The hunt for good Scotch has taken on a whole new meaning in Edmonton. The drink of choice for discriminating imbibers has a fanatical following, and when a bottle of the rarest disappears, it sets off alarm bells around the world.
There's an empty spot where one of the world's most expensive bottles of Scotch sat above the rest on a liquor store shelf on Jasper Avenue.
In the wee hours of New Years Eve, someone broke into the liquor store and made off with one bottle, a 1955 Bowmore single Cast Scotch. Owner Don Koziak says he doesn't want justice, just his bottle back. "Give it back, we just want it back, intact hopefully."
There are fewer than 300 bottles of that Bowmore single malt in the world. But it's the age of the rare whisky that gives it distinction. That and a $12,000 price tag.
Brewed on the Scottish island of Islay the 40 year-old Bowmore was discovered quite by accident. only four years ago. It was a forgotten barrel, a finders fortune. Connoisseur James MacEwan is ecstatic when he speaks about the Bowmore, "No whiskey in the history of Scotch whiskey has ever had such a maturation process. Forty years in wood plus the elements, time, peat, salt, the whole lot so it's a truly unique dram and there's only 294 bottles in the whole world"
So the 220 year-old distiller is offering a trip to Scotland and a taste of the Bowmore to anyone who returns the lost treasure. Don Koziak couldn't be happier. "It's important to them that Scotch being made by good honest hard working people is enjoyed by good honest hard working people and not by somebody who got the bottle by illegal means"
Koziak has a few clues. A piece of blood stained glass. And a mysterious caller who claimed to know where the bottle is for $4,000.
Koziak does have a second bottle of 40 year old Bowmore, but he keeps it under lock and key. Away from the display case.