A Pennsylvania man is accused of chugging 52 bottles of pre-prohibition whiskey worth $100,000 and now faces criminal charges for boozing it up.
The liquor in question? Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey bottled in 1912 by the nearby West Overton Distilling Co. The culprit? A 62-year-old man by the name of John Saunders.
Nine cases of said aged whiskey were found inside the walls and stairwells of the Scottdale, Penn. mansion Patricia Hill purchased in 2012. Hill bought the home, originally built by coal tycoon J.P. Brennan, to convert it into a bed-and-breakfast. Enter Saunders, the live-in caretaker who helped Hill with the remodeling, and even dusted off the seemingly forgotten whiskey bottles that were later stored in a living room. Nine original cases with 12 bottles in each case went into the living room but only five came out. Hill discovered that four cases of the Old Farm whiskey had been drunk! Corks had been removed or a hole had been punched through the bottom of the cork to get the whiskey out.
The Scottdale police are charging Saunders for stealing and receiving stolen property, as it it believed he drank the 52 bottles. His DNA was linked to three of the empty bottles. Hill had the bottles appraised by renowned New York auction house Bonhams and the estimated value of the chugged whiskey is estimated at $102,400.
“This whole experience has shocked me,” Hill told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I was shocked when I found them, shocked to find Mr. Saunders drank them, and shocked when I received the appraisal. I had just planned to preserve them.”