Balach Found Bottle
Photographs from Ted Balach
Written by K. R. Overholt Critchfield, August 8, 2001
~~ Renovated 10-22-08 ~~

~~ Updated November 28, 2003 ~~

Kathie Kohan wrote to me about her friend, Ted Balach, who has a rare old bottle of Overholt whiskey that is kept inside a wooden box. Ted told a story about how he came to have it. His sister's husband's father was a chiropractor named Adam Weaver. One day, as payment for his services, the chiropractor was given the bottle of whiskey, which is labeled as follows.

"This is bottle No. 2383 of very select stock of rare
Old Overholt Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whiskey;
this whiskey is 6 1/2 years old, and is bottled exactly
as it comes from the original barrels at 123 proof.
Bottled at Broad Ford, Pa. by A. Overholt & Co. Inc.,
and distributed by National Distillers Products Corp., New York.
Signed by Thomas F. Brown, Vice Pres."

Above is an enhanced (reduced in size & touched up) photo of the large card
that is inside the wooden box. The text is retyped below.

In the very forefront of famous American whiskey names stands the famous brand


For 130 years, it has graced the cellars and tables of the knowing, and its fame has traveled the wide world over. In this package is presented a special bottling of this famous old brand -- at its superlative finest, because of its unusual age and proof. Bottled exactly as withdrawn from the wood, the unparalleled potency and flavor created by the ripening years are sealed within for your delectation. This whiskey is indeed a rarity for, since Repeal, whiskey of this age and proof has been virtually impossible to obtain. Please remember that this is a mighty whiskey; treat it with the utmost respect when used straight. Use it as a rare brandy, and savor it in a brandy inhaler; or use it sparingly in highball or cocktail; then you will enjoy its incomparable virtues to the utmost. Straight Rye Whiskey, Bottled by A. Overholt & Co., Inc., Broad Ford, Pa., at 123 Proof. This whiskey is six and one-half years old.

Kathie Kohan is seeking information to help her friend place a value on this amazing find.
Ted Balach does not have an e-mail address, but Kathie will make sure all pertinent mail
gets back to him. Her e-mail address (as of 5-17-01) follows.

~~ Updated November 28, 2003 ~~

Two Updates for Balach Found Bottle

On January 10, 2003, Richard J. Mason wrote, "Some years ago, I found hidden in the drop down basement playroom ceiling of my home, the same type of wooden box that Balach found, and the box contained a bottle of exactly the same select stock of rare Old Overholt Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whiskey; 6 1/2 years old, etc. My bottle remains full with the Federal seal intact. The label is identical, except for a much lower bottle number and 122 Proof, instead of 123. I'm sure that my bottle was placed in the drop down ceiling by the original homeowner, who was the co-owner of a large, wholesale liquor, beer and wine distributorship. I just spotted your website today, so I thought that you would enjoy hearing about another rare Overholt find."

Melissa Ruth wrote to me on September 4, 2003, wanting me to know that "there is a restaurant in DC called Martin's Tavern that has a bottle of Old Overholt whisky hanging in a box on the wall, along with a letter from the woman who gave it to them, who was a Mellon. I think that one of the Mellons had kept old casks of whisky and at one point bottled them. I'll get the details and try to take a photo for you. My mother and I use the whisky to flavor our mincemeat pies and tarts during the holidays."

And so, we have two more accounts to add to the Balach Found Bottle saga. Perhaps a few more of these rare bottles will be revealed to us. If Richard and/or Melissa send me photos, I will publish them on my web site. Thank you both for writing!

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