Paris' famous house of rare whisky - La Maison du Whisky - is one of the oldest bottle shops in all of France. They have thousands of bottles of whiskies and fine spirits, and while wine theft is nothing new in France whisky theft isn't quite as common. After all, in the world capital of wine and champagne, who robs a house of rare and priceless whiskies?
Last week, two as-yet-unidentified bandits broke into the iconic store, stealing some $800k worth of high-end booze. The 69 beautifully adorned bottles were stuffed unceremoniously into duffel bags before fleeing on foot.
The heist took place at the sleepy hour of 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, all caught on surveillance cameras but without enough detail to identify the bandits. The two burglars came and went with stunning ease, targeting the desired bottles with speed and precision. It was clear they knew exactly what they wanted - not Scotch, no Canadian whisky, no bourbons or ryes or Irish whisky - just the super-expensive, and completely rare bottles of Japanese whisky.
Among the bottles taken was the Karuizawa 1960, known by fanatics simply as "The Squirrel." It's so iconic that it's recognized by collectors simply by the little gold box hanging around its neck. The distillery was founded in 1955 and only made 41 bottles of this single malt whisky before closing their doors in 2011. The water from the nearby mountains and the use of sherry bottles makes Karuizawa completely unique and distinctive.
Karuizawa 1960, "The Squirrel"
Why steal a whisky that is so rare that there are only 41 bottles in the world? This bottle will be terribly hard to resell. Even though it's worth $230k, its "physical particularity" makes this collector's item difficult to fence. Each bottle has a different name based on the unique netsuke that hangs from the bottle's neck, making it completely traceable back to La Maison du Whisky.
So, I guess these thieves are going to have to enjoy a few glasses of the world's most expensive whisky while they hide out.