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Published: Friday, 11/16/2007

$1M of Jack Daniel's whiskey in old bottles might go down drain

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NASHVILLE - Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.

Investigators are looking into whether some of the bottles had been stolen from the distillery. No one has been arrested.

Authorities are still determining how much of the liquor will be disposed of and how much can be sold at auction.

Tennessee law requires officials to destroy whiskey that cannot be sold legally in the state, such as bottles designed for sale overseas and those with broken seals.

"We'd pour it out," said Danielle Elks, executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The estimated value of the liquor is $1 million, possibly driven up by the value of the antique bottles, which range from 3-liter bottles to half-pints.

One seized bottle dates to 1914, with its seal unbroken. Ms. Elks said it is worth $10,000 on the collectors market.



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