A whiskey-theft ring in Kentucky. It sounds like a plot line from an episode of the FX series Justified, doesn't it? Well, it's not. It's actually a thing.

But the culprits have all been rounded up and tens of thousands of dollars worth of the prestigious Pappy Van Winkle bourbon have all been recovered.

This went on for years.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton had originally suggested that the expensive spirits be auctioned off and the money given to charity.

But that idea was quickly and unceremoniously nixed by Julian Van Winkle III, grandson of Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle Sr., who said that it's entirely possible the liquor could be contaminated and that auctioning off would be a bad idea.

The sheriff, of course, respected Van Winkle's wishes.

But that's not the end of it.

A judge will be the final voice regarding the ultimate fate of the super-premium bourbon, even though one industry observer, F. Paul Pacult, points out that the thieves may very well have stored the bottles improperly leading to the contamination about which Van Winkle was concerned.

And then there's bourbon blogger Carla Carlton who believes that destroying the Pappy Van Winkle bourbon would be tantamount to a crime on top of a crime.

So here we go.

Bourbon experts with completely opposing points of view on recovered bourbon that's worth tens of thousands of dollars.

And it will all be left up to a judge who, you know, may not even drink.