Cognac connoisseurs, take heed: a cache of extremely rare bottles, not seen in over a century, has just been recovered from the depths of the Baltic Sea.
According to The New York Times, last month, dozens of cases of Cognac and liqueur were recovered from the wreckage of the S.S. Kyros, a Swedish steamship found in international waters between Sweden and Finland.
The Swedish Ocean X Team that assisted in the recovery believes the Russia-bound ship was sunk in 1917 by a German submarine during World War I. Amazingly, no one died in the attack, and the crew was transferred to another ship.
Of the ship’s bounty, there were 50 cases of Cognac branded “De Haartman & Co.” and 15 cases of Benedictine liqueur.
“The importance of this event cannot be overemphasized — it’s not only a find of rare Cognac and liqueur but also a part of history of the former imperial Russia,” the Ocean X Team said in a news release.
Whether the bottles are drinkable remains unknown. Cocktail historian and senior drinks columnist at The Daily Beast, David Wondrich, told the Times that the cold water may have helped to preserve the contents. If past experience is anything to go by, the bottles may very well contain liquid treasure. “I’ve tasted numerous not just drinkable, but delicious bottles from the 1910s and before,” Wondrich said.