Last year, a 170 year old shipwreck was found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and among the various baubles recovered were a handful of intact bottles of beer. Finnish researchers recently cracked one open, only to find the bottle had been infiltrated by sea water. When analyzing the brew, they found malt sugars, hops and other stuff you’d expect to find in a beer. The only thing missing was live yeast, which is a bummer, as it makes it impossible to recreate the beer.
When they made the find last year, a bottle was cracked during the recovery, and the beer fizzed like any other would, suggesting the yeast in that bottle were alive and well, so there’s hope that one or more of the other bottles yet to be opened are still in decent shape. Which means someone might get a chance to taste some radically aged beer!
In 2006, a similar discovery was made, but instead of beer, it was whisky. About 100 year ago, legendary explorer Lord Ernest Shackleton was pushing to reach the South Pole when him and his crew were caught in winter’s icy grip. They were forced to hightail it back to warmer climes lest their boats be encased in ice and the entire party doomed. In their haste to retreat, they left behind some crates of Mackinlay’s Old Rare Scotch, which were recovered by New Zealand researchers five years ago. The bottles were intact and the hooch was in good shape, instantly making it some of the rarest and most desirable whisky on the planet.
So here’s the question: Would you rather drink the 170 year old beer or the 100 year old whisky? My common sense tells me this is a no-brainer. The whisky is in far better shape than the beer and should be the easy choice. But there’s a problem – I’m a beer nerd, not a whisky geek. While my rational mind tells me to go for the whisky, my natural curiosity says try the beer. In the end, I think that’d be my pick. I’d go for the old suds.
How about you? 100 year old whisky, or 170 year old beer?
As always, please let us know below!