The 1920s were a weird time in our nation’s history. Al Capone controlled Chicago with his reign of terror, American writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the best novels of the 20th century and the economy imploded thanks to the stock market. Also, it was illegal to drink alcohol. Isn’t that crazy? Less than 100 years ago it was illegal to go to a bar and knock back a few on a Saturday night. So you can bet that finding alcohol from this time period would be pretty huge find.
Well, one Reddit user claims to have acquired a case of Prohibition-era whiskey that could be worth a lot of money.
Reddit user hanshound posted a thread on the social media site in which he claimed he came into possession of some rare whiskey made by the company A. Overholt and Co. Below are some of the pics, and you can judge for yourself whether they’re legit or not.
In this picture you can see the box says “for medicinal purposes only.” During this time, alcohol was often used by doctors for healing purposes. Doctors made about $40 million during the 1920s for whiskey prescriptions.
On the side of the box you can see the whiskey was distilled in the fall of 1921 and bottled in the spring of 1933. Reddit users were in disagreement over how much the case would be worth based on this information. One user suggested it might go for around $450 a bottle, while a comment on the Imgur thread for the article said it would go for $1,100, while someone else suggested it could go for two grand per bottle. That means “hanshound” could make $48,000 if he put the whole case up for auction.
It should be noted that the Reddit poster wouldn’t say how much he paid for the case. He only mentioned he bought it from a friend who originally had two cases of the whiskey but drank the other one. So that guy might’ve lost $50k because he couldn’t stay sober one evening.
The Reddit poster said his friend kept the case in his cellar, which is 55 degrees year round. Then again, that stuff’s been floating around for over 80 years, so who the hell knows where it’s been? Many users questioned whether the whiskey would taste bad after this much time. Some said that if the whiskey stayed airtight over time, the taste would probably not be too bad. Others said it could be really affected. Over time some of the liquid from the bottle will inevitably have evaporated, meaning it will probably taste less strong than when originally bottled.
In this picture you the bottle on the right has experienced more evaporation than the one on the left. Still, the one on the left looks like it’s mostly full, so it probably was kept in good condition.
The rest of the pictures show the bottles in relatively good condition. Even the labels don’t look like they’ve been affected that much, which you’d think would be the first thing to fall apart after so much time.
Maybe I’m just naïve, but this looks pretty legit. Not sure if the whole case is worth $50k, and the fact that the Reddit poster is being pretty cagey on the details for how he acquired the bottle, makes me think it’s probably not worth the fortune some of the commenters believe.
But still, this would be the classiest and most historically impressive way to get hammered.
Joseph Misulonas is an editorial assistant for Playboy.com. He pretends to be a whiskey snob, but will probably just order a PBR. He can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.
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