steal whiskey, it might as well be good whiskey. You wouldn’t walk into an art gallery and steal Bob Ross’ “greatest” hits; no, you go after the Van Goghs. That’s (metaphorically) exactly what happened in Kentucky when it was discovered this week that a thief had fleeced the Buffalo Trace Distillery to the tune of 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

The haul comes out to some $26,000 of “Pappy.” And that’s probably not even the real, street value of the stuff. The stolen bottles of the 20-year-old reserve stock retail for $130 a pop, but fetch “$300 or $400 a bottle” when resold, according to local police. “Most liquor stores get only a few bottles a year and draw up wait-lists with hundreds of names,” Bloomberg Businessweek explains.


“This is the mac daddy,” the local county sheriff said of the crime to the Courier-Journal. He suspects the heist of some of the world’s most sought after bourbon was an inside job.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



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