45,000 barrels of Kentucky bourbon went up in flames

If you're a fan of Kentucky bourbon, get ready to cry: According to a number of reports, 45,000 barrels of Jim Beam just went up in flames.

From The New York Times:

The fire started around 11 p.m. in Woodford County on Tuesday and was still burning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, fire officials said. They expected the warehouse to burn for five more hours. No injuries were reported.

"The biggest issue we are dealing with is the environmental aspect," said Drew Chandler, the Woodford County emergency management director. "If we put the fire out, we are going to dump a lot of water on it and that water will be contaminated."

He said that fire officials did not know what had caused the fire, but a spokeswoman for Jim Beam said she believed lightning had sparked it.

Because of the fear that water in the area around the fire could be contaminated with ethanol if firefighters turned their hoses on it, 'let is burn' was the order of the day. The good news for Jimmy B aficionados is that the barrels that burned were full of relatively young hooch. As such, there shouldn't be any interruption in the amount of the bourbon available to the public for the foreseeable future–the burnt out warehouse is one of many. The bad news is that the lost alcohol was worth a small fortune. According to the New York Times, each barrel contains enough bourbon to fill between 150 and 200 750 milliliter bottles. Each of those bottles sells for just under $20. 45,000 barrels were lost in the blaze. That means that the booze lost puts Jim Beam's people in the hole for upwards of $162 million.

It's a tragedy, but if nothing else, all of those aged barrels full of booze would smell freaking amazing as they burned.

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