Just as King Louis XIII sat on a throne, so does the cognac that's named for him occupy a special place in the liquor stores that sell it.
At Happy Harry's Bottle Shop in Grand Forks, it's kept under lock and key in a special case. Or at least it was until Sunday.
As the Grand Forks Herald reports, that's when two thieves apparently jimmied the case open while the store was busy and made off with the $2,600 cognac, as well as a few other liquor bottles worth another couple hundred dollars.
The Herald notes that a surveillance camera image shows the pair "looking lovingly" at the bottle before the crime.
The store's owner tells the newspaper that the bottle itself – made of French Baccarat crystal – helps explain some of the King's price tag. But the bulk of the value comes from its contents: a cognac distilled from vintages that are 50 years and older.
How do you even approach such a drink?
With reverence, according to a French cellar master who was visited by the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago. In that case the King Louis XIII contained 100-year-old vintages, and Pierrette Trichet told the Journal “The idea is to be very humble in front of this glass and pay respect because it represents the effort and the know-how of one century.”
The Los Angeles Times reported this summer on a $22,000 bottle of King Louis XIII that arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills ... in a Rolls Royce limo.
Alas, in Grand Forks, no respect for the King.
'Who was King Louis XIII, anyway?" you may be wondering. Encyclopedia Britannica tells us he was monarch when France became a European power during the early 1600's.
But some of us know him best through Alexandre Dumas' classic The Three Musketeers. You can read or download the 600-page novel here.
Or take SparkNotes' word for it that Louis XIII really was protected by swashbuckling guards known as musketeers.
Could they help return the King's bottle to its Grand Forks throne intact? All for one and one for all.