Hundreds of cognac bottles lifted from a ship sunk in 1917


The bottles of cognac and Benedictine would be in good condition. – STR / OCEAN X TEAM / AFP

Hundreds of bottles of cognac and Benedictine were recovered late October from the wreck of a ship, sunk in 1917 in the Baltic Sea by the German navy during the First World War. On October 22, Ocean X, a Swedish company specializing in the search for vintage spirits lost at sea, saved from the wreckage of Kyros 600 bottles of
cognac and 300 of
Benedictine, a digestive distilled from spices and plants.

The Kyros was sunk off Åland Island by a German submarine in 1917 on its way to Finland, loaded with goods destined for Tsarist Russia. The crew had been spared and transferred aboard a ship bound for Sweden. Cognac, produced by the now defunct De Haartman House, and Benedictine are being analyzed in a laboratory to determine if they are fit for consumption.

The bottles seem in good condition

"The Baltic Sea offers favorable conditions for the preservation of these drinks" because it "dark and very cold," said Peter Lindberg, responsible for the expedition. After the location of the wreckage by 77 meters bottom, the team of Peter Lindberg had to release the fishing nets that hindered. Its exploration by divers still proving perilous, they had to call on a company equipped with a small underwater vehicle remote control.

With the naked eye, the state of preservation of the treasure seems encouraging, no trace of leakage having been detected. Air bubbles wandered between the cork and the liquor and many of the cognac bottles were sealed with tin. "The value of these bottles remains to be determined because the cognac brand no longer exists," explains Peter Lindberg. He hopes to sell the lot at a good price at international auctions. "I'm not sure I can afford to keep a bottle," he jokes.




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