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300 bottles of Cognac recovered from ship sunk by U-boat in WWI could fetch nearly £8,000 EACH:

300 bottles of brandy recovered on a ship sunk in WWI could fetch nearly £8,000 EACH: French consignment on Swedish steamer bound for Tsarist Russia landed in Baltic Sea bottom after German U-boat attack

  • Bottles were recovered in 2019 by a specialized Swedish team near the Baltic Sea
  • 600 bottles of cognac and 300 bottles of Benedictines were brought to the coast
  • Swedish steamer Kyros sunk by German submarine during World War I
  • Now bottles are cleaned, refilled and on sale for almost £8,000 each

A treasure trove of smuggled alcohol recovered from a shipwreck 100 years after it sank on its way to Tsarist Russia is being sold for nearly £8,000 a bottle.

Hundreds of bottles were recovered in 2019 by a specialized Swedish team in the Sea of ​​Aland, near the Baltic Sea.

The crew found 600 bottles of De Haartman & Co brandy and 300 bottles of Benedictine liqueur in the remains of the Kyros, which was sunk by a German submarine in May 1917.

The shipment is believed to have left Bordeaux in December 1916, but was delayed until spring due to ice in the Gulf of Bothnia.

Cognac house Birkedal Hartmann has carefully cleaned and refilled 300 bottles found in the shipwreck of the Swedish steamer Kyros, which was sunk by a German submarine in 1917.

Cognac house Birkedal Hartmann has carefully cleaned and refilled 300 bottles found in the shipwreck of the Swedish steamer Kyros, which was sunk by a German submarine in 1917.

The cognac and Benedictine bottles as found in the remains of the ship in 2019

The cognac and Benedictine bottles as found in the remains of the ship in 2019

By the time the ship was on its way back to Russia, Tsar Nicholas II had been forced to abdicate as the Russian Revolution took over the country.

Since the catch was recovered, Cognac house Birkedal Hartmann has carefully cleaned 300 of the bottles, removed the corks and filled it with Grande Champagne Cognac from 1910-15, reports carafe

Company records were used to reproduce the original corks, capsules and labels. Each one liter bottle is presented in a gift box, which also contains the original cork a and a photo of the SS Kyros.

The bottles were sunk to a depth of 77 meters in the Sea of ​​Land, between Sweden and Finland

The bottles were sunk to a depth of 77 meters in the Sea of ​​Land, between Sweden and Finland

When he discovered the wreck, Peter Lindberg, who led expedition group Ocean X, said: “The conditions in the Baltic Sea are very suitable for storing these kinds of drinks, because it is dark and very cold.”

The Kyros left Sweden in May 1917 and sank to a depth of 77 meters in the Sea of ​​Aland, between Sweden and Finland, with an explosive charge.

The ship’s crew survived and were transferred to another ship before returning to Sweden, according to Ocean X.

Mr Lindberg said his group had located the wreckage more than 20 years ago but lost the position to rediscover it many years later.

Ocean X leader Peter Lindberg with colleague Floris Marseille, pictured in November 2019

Ocean X leader Peter Lindberg with colleague Floris Marseille, pictured in November 2019

It took years to clear the wreckage from abandoned fishing nets for divers to inspect, but even then the conditions proved too difficult to manually search.

He said: “After going there several times with divers and a smaller ROV (remotely operated vehicle), we realized the situation was getting too dangerous.”

Ocean X asked Icelandic salvage company iXplorer to help lift the bottles using a specially equipped salvage vessel, Deepsea Worker.

The name De Haartmann Cognac was clearly printed on the bottom of the bottles

The name De Haartmann Cognac was clearly printed on the bottom of the bottles

Four full bottles of De Haartmann Cognac were later auctioned off to collectors for $45,000 (£37,000) each.

In January 2020, one of the surviving bottles of Benedictine was opened at the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp, northern France, where it was hailed as ‘pleasant’ to taste with notes of cocoa, coffee and mocha.

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