Authorities Might Destroy 28 Bottles of Prized Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon

With only about 7,000 cases of Pappy Van Winkle produced each year, the beloved bourbon is as prized as it is scarce, which is why it's a damn shame that 28 bottles of the stuff may be deliberately destroyed by Kentucky law enforcement officials. Why are they destroying the delicious elixir? As it turns out, the bottles were recovered last year after what's now known as the Great Pappy Van Winkle Heist.

After making several arrests in connection with the legendary heist last April, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said officials would ultimately auction the precious brown spirits, with the proceeds benefiting local charities. But now, as reported by the Associated Press, authorities said the bourbon will likely be destroyed to respect the wishes of Julian Van Winkle III, the grandson of Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle Sr. Van Winkle expressed concerns the seized bourbon could have been contaminated or tampered with by the suspects in the heist.

While Melton said he will respect Van Winkle's request, the fate of the prestigious bourbon -- easily worth thousands of dollars -- will ultimately be decided by a judge, per the report. But there's got to be some sort of state or federal law that prohibits wasting good bourbon. Like isn't that unconstitutional? 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and could actually use a nice, bit pour of bourbon right now. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.