Dusty old liquors can be worth a load of money. And 200-year-old bottles of liquid “gold” are still frequently surfacing.
“Rummaging your parents’ and in-laws’ attics, basements and garages looking for old liquors this holiday season might just make the inevitable trip worthwhile, because these not-so-obvious family heirlooms can be worth a lot of cash,” said Bay van der Bunt, head of The Netherlands vintage liquor shop, Old Liquors, in late 2013.
In substantiating his claim, Bay referenced Larry Skinner, who lives in Windsor Ontario,
Canada, and who was gifted a bottle of rare vintage 1811 Cognac on his retirement. Larry, who worked for Paul Martin Sr., then Canadian MP and father of Paul Martin Jr., former Prime Minister of Canada, kept the liquor in a cabinet at his home for years.
“As it turns out, the bottle is worth an estimated $9,000, and reportedly commemorated the visit from Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to the town of Cognac, and the birth of his son Napoleon II ‘Le Roi de Rome’,” explained Larry, quoting Bay. He adds the year 1811 was also known for the great comet, which was visible to the naked eye for around 260 days through most of the wine growing season, thus resulting in an exceptional harvest.
Harrie van Loon from Tilburg in the Netherlands has a similar story, and according to Bay, he inherited a bottle of Cognac dated around 1805 from his late brother who worked as a chef caviste at the historic Parisian restaurant, La Tour d’Argent.
However, during World War II, the restaurant’s owner Claude Terrail supposedly saved the cognac from being purged by the occupying Germans by walling up his enormous wine cellar that contained this rare vintage.
“After my brother died, I was given this bottle from his estate. Since I’m not a drinker, I had it valued and I was surprised to learn from Bay that it might fetch around $11,000 at auction,” said Harrie van Loon.
“I valued both items, which are still in their original hand-blown bottles and are in excellent condition,” says Bay van der Bunt, owner of the Netherlands-based Old Liquors (oldliquors.com).
The Old Liquors Collection currently holds “the world’s largest private assortment of
vintage cognac, armagnac, port and liqueurs,” said Bay whose grandfather started the collection of more than 5,000 bottles in 1895. Some bottles date from before the French Revolution.
“Vintage cognacs represent liquid history. If a cognac that is 40-50 years old is unopened and has been stored correctly, it might be worth a lot of money,” said Bay. “Anyone can gain access to valuations via www.oldliquors.com.”
For more information or questions, on Old Liquors, contact Bart Laming of Old Liquors, Breda, Netherlands, via telephone: +31,653,861,912, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.oldliquors.com.