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View Full Version : $250K for 1913 STITZEL WELLER'S ORIGINAL BOURBON, kidding me



tigerlam92
07-21-2012, 14:48
Hi,

From time to time, I scan through the bay to see what crazy prices are for some of the things I have open in my bar, VVOF and others. Today, this is beyond reason I would think or am I missing something here?

$250,000 for
1913 STITZEL WELLER'S ORIGINAL BOURBON. Is this USD or monopoly money? Is there a reason for such buy it price?

cheers
--Hugh

Roc-A-Fella_1
07-21-2012, 16:38
It makes the K&L Very Old Fitzgerald which sold out even at $999.99 seem like a steal, albeit not from 1913.

How is that VVOF you have? I would kill to try some.:bowdown:

luther.r
07-21-2012, 17:13
I think the mods might pull down this thread, but usually when something is listed for a completely ridiculous amount I suspect it's because the seller wants to sell outright, and the listing is basically an advertisement to elicit offers.

tigerlam92
07-21-2012, 17:43
It makes the K&L Very Old Fitzgerald which sold out even at $999.99 seem like a steal, albeit not from 1913.

How is that VVOF you have? I would kill to try some.:bowdown:
Below is some tasting notes.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?15532-Two-more-bottles-of-VVOF&p=238013&viewfull=1#post238013

Cheers
--Hugh

Roc-A-Fella_1
07-21-2012, 17:54
Below is some tasting notes.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?15532-Two-more-bottles-of-VVOF&p=238013&viewfull=1#post238013

Cheers
--Hugh
If you don't mind me asking, how did you find these gems? Surely not here in the Bay Area.:bigeyes:

callmeox
07-21-2012, 18:41
I think the mods might pull down this thread, but usually when something is listed for a completely ridiculous amount I suspect it's because the seller wants to sell outright, and the listing is basically an advertisement to elicit offers.


Talking about eBay auctions is ok.

Linking to eBay auctions (current or past) or using SB to refer folks to your auctions is not.

Special Reserve
07-21-2012, 18:44
Hi,

From time to time, I scan through the bay to see what crazy prices are for some of the things I have open in my bar, VVOF and others. Today, this is beyond reason I would think or am I missing something here?

$250,000 for
1913 STITZEL WELLER'S ORIGINAL BOURBON. Is this USD or monopoly money? Is there a reason for such buy it price?

cheers
--Hugh



I think it is actually money from the game Life.

Bmac
07-21-2012, 19:13
You'd think it was some long lost Arctic Scotch or found in an Egyptian tomb, or contains urine from President Woodrow Wilson.

I bet after a 100 years corked it tasted.totally befouled. -__-

tigerlam92
07-21-2012, 22:34
If you don't mind me asking, how did you find these gems? Surely not here in the Bay Area.:bigeyes:
Those two bottles were actually local in Pleasanton. Most of my holy grails are really passed down from someone's previous generations who appreciated them and the current generations are willing to pass them on to me. Funny is that most of them, I was contacted.


As for the eBay listing, I guess it did what the seller wanted which was to provoke people to check it out because of the ridiculous price. At least for me, I don't think there is any beverage that would be worth that much. Perhaps a drink from the "Holy Grail" for the chance of eternal youth.

Cheers
--Hugh

bourbonv
07-23-2012, 07:44
Since Stitzel-Weller did not exist until 1935, this is an unbelievable find in more ways than one.
Mike Veach

p_elliott
07-23-2012, 09:52
Since Stitzel-Weller did not exist until 1935, this is an unbelievable find in more ways than one.
Mike Veach

Mike are you saying this is a fake ?

sutton
07-23-2012, 10:26
The label reads "Weller's Original barreled in 1913" and "distilled and bottled by Stitzel-Weller Distillery Louisville, Kentucky". There also appears to be an upside down State of Tennessee 40 cent tax stamp on the left hand side. If this is at least 22 years old, it would have been bottled in 1935 or later, I suppose.

Anyone know about labels and tax stamps of the period?

Just another thought - who drops $250K on eBay on anything? You wouldn't want to inspect this bottle before making a bid? Seems a bit crazy - not exactly walking around money...

p_elliott
07-23-2012, 10:40
For sure if you were going to drop any kind of money in the 4 digit range I would drive there to inspect the bottle. Let a lone a quarter of a million which if I had I wouldn't spend on liquor. I can't even think of anything I would spend a quarter of a million on maybe staying out of prison if I did something wrong or was wrongly accused.

mosugoji64
07-23-2012, 14:07
Mike are you saying this is a fake ?

If it is a fake, they did an amazing job. Does anyone with experience with old bottles have any thoughts? The bottle itself looks rather modern to me, but I haven't inspected any bottles from that time period to know the difference.

tigerlam92
07-24-2012, 00:13
Since Stitzel-Weller did not exist until 1935, this is an unbelievable find in more ways than one.
Mike Veach

I got interested from Mike's post. Was this really barreled 1913? The seller thinks it was bottled in 1961 because of the glass bottling code only I think correct? I don't see it referenced anyway else. How did the seller know it was in a barrel from 1913 then bottled in 1961. That is a whole lot of time it was sitting there and did anyone plan to barrel something for that long?

From ORVW site - "
His grandfather, who was known as "Pappy", started the family in the business back in the 1870s when he was a salesman for the W.L. Weller & Sons liquor wholesalers in Louisville. He later built and was president of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, which opened its doors on Derby day, 1935. Their prominent brands were W.L.Weller, Rebel Yell, Cabin Still and Old Fitzgerald bourbons."

I used this site to reference the glass bottling code and the tax stamp.
http://www.jdcollectorspage.com/TaxlabelsHistory.html

"In 1929 the Owens Bottle Co. and the Illinois Glass Co. merged into a new company called the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. The new company used a trademark of an "I" inside a diamond, with a circle around the "I" ."

"Starting sometime in 1945, the Federal Tax Seal Strips contained the word "SERIES" just to the left, and "111" just to the right of the Eagle's feet."

--Hugh

Bmac
07-24-2012, 04:32
My two cents. I dont think this was bottled in 1935. In the very last photo the glass bottle has a bump that is sticking out. That would have been used to keep the bottle on a conveyor belt. I dont think they bottled in that fashion in 1935 ;). Also the sticker and it's design doesn't match with the times. The green sticker looks far older than the rest. The box it.comes in looks brand new.

My thought is, its completely fabricated. It's probably filled with actual modern WLW. Making stickers isnt that hard. Adding shrink wrap foil isnt hard either. That box could have held a cognac or scotch with the design patterns on the glasses and box.

Bmac
07-24-2012, 04:35
Also, check out the seam in the glass on the third from last photo. In 1935, it should have been blown glass. Ultimately, the box is the biggest give away.

sutton
07-24-2012, 04:54
Also, check out the seam in the glass on the third from last photo. In 1935, it should have been blown glass. Ultimately, the box is the biggest give away.

1935 is just the earliest it could have been bottled and been from Stitzel-Weller Distillery - Mike V. seemed to imply the bottle might not be legit because SW didn't exist until 1935 - however, the 1913 date references a barreling date, not a bottling date.

I think your other points about the bottle itself are interesting -

savagehenry
07-24-2012, 05:59
Doesn't the volume in the barrel reduce by 2% or so each year from evaporation? If it was sitting in the barrel for 48 years, 96% would have disappeared so they would have had what, 2-3 bottles? Amazing that one survived! Or not.

Tucker
07-24-2012, 06:05
In a thread discussing the Weller wheated bourbon recipe, mention is made of a 1913 contract between Stitzel and WL Weller and Sons for production of 500 barrels of whiskey.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?445-Weller-and-the-wheat-recipe

In 1912, Stitzel contracted to make 1,000 barrels of whiskey for WL Weller and Sons. Stitzel leased the distillery to Weller so that Weller could claim to be the distiller. In 1913, Stitzel produced 500 more barrels for Weller.

The whiskey in the eBay bottle could claim this provenance, I suppose.

unclebunk
07-24-2012, 06:13
At the end of the day, anyone--and I mean anyone, no matter how rich--who drops a quarter million bucks on a bottle of booze is out of his mind.

Bmac
07-24-2012, 06:26
Final thoughts. Why tax stamp it? If it was bottled in bond it would be 100 proof.


Also, on one of the corners of the label is peeling up and you can see glue residue that extends past the border of the label.

Ralfy made a blog about what to look for on old supposed "antique" bottles of booze. This one just screams fake. Even the ridiculous price tag screams fake.

Tucker
07-24-2012, 06:48
Final thoughts. Why tax stamp it? If it was bottled in bond it would be 100 proof.

It looks to have the appropriate red and white federal tax strip for non-bonded whiskey, which was used until 1985. The Tennessee stamp looks real enough, too.

Bmac
07-24-2012, 09:45
It looks to have the appropriate red and white federal tax strip for non-bonded whiskey, which was used until 1985. The Tennessee stamp looks real enough, too.

I am not doubting that the tax stamp and the Tennessee stamp aren't real. However, acquiring those from other bottles isn't that difficult. Apply some heat to soften the adhesive and wa-la you can remove just about any label.

I would like to point out the following:

1) Why is the Tennessee sticker / Tax stamp in such horrible condition while the main sticker is in near-mint condition?

2) In the picture that shows the most detail of the Tennessee stamp, you can see a ghosted shape of the glue just below it. That is a sign of re-attachment with fresh glue and then it moved.

3) The foil wrapping is NOT on the top. Also, in one of the shots you can see GLUE coming from underneath it. To my knowledge, foils aren't glued on.

4) Seriously take a look at those shot glasses. Flur De Lis and keys? Really? For Bourbon? You don't think Weller would have possibly put their own logo or no logo at all?

5) That box is covered in paper with a fancy crest. This has got to be from England, Scotland, or from France. This isn't from the US made.

6) Also, there is no age statement. I didn't think NAS was very popular back then.

I am telling you, this item is 100% fabrication. Discussing it's province is a pure waste of time. It's just a standard bottle of WLW cask strength (probably 2010 release). He attracted people with the high price tag and waited for people to offer. I bet he takes the highest offer.

IowaJeff
07-24-2012, 10:47
I've seen old fitzgeralds from the 50's with similar boxes and glasses online before. That doesn't mean those aren't fake too, of course, but I've seen them with a similar design.

bourbonNOOG
07-24-2012, 12:46
I am not doubting that the tax stamp and the Tennessee stamp aren't real. However, acquiring those from other bottles isn't that difficult. Apply some heat to soften the adhesive and wa-la you can remove just about any label.

I would like to point out the following:

1) Why is the Tennessee sticker / Tax stamp in such horrible condition while the main sticker is in near-mint condition?

2) In the picture that shows the most detail of the Tennessee stamp, you can see a ghosted shape of the glue just below it. That is a sign of re-attachment with fresh glue and then it moved.

3) The foil wrapping is NOT on the top. Also, in one of the shots you can see GLUE coming from underneath it. To my knowledge, foils aren't glued on.

4) Seriously take a look at those shot glasses. Flur De Lis and keys? Really? For Bourbon? You don't think Weller would have possibly put their own logo or no logo at all?

5) That box is covered in paper with a fancy crest. This has got to be from England, Scotland, or from France. This isn't from the US made.

6) Also, there is no age statement. I didn't think NAS was very popular back then.

I am telling you, this item is 100% fabrication. Discussing it's province is a pure waste of time. It's just a standard bottle of WLW cask strength (probably 2010 release). He attracted people with the high price tag and waited for people to offer. I bet he takes the highest offer.

I'm not saying the sellers item is real or fake, but there is a similar item on eBay currently with identical shot glasses in a similar box. The box in the outrageously overpriced auction looks nicer, but still... the guy probably has something special. Is it worth what he's asking... no. No bottle of alcohol is worth a quarter of a million dollars (in my opinion). I imagine like others have stated, he is putting the high price to drive traffic and get exposure with the hopes of getting a fairly substantial offer.

Again, I'm not affiliated with either auction, just posting the above as a reference of comparison to the other.

cowdery
07-24-2012, 13:09
Everything about this item is authentic except the words "Barreled in 1913," which were added. That's my conclusion. The back label was removed because it would have put the lie to the "Barreled in 1913" claim. So, it's clever, I guess. If the person had asked, say, $1,500 they might have gotten it, no questions asked. The suggestion that it should be worth $250,000 suggests a not-very-clever scammer, because nobody is going to pay that. Even if it was 100% authentic, that's a ridiculous price.

Aside from that, this is a typical Stitzel-Weller package from the late 1950s or 1960s.

If the "Barreled in 1913" was true, there would have been more story on the bottle and in the package. As it is, absolutely nothing supports the claim.

Anyone have any ideas about what PEOL (left side of the label) means?

So what this really is, probably, is an NAS bottling of SW whiskey, at 100 proof, in a fancy gift box. Because it's SW from the heyday, it might legitimately be worth a couple hundred, but that's it.

Bmac
07-24-2012, 13:45
Ok fair enough, the box and it's glasses could be legit. But that bottle screams fake to me. I still see bad glue marks, and the top to the foil is missing. If it is legit...I would say the bottle has been opened at the very least.

cowdery
07-24-2012, 14:30
The front label was probably removed to make the 'Barreled in 1913' imprint.

Bmac
07-24-2012, 14:50
The front label was probably removed to make the 'Barreled in 1913' imprint.
What about the missing top part of the foil and the glue coming out from under it? If they removed the label, do you think they might have removed the original contents and re-filled with something else?

Lazer
07-24-2012, 14:59
The golden glow of the whiskey says chill filtration to me. And the missing foil on top is weird. :cool:

callmeox
07-24-2012, 15:39
What about the missing top part of the foil and the glue coming out from under it? If they removed the label, do you think they might have removed the original contents and re-filled with something else?

The contents are incidental to the collectible container


Or something like that.

cowdery
07-24-2012, 16:13
What about the missing top part of the foil and the glue coming out from under it? If they removed the label, do you think they might have removed the original contents and re-filled with something else?

Entirely possible. Or they concocted this scheme after finding the complete set, contents already gone. I can imagine someone who received this as a gift opening it and drinking the whiskey (as God intended), but carefully preserving the closure so the set could be restored to its original condition, sans whiskey, and 'saved' as people do. The original recipient dies and this winds up in a yard sale. I buy it for 50 cents, and then concoct this brilliant scheme.

That, to me, is a reasonable scenario. Then all the person has to do is refill the bottle, restore the foil capsule as well as possible, and add one line to the label. Not that difficult. But he got greedy.

Either that or the whole thing is a huge goof, i.e., a joke.

Then again, the more you get to know people, the more you see how oddly some people's brains work.

wripvanwrinkle
07-24-2012, 17:51
What about the missing top part of the foil and the glue coming out from under it? If they removed the label, do you think they might have removed the original contents and re-filled with something else?

The hole in the top is consistent with the Old Fitz foils that I have seen.

.13947

cowdery
07-24-2012, 22:17
13952

13953

13954

So here is a similar bottle from about the same time, probably a little later, but definitely pre-1979. Note the similarity in the lower part of the front label and even the age statement in red, the only red ink on the label. Note also the sealed top of the foil capsule, and the characteristic back label.

Let's start the bidding at $243,795.

Lazer
07-25-2012, 07:50
The age statement on Chuck's bottle is sitting in the middle of white-space on the label not stamped over part of the design.

bourbonv
07-25-2012, 08:01
The label is a design I have seen in label books from the late 1940s, not the 1960s. I have never seen in the Stitzel-Weller records of such a bottling in the 1960s. I would not swear from just looking at photographs that it was faked, but I certainly would not purchase the bottle on line at any price.

Mike Veach

cowdery
07-25-2012, 09:30
I was hoping Mike would weigh in, because it also occurred to me that if SW had ever done a bottling like that, at any time in its history, we would probably know about it.

Bmac
07-26-2012, 13:56
13952

13953

13954

So here is a similar bottle from about the same time, probably a little later, but definitely pre-1979. Note the similarity in the lower part of the front label and even the age statement in red, the only red ink on the label. Note also the sealed top of the foil capsule, and the characteristic back label.

Let's start the bidding at $243,795.
Thanks Chuck. That does make some of the data on the main label more viable.

I'd buy it for 10 dollars just to see what IS in it ;)

tommyboy38
07-29-2012, 09:55
Looks fairly legit to me and similiar to other VOF, VVOF's I have.

NorCalBoozer
07-31-2012, 15:46
I have collected many VOF, VVOF from the 40's-70's. I have a fairly good knowledge of the bottles.

This looks like a 50-60's era Very Old Fitzgerald that has had the front and back labels removed. Also the paper neck ring below the foil is missing. Typically there would have been a paper ring that stated '8 years old' or '12 years old' etc. It looks like it has been ripped off.

The top of the foil with black cap sticking thru is correct for this bottle.

The Box and glasses are the standard presentation box that both VOF and VVOF could have came in. There are also green boxes and I think I have a yellow box.

Although it's hard for me to believe, i do have to say that I think the whole front label could be fake. It has very crisp die cuts and the label look like rather thick stock, not typical to a S/W label. Also the browning seems odd. The Tax Strip and top of bottle and tax stamps show significant age/wear, while the label doesn't. The browning on the label looks like color not age. What blows my mind is why someone would go to the trouble to make this fake label with all the gold embossing etc.

In any event I don't think this is anything but a standard VOF.

--Greg

Restaurant man
07-31-2012, 22:03
This site has saved me soo much money. I was just about to "buy it now" until I read this. But seriously consider this the starting gun of whiskey fakes. Save your receipts. The wine industry is finally cracking into this. "80 percent of pre 1980 burgundies available at auction are fake" says Laurent ponsot. That is crazy and it is a certainty to be headed to the bourbon collectors if it is not in full roost right now. The prices are pushing the drinkers out of the market and leaving only speculators, who may never even open their bottle or when they do, proclaim the contents "magically transforming" when it is really just a VOB in a VOF bottle.

bourbonv
08-01-2012, 10:36
I think NorCalBoozer hits it pretty close to the mark. I am curious if there is anyone silly enough to bid on the bottle at that price.
Mike Veach

yountvillewjs
08-01-2012, 10:48
Assuming this is fake, why on earth would you ask $250K for it? You are begging for exactly the kind of scrutiny its gotten.

p_elliott
08-01-2012, 10:50
Cuz your stupid :hot:

SMOWK
08-01-2012, 10:51
Cuz your stupid :hot:

It's "You're" :) :) :)

p_elliott
08-01-2012, 10:53
I didn't like my grammer teacher in HS either.

NorCalBoozer
08-01-2012, 15:32
I went into the bunker for further research...

This is most likely a Very Old Fitzgerald 8 y.o. from approx early 1960 or earlier. That is around when the red tax strips changed over and matches the date on the bottom of the bottle.

The 8 y.o. is the only bottle in that line that didn't have the gold veining on it.

Also, again regarding the suspect label something else stuck out to me...the term "bottled by Stitzel Weller Distillery, Inc."

I could not find that wording 'inc.' was used on any of the Old Fitzgeralds I have. Maybe some Old Weller's from that time period did, so I can't comment but it does stick out as odd that it says "inc." and just another possible indication that the label is fake.

It is most likely an older 8 year VOF pre-1960 which is worth a decent sum.

It's pretty obvious to me it's not bourbon barreled in 1913. The guy is obviously educated enough to KNOW about S/W and comment on the bottle dates, so to me this is a fraudulent bottle and the lister knows it.

The oldest bottles I've had from S/W where all from the early 1940's....and they are very rare.

cowdery
08-01-2012, 18:01
It's "You're" :) :) :)

That bothers you, but you're okay with 'cuz'?

p_elliott
08-01-2012, 18:38
Assuming this is fake, why on earth would you ask $250K for it? You are begging for exactly the kind of scrutiny its gotten.


Cuz your stupid :hot:

Will of of course I didn't mean you were stupid I meant the ebay guy was was stupid.

LostBottle
08-01-2012, 19:06
Great info and history in your posts, NorCalBoozer!

tigerlam92
08-02-2012, 22:37
I went into the bunker for further research...

This is most likely a Very Old Fitzgerald 8 y.o. from approx early 1960 or earlier. That is around when the red tax strips changed over and matches the date on the bottom of the bottle.

The 8 y.o. is the only bottle in that line that didn't have the gold veining on it.

Also, again regarding the suspect label something else stuck out to me...the term "bottled by Stitzel Weller Distillery, Inc."

I could not find that wording 'inc.' was used on any of the Old Fitzgeralds I have. Maybe some Old Weller's from that time period did, so I can't comment but it does stick out as odd that it says "inc." and just another possible indication that the label is fake.

It is most likely an older 8 year VOF pre-1960 which is worth a decent sum.

It's pretty obvious to me it's not bourbon barreled in 1913. The guy is obviously educated enough to KNOW about S/W and comment on the bottle dates, so to me this is a fraudulent bottle and the lister knows it.

The oldest bottles I've had from S/W where all from the early 1940's....and they are very rare.

Hi,

Agreed. It does look to be like a VOF8 without the gold vein. Also, I notice within the glass bottle it has the federal warning like I saw in the listing as well.

As for the term "bottled by Stitzel Weller Distillery, Inc" One of my VOF has it. I looked at three of my bottles, didn't search the rest, and took a picture to show it could look quite different from one to another depending on the year and bottling. Looks like the listing is gone now so I couldn't double check the image in the listing.

Cheers
--Hugh

CoMobourbon
08-03-2012, 16:30
I didn't like my grammer teacher in HS either.

You had a grammar teacher in high school!

Man, I know I am a little younger than the average member here, but damn...

(:grin:)

wripvanwrinkle
08-03-2012, 16:36
You had a grammar teacher in high school!

Man, I know I am a little younger than the average member here, but damn...

(:grin:)

I gave Paul the benefit of the doubt on that last one (he was obviously being sardonic.)

;)

NorCalBoozer
08-03-2012, 18:23
wow very nice bottles Hugh...I will have to double check my oldest VOF 8 but I think mine is a '42 so you got me beat!

LostBottle
08-03-2012, 18:59
Hi,

Agreed. It does look to be like a VOF8 without the gold vein. Also, I notice within the glass bottle it has the federal warning like I saw in the listing as well.

As for the term "bottled by Stitzel Weller Distillery, Inc" One of my VOF has it. I looked at three of my bottles, didn't search the rest, and took a picture to show it could look quite different from one to another depending on the year and bottling. Looks like the listing is gone now so I couldn't double check the image in the listing.

Cheers
--Hugh

I love how that VOF in your photo has the label "A Collectors Item"...little did they know

Bmac
08-04-2012, 19:32
So from looking at all the recent legit bottles posted, my arguement about the main label stands. It's.fake. All the legit bottles looked consistent with their age. The bottle being sold has a near mint label with some seriously degraded labels.

Again I would argue that the contents are not the original.

SMOWK
08-09-2012, 09:56
That bothers you, but you're okay with 'cuz'?

Good catch. My excuse is.....I go by the urban dictionary. LOL.

silverfish
08-11-2012, 09:45
Good catch. My excuse is.....I go by the urban dictionary. LOL.

Then perhaps you need to use the (bo)urban dictionary...
(c'mon, someone was gonna say it...)