Man Swears He Was Just Asking About Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Not Selling Stolen Booze

At a liquor store -- selling or buying?

At a liquor store — selling or buying?

We are living in a time of heightened suspicions when it comes to a very particular kind of bourbon: A few short weeks ago, someone stole $26,000 worth of rare Pappy Van Winkle bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. So clearly, anyone asking about, mentioning or even thinking about the stuff will get the attention of cops.

Cops were very interested in a high school principal who was captured on video entering a Kentucky liquor store and then leaving it after about a minute and a half, reports the Associated Press (warning: link has video with autoplay). During that time, detectives want to know if he offered to sell Pappy Van Winkle to the store.

“He did not” try to sell the sought-after bourbon, his attorney said. He was just wondering if any of it was for sale, since he’s a collector.

The sheriff’s department had labeled the man in the video as a “person of interest,” but now it’s unclear whether or not he’s off the hook.

“We’ve got to verify information,” said the county sheriff, noting that the man “cooperated fully with detectives and we’re moving forward with the case. … I think right now everybody involved is obviously a person of interest.”

Finding this bourbon is a big deal to police — with 65 cases of the 20-year-old bourbon on the loose, there could be a shortage for collectors everywhere. You can’t replace that much booze with a snap of your fingers, after all.

Ky. principal denies trying to sell stolen bourbon [Associated Press]