The second episode of this two-part podcast covers historic alcohol that's still (mostly) drinkable. Tune in to learn more about the world's oldest Champagne, a bottle of beer from the Hindenburg, and whisky from the failed Endurance expedition.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Listen to the patent Sebastian show on. I heard radio at Apple podcast cast wherever you eat your pad. Welcome to stuff you missed in history class from Housetop works dot com hello, unwelcome cinema cast, I'm doing a charter boarding and I'm very out, and we just did an episode on, and that was a sampling of historic spirits and we only focused and out at the third on each and alcohol, so the truly old finds that were found. A Sarah put a gong begun key alcohol of a gun, key alcohols that we're founders, residues, some might say on pottery things that were found in two wrongs: vessel. Yes, so not really stuff that you can drink and indeed
portion of the episode. The second part we're going to focus on older alcohols that you could taste if he came across one exactly the things that are still drinkable, maybe not necessarily delicious alchemy. not all alcohol ages well, but something that does still have a wicked property to it. Most of these are hundreds of years old or even less than a hundred years old in the last up said, we were talking about alcohol residues that, where thousands of years old, but in this case researchers can still study. What's in the bottle chemically analyze but they can also sampling. We're not gonna. Just talk about all the alcohol there we're gonna talk about some finds that are really that after all, there just really interesting, historically their connected to an important historical event or an important historical figure, and
They were worth, including gather just call stories and alighted cases, and this first one that we're gonna start with is story that I think a lot of people have probably heard about because it was so recent. It made the news in July, two thousand ten swedish divers were exploring a wreck and the Baltic just south of the island islands between Sweden and Finland at two hundred feet. Visibility was really bad. They can. See any identifying and so on the ship or locate the bell, but they did some bottles most of them undamaged, and they decided to take some up and try to date. The rack that way it turned out but they were about one hundred and forty five bottle of champagne on their shut, very likely, the oldest champagne in the world and the dates in this really interested me kind of perplexed me. A little. Almost every article we came across puts the shipwreck eighteen hundred, two, eight thirty and
How are you free around that same period? I did find one outlier, though one day that is significantly before that any kind of made. Some of the points that the articles made mentioning that perhaps this alcohol was a shipment from Lui, the sixteenth of France, to the Imperial Court of Russia, which if we're talking eighteen hundred, eighteen, thirty that doesn't make sense carefully, was dead. These states maker seem a little more natural, the champagne the clear bottles of of clay coal, which is one of the finest brands of champagne even today, and that brain was first made in seventeen seventy two, but those by were laid down for at least ten years so using that It seemed like the rat couldn't be older than seventeen eighty two, but couldn't be after seventeen, eighty eight or eighty nine, because, though, and pain houses production was disrupted. Obviously, during the french Revolution, so a little discuss
see. There are not entirely sure about when this wreck really happen. Judging by the articles written on it and once they figure out more details about the rack, that may become more clear, so the story there are still developing. But what the champagne itself, does it really last that long and apparently find that? Yes, it does. I love. This is already I love when you're reading the stories about when they brought the champagne up, and it's like that. Some story say that the divers that, when they brought it up the pressure, coming to the surface top the cork, or maybe they pop the courts themselves, but they tasted it came to take sea, water and food that no, in fact it actually tasted good tasted, just like champagne and an old wine expert who sample the bottle, described it as absolutely fabulous. She even describe looking at the samples in her fridge after they weren't being consumed anymore and just thinking. It was absolutely
I believe that she had these, though it turns out that the Baltic made a pretty great storage spot for a sham pain for really long term storage. It's got a constant cold temperature, but it's never gonna, freeze and theirs a light which can quickly degrade champagne. So, even though some of these champagne bottles may have been cracked or the cork said, corroded and may be ruined the taste, a lot of them were still intact and they were available in November for a taste when there were two bottles were cracked open, a Bloomberg writer named Richard Vines described it. Thus he said that, there's U glory was quote remarkably fresh. The fish had scorn- and it was too sweet for today's palette. Yet it retains distinctive smell of orange and raising a Christmas cake. It might be served as a dessert line affair. That description must have been pretty tantalizing to some people, apparently because two bottles of the champagne one of two different kind thought for fifty four thousand euros, which is the equivalent to them.
thousand nine hundred and seventy five dollars an anonymous fire from Singapore just the summer, so I'm curious like who that person be spending. Seventy eight thousand, almost seventy nine thousand, hours on champagne. Somebody like me, like sweet, why I got to instantly to everybody. There was a meeting with expose. Harrier lies. I didn't by the champagne so don't any rumours with that Sarah, but I will say that there is a point of interest here for people who don't like champagne or wine. Even there was also a beer found in the shipwreck. After the champagne they found the way oldest drinkable beer, also a hundred sixty five feet under the water. In the way they realize it was beer is kind of interesting. They were bringing up one of the bottles of the champagne when it exploded because the pressure-
instead of expelling something that looks like champagne. It was this dark liquid and it was pretty clear: that's not champagne its beer, so five bottles, total were recovered and their currently being studied by the Technical Research Centre of Finland and just this gene they reported back, that the first bottle that was open had, unfortunately been contaminated by salt water, some not the lucky as the champagne. Unfortunately, also the YE fell had been killed and they were hoping that maybe they could reach. Sure this disease cells from old, even though they were able to detect live lack acid bacteria. What it's gonna fascinated to me that this bacteria has been growing in this bottle for centuries now, culture. This disease cells from old, even though they were able to detect, live lack acid bacteria, which that's gonna fascinated to me that this bacteria has been growing in this bottle. Firms
contaminated by saltwater and still have something them in Kabul, or at least may be some. You felt that they can start growing sore next and tree takes us away from pain and beer to something a little bit harder and ninety, seven. Sir Ernest Shackleton made a push for the south pole with his endurance expedition. He got close about a hundred miles away, but he decided to turn back and save his men, unlike some polar explorers that we won't mention here when Shackleton less, though in nineteen o nine in March of that year, winter ice was forming, so he got really fast and he had to leave some cases a whiskey behind. in general had kind of a strange packing less it had ponies a motor car. And pulled sledges a cocaine force, large pills but tons of booze. Twenty five cases whiskey twelve case a brandy and six cases of port
but want to bring their were not that many guy's going on this trip either that unconsumed whisky was found buried under two feet of ice and Shackleton again like the champagnes was gonna proved to be a really great storage condition. But researchers researchers have wondered why exactly Shackleton left behind besides that impending March ice, something that he might have intended to return and in which case it would be he's already have a little store of whisky waiting for you, but others think that it was the secret stash of another expedition member somebody who had pocketed a few bottles are cases I mean that simply would be difficult to deal but had created. His own secret store of with regardless of the store, was lost until two thousand six. Nobody really remembered it was there. That's when explores located the bottles and later came back with special drills, extract them, but its interest
the modern connection here, because there is a company that still manufacturers this brand of whisky, and I got pretty interested yet once whiskey was identified as rare old brand by Mckinley in company whisky. The coming that now on Mckinley in company, White and Mackey was very interested in obtaining samples and recreating the scotch though, in January, two thousand eleven a case finally return to Scotland, where it was analyzed before they had to return the bottles. Everyone expects something really heavy and pity fiddling with the taste of the times, but instead, it was really light. People were pleasantly surprised and the chemical analysis. They were able to do proof that this was a pretty high end here, at least it seems now they are the people who may clearly went some trouble today that the water was from Loch Ness and the people Orkney Islands, and that was used to smoke the barley so
and Mackey tried to recreate the taste. They couldn't just wait here than you, Then let it age they had to create a bland by their now felling Jackson's whisky for a pretty hefty some much as those bottles of champagne, but still a hundred and sixty dollars a bottle so interesting, resurrected alcohol, they're kind of akin to the beers. We talked about the last I cast and actually, when you think about some of the prices price tag soup and throwing around that's a pretty affordable, some with the next entry on our list that we're gonna move back to one of those have to your price tags and also a historical event that I think everyone's probably heard of under vampire Fourteenth two thousand nine a bottle of lower brow. Logger broke the world record for a price paid for a bottle of beer when it sold from more than Sixteen thousand six hundred and eighty dollars or ten ten pounds, so you have to
It must be a really good bottle of year. I actually not yet not at all. It just has a really good story behind it that beer was actually on the hindenburg when the german airship exploded, as it landed in New Jersey and nineteen thirty seven, so that when, as we know, was engulfed in flames, killing thirty eight people and entering sixty and while cleaning up there filled later a New Jersey firefighter named Leroy Smith. Stumbled across a few items that survived the crash intact, so bottles of lower brow beer and a pitcher, though this firefighter buried the IDA So he could come back and get them later, because at that point the area have been filled. By the authorities once he retrieve them. He kept for himself and gave the other five to his colleagues that sort of mementoes of this crash, most of the others, ended up being lost, but one The donated to the lowbrow company after Psmith friend, who had had died
Smith spot all in the pitcher pass on to his knees in eighteen, sixty six and they were put on sale in two thousand and nine by the auctioneer that Henry Aldrich and Sun. So we have these two bottles kind of coming through helpless, the the pitcher which all managed to survive the crash, and there was fierce competition for that bottle of beer that was auctioned off, including telephone debtors, mostly from the? U S before it sold and the picture which silver plated, and bears the logo of Airline company sold for almost as much prices. For these items were actually greater than those paid for items connected to Elvis Stay and arrests and Palm Macartney which were auctioned off on the same day. Will there's a survivor element to it that it did manage to survive up a crash like this. But there is the catch it
say it with good and you can actually drink the beer. Auctioneer Andrew Aldrich told BBC News quote: it is probably quite putrid to taste so Don't know. Maybe that would be a relief. Is that not much money on alcohol if you couldn't go ahead and drink it, well, you're, obviously just fine for its historical value, bad. Even for that, I think it's probably worth it the people in our next century, though, didn't involved, is keeping and expensive bottle on the shelf as some sort of historical artifact, this alone with buyer, actually consumed the drink. We're gonna talk about. Ok. So I just tell you the story straight out in and give you a little back on alcohol involved in to them. five and anonymous gas anonymous to us that is at penny helper, her and Bagshot Surrey made headlines when he bought a bottle of doll. More sixty two whisky for thirty two,
I pounds or fifty eight thousand dollars and then proceeded to drink it with a group of his friends like right away to right, yeah, pretty much right there. tell em. This wasn't just any fancy whisky doll more, which is a tiny scottish distillery created it by combining casks of malt from eighteen, sixty eight, seventy, eight nineteen, twenty six and nineteen thirty nine to make single malt, which the youngest of the ingredients sixty two years old. Hence the name when it was bottled, fill it One of only twelve of these bottles ever made in each of the twelve bottles is named after different characters and events in that ingredients sixty two years old. Hence the name when it was bottled, though it was one of only twelve of these bottles ever made in each of the twelve bottles is named after different thirty nine one.
Bottle is still left at the distillery. Others were sold to private collectors, but it's not like you could just go up to a bar and order one of these remaining bottle than put down your thirty feet. Pounds and walk away according to an article in the telegraph, the hotel bought its bottle from dealers for around thirty one. thousand pounds quick little expecting it to be drunk another. One of these bottles, for instance, has sold at auction in two thousand to for twenty five thousand eight hundred and seventy seven pounds and fifty pen. So things like there's a little range here for what you pay for one of these bottles that the price paid by the hotel gassed ended up being the world record for a single mom nobody seemed to upset, though about the fact that he drank and employee who looks after the hotels, VIP gas got to taste it. He was offered a taste and he said that the flavor was quote exquisite and he said that the the buyer, the person you bought it quote, has the philosophy that there's no
point and buying these fine whiskeys and never drinking them. I can I can get behind. An idea I cant do. I kind of like that manager wooden identify the buyer, but he said that he was a quote: wrote, regular hotel guest and a private collector of fine spirits. Clearly, this they just Where is master blunder. Richard Patterson was also quoted as saying that he was happy. The bottle had been open, shared and enjoyed, and the buyer you know, obviously doesn't have that whisky anymore. They collaborate heat, he has the memories of drinking it and he still has the bottle to say that I know if you did say that they would have that and the presentation case. So maybe he save those souvenirs and maybe they'll, be here recreating fine tune issuing the more, although I am sure that wouldn't help those high auction prices, though floods are tour of historic spirit through the ages We have started with the Chinese, neolithic, grog and gone all the way
To the hotel gas to with willing to spend quite a pretty on scotch, and I like ending on that note. I, like any non d, the age I can hardly be enjoyed it slick, almost a different way of appreciating history, certainly as though, if you have any more call alcohol finds you wanna suggested, I mean errors family out there. This was a very added had left. You can email. I, throughout history, podcast at half stuff works that com. You can also find it on Twitter, missed in history, and we aren't Facebook
You want to learn a little bit more about spirits. I know I, for one am no expert in the area have to admit, but wine making in particular, we haven't article on our website called how wine making works, and you can look it up by visiting our homepage, W W w dot. How stuff for Stockholm be sure to check out our new video podcast stuff from the Future Joint House Airport staff, as we explore the most promising and perplexing possibilities of tomorrow. The house has arrived downloaded today and I do this episode of stuff you miss than history classes, brought to you by the travel store. I have always wanted to go to Alaska so much and now I'm finally getting too, and so it Polly, and so can you Holly, and I will be a board- celebrity crews lines departing from Seattle on July, tenth, twenty twenty we're gonna see so amazing ports in Alaska, including Skagway catch a cannon Juno, were also planning a couple of private events onboard just for our listeners. So please join us on this exciting crews to Alaska on July, tenth call the travel store at one. Eight hundred seven seven said.
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