Prohibition whisky found while renovating the "Bootlegger Bungalow"

Originally published at:


I’m not a liquor guy, but I would take a shot of this purely for historical reasons. What an awesome find!

Bought a house 1 1/2 year ago. I guess the previous owner was a big scuba diver because we found 2 super-old air tanks in the shed (he also left us a snowblower, which was awesome).

Then I’m looking around the basement and in the back corner I find these beauties. Heck yeah. It’s shark-fightin’ time. They even had underwater strap-holsters.


“Gaelic” “whisky”. My eyes!

Old smuggler though, that’s a great brand name


Given the poor condition of the bottle tops, I’m wondering if they’re the real deal, or just homemade kerosene in recycled bottles.

I’m not gonna try it. You try it. :skull:


If it is the same as the modern Old Smuggler brand, the difference isn’t as large as you would hope. It was my first legal drink in the US and it was the finest scotch you could get on a Taco Bell employee budget.


The bootlegging thing in the North East, especially around New York was mostly driven by smuggling hooch in from Ireland and Scotland. That’s actually how the Kennedys got filthy rich.

So there’s a pretty good chance this was actual production whiskey packaged and labeled locally.

The stories about black market liquor poisoning people back then were mostly rooted in booze that was deliberately tainted then snuck back onto the market by the authorities.

So it’s probably safe to drink. It could also be wildly valuable. Rare bottles, especially anything associated with anyone famous or with prohibition are huge with collectors and speculators. There are auction houses that will test all of it, fix or repackage anything sellable. Even a distillery might want it for purposes of trying (or claiming) to clone it. “Based on prohibition whiskey found in a wall” is the sort of readymade marketing whiskey brands are all about.

Cutty Sark actually makes a whiskey based on the stuff they were sending to the US during prohibition. It’s pretty good, liquor sales rep gave me a free bottle when they launched it years ago.


A lot of these brands were significantly better back in the day. Prohibition cratered the market and drove huge consolidation of brands and closure of distilleries. Even in Europe. With Ireland and Scotland particularly effected.

Like Vat 69 used to be high end, expensive scotch back in the day. These days it’s a value brand that tastes like floor cleaner and only comes in plastic bottles.

If it’s drinkable, and if it’s real it might be pretty damn good.


I would not want to be the guy who wins a bottle on ebay for 10k, and discovers it is rotgut.


Rare wine and spirit collectors don’t sully themselves by mixing with the plebs on Ebay.

This sort of thing is calling into Sotheby’s from your private jet territory.


this is the kind of thing we WISHED we’d find in our old house, but so far, nope. Mrs. Turley’s hidden cache of original photos of the house, her diary, and her gold doubloons are still hidden somewhere. we need to keep looking – i’m SURE they are around here somewhere.


That’s my family’s go to method for entertaining children. Every house had a rich widow who buried treasure about the place. And wouldn’t you know it have this map right here.

My great uncle ended up teaching us all how to dowse.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.