Credit: © Jeremy Johnson

Getting your hands on a prized bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon can be a difficult and costly affair. So of course it seems like a waste to simply destroy bottles of the coveted spirit. But unfortunately, officials in Kentucky might have no other choice.

As you may recall, last year, authorities in Kentucky took down one of the biggest whiskey theft rings ever recorded. At the time, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said his team had recovered some of the stolen goods, including 20 cases of Pappy, but admitted that, most likely, it would have to be destroyed since they had no way of knowing whether the whiskey was tampered with.

Unsurprisingly, the possibility of destroying what could well be perfectly good bourbon concerned a lot of people—and maybe some of the public outcry eventually went to Melton’s head. In a story published on December 31 by the site Bourbon Blog, Melton said that 28 of the Pappy bottles were going to be saved and auctioned off for charity.

However, it wasn’t long before Melton had to back off those statements. Turns out that though the judge handling the case was into the idea, the Van Winkle family themselves weren’t so keen on it. Julian Van Winkle III reportedly said he wanted the product destroyed in case any quality issues existed. “We totally respect his wishes,” Melton was quoted as saying.

So the ballad of the stolen Pappy continues. The bottles have not met their end yet, but are likely headed toward destruction. But, come on, it’s not like you were going to win that stolen Pappy auction anyway. Go get yourself a Powerball ticket instead.