When a Missouri man decided to install central air-conditioning and central heat in the attic of his historic house, he found much more than he bargained for.
Bryan Fite, of St. Joseph, Mo., discovered 13 bottles of century-old whisky under the floorboards in the attic of his 1850 house.
He didn’t recognize his good fortune right away, thinking the bottles were tubes or oddly shaped installation pipes. But Fite soon discovered he was sitting on a goldmine of antique whisky – the bottles are likely worth several hundred dollars each, and possibly more.
Interest in investing in whisky has grown in the last five years since the U.S. made it legal for auction houses to sell spirits, the Huffington Post reported.
The bottles of Hellman’s Celebrated Old Crow whisky that Fite found were distilled in 1912 and 1913 and bottled in 1917, two years before Prohibition made the consumption and sale of alcohol illegal throughout the U.S.
Fite guesses the bottles were a secret stash hidden by the previous owner of the house.
“The original owner lost the house and was put in a sanitarium for alcoholism,” he told St. Joe Channel. “So perhaps that might be a story behind it too, that that was his secret stash up in the attic!”
Fite and his wife, Emily, bought their home in 2011 and planned to fix it up. He decided to install the heating and cooling unit himself to save some money.
“I think it’s amazing to be able to feel a little bit energetically what’s been going on in this house for its history,” Emily told St. Joe’s Channel.
Fite said he has no plans to open the pre-Prohibition bottles yet, and might wait until year 2017 when they turn 100.
“Part of the allure for me is having them in their original state,” he told ABC. “I have high expectations of what they’ll taste like, and I’m afraid if I open them I’ll be disappointed.”
Chances are that even though Fite is a Bourbon man himself, it will be a night to remember.