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Fake Macallan Continued....

Do you have a 50 year old vintage waiting to be discovered by a worthy collector? Post your details here and find out!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 10, 2003 2:30 pm

Hi Iain,

I see your point. I doubt that the 19th Century Macallan, is a fake, and if my information is correct, it's the real McCoy in the bottle, you probably pointed out on the last article in the Whisky Mag, about are we being conned? About my information and based on what? Well I had some info in advance, wich will be a part of the publication in Issue 32. The whole idea behind that article will be an interactive discussion, with readers, collectors and other people who like The Macallan. By asking them questions, they have to reply on this matter, same as your question, about what's in the 19th Century bottle, if you ask them that, they have to reply. I would suggest to wait for Issue 32, read it, and I know for now that you still have some questions left, and feel free to ask them. OK?? Just give the Macallan a chance...

Regards,

Erik Image
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Tue Jun 10, 2003 3:07 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Huurman:
<B>Hi Iain,

I see your point. I doubt that the 19th Century Macallan, is a fake, and if my information is correct, it's the real McCoy in the bottle, you probably pointed out on the last article in the Whisky Mag, about are we being conned? About my information and based on what? Well I had some info in advance, wich will be a part of the publication in Issue 32. The whole idea behind that article will be an interactive discussion, with readers, collectors and other people who like The Macallan. By asking them questions, they have to reply on this matter, same as your question, about what's in the 19th Century bottle, if you ask them that, they have to reply. I would suggest to wait for Issue 32, read it, and I know for now that you still have some questions left, and feel free to ask them. OK?? Just give the Macallan a chance...

Regards,

Erik Image</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Erik

You say < by asking them questions, they have to reply on this matter > and you end by saying < Just give the Macallan a chance >

1. People have been asking them questions on this forum since January - and they most certainly have not answered.

2. The Macallan has had dozens of chances to put this right.

As for the article in Whisky Magazine, get real! Ask yourself how much advertising they get from the Macallan and then ask yourself if they are willingly going to criticise the Macallan

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jun 11, 2003 3:50 pm

Hi Rudolph,

As for the replies on the forum, that's up to the Macallan why they never replied. Some how they must have had a very good reason to not give any reply at all. Why they never replied? Why don't you ask it your self? It's not up to me you know, I mean that I would do things probably different. I would suggest that you read the upcomming article first, then draw your own conclusions, and then shout, scream, cry or what so ever.

You seem to miss the point here, it's not about the marketing or what so ever, it's about an article written by Dave Broome in Issue 28, and that article had upset The Macallan, and thru the months they seem to deal with this matter in their own way, and what's wrong with that? OK, I was dissapointed too, that no one from the Macallan seem to give any reply on this whole thing here on this forum. But that's their decision. And the fact that people thought that the Macallan never replied, and started to think that there was something wrong, or the bottles where not real or the whisky was not real, based on what fact? Based on what, that you can tell me that the whole case here is a con Rudolph, based on what?? Please tell me, explain that to me?? Because that's what where people thinking here on this forum, allright quite logical you think, but a time period of 6 months and no replies from the Macallan, doesn't make them suspecious, or have they??? OK, if they never replied for lets say a year, then you might smell some trouble left and right, that's reasonable. But they come back with their reply in a magazine, instead here on this forum, now I'm thinking here what's wrong with that? Now everyone can read their story, their version, and if there are still any doubts left, then they ask you to give a reply on this one.

For me it was getting clearer and clearer, at each time I had been talking to some people there, except for the fact that no one ever replied anything at all here on this forum, well that's something I still want to find out, and believe me I will get a answer to that.

I still believe that their intentions are sincere, and if I had any doubt at all, I would have mentioned it here on this forum. I know that you are probably still full of questions, and probably stick to your point of vieuw, well that's fine by me, in that case we can can finally close this topic for once and for all......

O by the way, during writing this article I was calling David Cox, and directly asked him why they never replied, and the answer was; that in their eyes it was better to reply thru a magazine instead of a forum, and if they reply on this forum they force them selfes in an endless discussion, and to be honest: they never watch this forum to often as they probably would...

Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Iain » Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:27 pm

I'm sure Rudolph can answer for himself, but in the meantime I can't help but reply to one of Erik's questions,

"Based on what, that you can tell me that the whole case here is a con Rudolph, based on what?? Please tell me, explain that to me??"

that the ansewer is (again!!!)
- questions have been raised based on the fact that Mac is selling whisky that seems to have been bottled by "ghost" companies, and they refuse to divulge any evidence to prove the existence of those companies to anyone except for... Erik!

But he keeps telling us we have to wait... and wait.. and wait... and he won't say what evidence will eventually be given!

Erik appears to have become our sole source of information from Macallan; David Cox's very own "Comical Ali", relaying propaganda statements to the despised unbelievers about the Mother of all Articles that Mac is about to launch in WM...

maybe.

I hope it's not a damp squib.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jun 11, 2003 9:02 pm

Hi Iain,

If some one shares information with you, and ask you to wait until the original article is published, what do you do? Well Iain I gave them my word(wich means a lot to me), but inside it's burning you know. All I can refer to right now is the article in Issue 32. Right now I'm the only one who's smiling, and continue to do so(and if people know me verry well, then they can figure out that there's something going on here in a positif way). I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, but inside I know it's allright.

However please do keep in mind, during reading the article, that a forgery is a job that could be easy done, it doesn't happen only in the whisky world, but also in the world of art(like a fake van Gogh or something like that). Therefor the Macallan would be happy enough, to prove it's origin, the origin of the content etc, to those who are realy interested. So what more would you like to know? It's just a matter of time, and I'm smiling, so why should I bother...

Slainte,

Erik
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Iain » Thu Jun 12, 2003 5:51 am

Erik, I will be cut off from the www for 4 weeks from Saturday and so I will miss the great Mac revelations.

From your confident statements I am now sure that Mac will present

1. Some evidence of the existence once upon a time of The Macallan-Glenlivet and Talisker Distilleries Co Ltd

2. An indication of when Mr McWilliam opened his shop in Craigellachie.

3. An indication of exactly which Mac bottles and labels were tested.

4. What are these mysterious tests that confirm the age of a whisky, and what bottles were sampled for the tests.

5. Results of tests on the shoulder flashes on the McWilliam bottles, which (very strangely, for the supposed period) give the date of distillation of the contents.

I look forward to returning to the WM forum to find you still smiling, with all questions answered and everyone confident and satisfied that all Mac "vintage" bottles are above suspicion.
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:38 am

Dear Erik

On May 23, you agreed that if the Macallan were not sure about the provenance, they should never have offered the product for sale.

On June 3, you said that they used several people for their search to investigate and prove the provenance

On June 9, you said they had to do it all again because Dave Broom said the R Kemp bottles were fake.

On June 11, you said I was missing the point - it was not about marketing or anything, it was about the article Dave had written.

QUESTION - If the Macallan had proved the provenance before they offered the product for sale, why did they need to spend so much time re-proving it just because of Dave's article? All they had to do, immediately, was to say < Dave, you have got it wrong and here is the proof > End of story. Months ago.

On June 11, you also say that the Macallan would not reply to questions on this forum because :

1. They would rather reply in Whisky Magazine.

Of course they would. They know that the magazine is not going to give them a hard time. ( I am not being derogatory about the magazine - all publications rely on advertising support and are not about to do anything that will antagonise advertisers especially in a market with a relatively small number of advertisers ) So it is unlikely that whatever the fabled Macallan article in issue 32 says, it will be subject to really critical examination by the magazine.

2. They did not want to get into endless
discussion.

Of course they don't!

3. They don't read this forum.

What a damning admission! Whisky Magazine is the most important whisky publication in the world and its sister website Whisky World is not considered worth looking at by one of the major producers?

No Erik. the real point here is about ethical and honest business behaviour that
respects the integrity of both the brand and the customer. Anyone reading all 150 messages in this forum will ask themselves
( whatever the article in issue 32 says - and remember many visitors to this forum may not read the magazine )- Have the Macallan by their handling of this sorry episode enhanced the reputation of the company and the integrity of the brand, as well as strengthening the relationship with the customer?

Or has it had the reverse effect?

I suspect that for you, Erik, the Macallan can do no wrong.

For some of us, sadly, in this case the Macallan have not done right.

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 12, 2003 3:00 pm

Dear Iain and Rudolph,

Iain:
The article is an open article, in wich you will be invited to ask questions. Like the questions you asked here on this forum:

1. Some evidence of the existence once upon a time of The Macallan-Glenlivet and Talisker Distilleries Co Ltd

2. An indication of when Mr McWilliam opened his shop in Craigellachie.

3. An indication of exactly which Mac bottles and labels were tested.

4. What are these mysterious tests that confirm the age of a whisky, and what bottles were sampled for the tests.

5. Results of tests on the shoulder flashes on the McWilliam bottles, which (very strangely, for the supposed period) give the date of distillation of the contents.

I am able to answer some of your questions here, but then again I Have to show some hard evidence here. However it is not up to me to answer these questions, that's for David Cox to answer them, I find it his task to do that. So I wish you a very good 4 weeks off, and after 4 weeks, I hope a lot of questions will be answered by then, or you might ask some to David(and if no response so far, please let me know, and I'll will try to grab David by the nose).

Rudolph,

QUESTION - If the Macallan had proved the provenance before they offered the product for sale, why did they need to spend so much time re-proving it just because of Dave's article? All they had to do, immediately, was to say < Dave, you have got it wrong and here is the proof > End of story. Months ago.

I was asking my self the same question, but the thing was that behind the scenes, they where very busy, to sort things out, like: are we wrong or right here? And ofcourse they where debating with Dave Broome. And to do it absolutely right, and try to find a solution, they will reply with an article in the Whisky Magazine. Maybe it was good for them to say: OK guys we understand the whole comotion here, but we are working on it. But they won't publish their research from last year, because suggest they where absolutely wrong? Try to imagine what will happen??

I don't think it's about ethetical and honest business behaviour(but you think otherwise, and that's fine by me), It's about getting the truth on this matter. And that's all it is.

I can see that you are feeling, dissapointed by The Macallan, well that's your feeling, and there's nothing I can change that for you, it's up to you to change that. I think it would be good that you contact The Macallan too, after reading Issue 32, and tell them how you think about them, and tell them that they left a lot of customers down.

The only thing I can say(and I have said it before), that I also find it a shame that The Macallan never replied here on this forum, and I told them that many times. And maybe for the nearby future they have learned something from it, by giving a reply here, if they having any difficulties again....

You said that they could do nothing wrong for me, well my dear Rudolph, ofcourse they can do wrong. But it depends how you look against this subject, and I just give them a chance to prove their version of this case. And then again I won't look to their behavior or what so ever, I mean if I feel that they are out of line, then I would have said it too(especially to them).

Regards,

Erik
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Iain » Thu Jun 12, 2003 5:19 pm

I think that what Erik is trying to say (if I am reading between the lines correctly) is that it's time for regime change at Mac's pr department!
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Thu Jun 12, 2003 6:35 pm

I eagerly await MaCallan explanation but quite why some one from MaCallan can't just pop in here months ago and say we will deluiver the answer in Whisky magazine in issue x is beyond me. I would call it just polite manners, in the mean time we have all sorts of 'debate' and this has resulted in huge damage to MaCallans reputation regardless of the outcome of the investigations. I'm glad I am not an investor in Macallan but only a drinker.

They have been brutally quiet on why the prices have increased so much and why they have piss off every single serious whisky shop in the country with their allocations policy....I get the distinct impression MaCallan have shot them in foot several times this year Image If I was a share owner......
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Postby Rudy » Thu Jun 12, 2003 7:31 pm

Cheer up Nic!

I do have the same critical view on this matter like Iain and Rudolph.

But hey, forget this !@#$% issue for a couple of weeks and invest in some serious sharing:
pour your friends and yourself your best dram (no, not the MacA) and enjoy!

Cheers,

Rudy.
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Thu Jun 12, 2003 7:56 pm

sorry if that sounds a bit negative but I have been getting very frustrated with MaCallan recently and it is all down to communication Image or lack of it. It doesn't help that the new barn conversion is currently causing chos at home Image

Currently drinking Ardbeg Lord of the Isles just to wind MaCallan up, 25 year old at half what the MaCallan is Image
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:14 pm

Nothing between the lines Iain, just my point of vieuw.

Slowly, I will ask my questions to David, and see what happens.

Erik
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Postby lexkraai » Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:52 pm

The long-awaited response from Macallan has now appeared in WM. As not all of you are lucky enough to get the mag on the day of publication, I'll summarise the main points. The evidence that Macallan presents to support the authenticity of the 19th century bottles consists of the conclusions of a glass expert and a paper expert who were given access to the bottles in the summer of 2002 (NOTE: this is before Dave Broom's article and the whole discussion here). Neither of these two experts could find anything to suggest that the glass bottles or the paper of the label were not genuine.

As Macallan prefers to have a discussion in WM rather than on the web, I have sent a page-long reply to WM in which I explain why I feel the evidence presented in this article proves nothing about the authenticity of these Macallan bottles. I don't know whether Dominic will use some or all of this reply, so don't want to preempt its possible publication in WM, but I will here briefly touch on my main points.

Proving that the glass bottles and the paper of the label is genuine proves nothing about whether we're dealing with 19th century Macallan bottles. Empty bottles and old paper are easy enough to get.

The main point that raised suspicion about these bottles, which is the names of companies which don't appear to have existed, is not addressed at all; the issue is not even mentioned.

Despite the announcement made in WM, and on the forum here by Erik, that further chemical analyses would be performed (which could prove once and for all that the whisky itself really is old), the results of these analyses are not presented; further analyses are not even mentioned.


Cheers, Lex
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:52 am

In other words spin it out for as long as possible and hope it all goes away without answering the question that NEEDED to be answered Image
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jun 14, 2003 1:40 pm

Hi,

So Lex, is one of the first who red the article in the WM. The article is just a start guys. The Macallan has choosen to have a discussion thru the WM, and they explained me why, because by using the WM they are reaching everybody, instead of a group of 'die hards' here on this forum. The other part is that by contacting the WM, they have to ask The Macallan to explain some more details. But if I'm correct here, you can also contact David Cox directly, to ask your questions(such as the questions like Lex has put here in his reply), but by asking the WM some questions, the whole Issue gets more attention, and so the Macallan will be invited again to explain their analysis.
I'm having regular contact too with the Macallan, to gather my own required information. It's not only you people here who are so curious, you know?

It took quite some time(almost 6 months), but bit by bit we are getting somewhere. But people please keep in mind that it's not only the Macallan, who's having such troubles, there are also other brands, who could have the same troubles, by explaining their analysis, and prove their provenance etc. I mean now it's the Macallan, but wich brand is next?? An old bottle of Dalmore perhaps?? Or an old bottle of The Glenlivet?? Who's next??

The fact Lex has mentioned, that empty bottles and old paper are easy enough to get, is a statement I'm not buying directly.
That's to easy and to simple. It takes more than that. The fact that the Macallan has used a glass expert and a paper expert, is enough for them to prove it's origin, and there must be a full report wich will tell you on what evidence the experts has based their conclusions.

I agree that the article doesn't say enough about the provenance, and that it is probably full of holes, but that's the whole idea behind it. It's an open invitation to enter an open discussion. David Cox felt right about what he has written here, and another part is, that he gets a limited space in the magazine to explain his vision about the topic: fake Macallan.

The bottom line is, that all of you would like to see some hard evidence.
For example the name, on the bottle, did or did not R.Kemp owned both Talisker and Macallan-glenlivet distilleries at the same time?(I know he did)
And many more analysis you would like to know, it's very simple, just ask the Macallan(David Cox) or ask the WM to do a further investigation.

I later realized, that in a way it was a good thing that Dave Broome had written, about fake bottles etc. But in some points he didn't do his homework very well. The other bottom line is, is that it could happen to any other brand, and it makes a lot of producers aware, that they can be confronted too with these matters.


Cheers,

Erik
Deactivated Member
 

Postby lexkraai » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:32 pm

Hi Erik

What I find very strange is that Macallan announced they were doing further (chemical) tests following Dave's article. The results of these tests were promised to be presented in the article in WM. Now this article has come out and there is no mention of these further tests; the only evidence presented is that which was obtained before this whole discussion broke out.

So, what are the results of these further tests and why weren't they presented as promised and announced?

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:50 pm

Hi Huurum, you say in your comment that you know that Kemp owned both Macallan and Talisker at the same time, well let's have the info! It's what we've all been waiting for and would finally answer the question. The glass and paper issue is a red herring or false trail. If there is no evidence that Kemp owned both distilleries at the same time then all other arguemnets are moot. Old bottles and old paper are easy to come by, especially for an italian forger!

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited 17 June 2003).]
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:10 am

So Erik at last the fabled article has been published. And despite all the claims you have made over the months that - if only we would be patient and wait for the article -all our questions would be answered, what do we get?

According to Lex some experts say that there is nothing to say the bottles and paper are not genuine. And that's all she wrote!

What about the key question - the provenance of the whisky in the bottle? Again, according to Lex, not a word.

And now you - or the Macallan - are starting to run another red herring, pulling in other brands and trying to raise doubts about their old whiskies, as well as making snide remarks about Dave Broom..

You say, in effect, that David Cox's article was incomplete because he wants to start a discussion! Two points, firstly there has been a discussion going on here for 6 months, and secondly, what is required is not more discussion, simply a definitive statement by the Macallan proving the provenance of the whisky. The matter can be discussed in the columns of Whisky Magazine as long as you like - but all the discussion in the world won't change the facts.

And only the Macallan have the facts ( or do they? )

Despite waiting for the mother of all articles which it was promised would answer all the questions, we are no closer to the truth than we were 6 months ago.

Are you STILL smiling Erik - or is that just a nervous twitch?

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Jonas » Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:42 pm

I have patiently been following this thread, waiting for that final answer from Macallan. And I have to say I am really disappointed that Macallan in fact decided not to answer ANY of the burning questions.

I have several whisky-loving friends, and I have made sure they all are aware of this discussion.
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Postby scotspain » Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:19 pm

No doubt that this gives Macfakan a lot of publicity. I for one browsed through their website today and looked at their ‘antique’ bottles. I noticed that the label of the 1856 and the 1884 was very alike. Does anyone knows when these are supposed to have been bottled?
Stig
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:10 pm

Plenty of publicity yes but I have never agreed with the view that all publicity is good. MaCallan have come out REALLY BADLY on this one. I know at least one friend who is so 'issed off with it all he has given up buy the big M. Frankly as a customer I feel really let down here. I guess I will have to just buy more Longmorn Image

Macallan have handled this really badly IMHO.
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Postby MacAndersson » Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:00 am

Erik what drug are you on?
If it were widely available there would be no depressed people in the world.

It seams no matter what Macallan say you are still smiling. You must either be on their payroll or simply the best customer there is, taking the bait hook and sink, no questions asked.

With statement like, "I would suggest to wait for Issue 32", "The article is just a start guys". "it is probably full of holes, but that's the whole idea behind it." You are constantly contradicting yourself.

And to top it of you claim to know things not even Macallan can explain. "did or did not R.Kemp owned both Talisker and Macallan-glenlivet distilleries at the same time?(I know he did)" Since Macallan wont publish their findings maybe you could?

I have yet to read the article but if it is the way Lex put it I have bought my last Macallan. There is so much good whisky out there besides Macallan that I feel I don’t want to support this kind of crap from them.

In my point of view Macallan have failed to answer the really important questions raised by Dave and the people on this forum.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:11 pm

To all,

If you all allow me to explain. And allow your self some time to read this toppic.

R.Kemp

The fact that I know a lot of things and won't publish is because I'm still waiting for some evidence, but I believe a mans word if he says that R.Kemp could have possible owned 2 distilleries at the same time. And therefor I have made some conclusions (that was also stated by Lawrence, not so long ago), that there was a overlap time period of approximatly 6 months, that R.Kemp could have possibly owned 2 distilleries at the same time, while he was generating money by selling the Talisker distillery and buy the Macallan-Glenlivet distillery. On paper he sold the Talisker distillery and bought the Macallan distillery, wich means that R. Kemp was on paper owner of both distilleries. But that was just the paper work. It was never registered by Companies House and why you might ask? Well Companies House never registered any partnerships at that time, while the Talisker distillery was a partnership. Then again I'm still waiting for some evidence from the Macallan (old records, or other)

This is how I look against the R.Kemp story, and it's up to you what you do with it.

Lex, I spoke to David Cox, and he assure me that a sample was send to the laboratory to asses what they are dealing with. But we have to wait(I'm waiting too for the results) until September. And as soon as something comes out of these test, I will publish them here.

David deliberate not writing anything at all about R.Kemp so I was told by David him self. In his opinion, it's like you believe this story or not. And the Macallan is happy to answer any questions from you(wich I believe there still are some), but then again if people here on this forum don't take any trouble at all to contact the Macallan, while that's not my problem or neither David's problem.

To come back to the bottle and paper issue. Peter Bower and Simon Cottle have written a report to the Macallan. However it will not be published, and that's the end of it. But if some of you are in the neighbourhood of Perth and taking the trouble to visit the HQ of Highland Distillers there, then David will show to you those reports in person, because that's what he told me.

I asked David also three questions and he will answer then as soon as he gets back. David is now out of the office for almost two weeks. As soons as they are answered by David I will publish them here too, and I won't rush David. I have an agreement with David that everythig he tells me I can publish it here freely.

I also spoke to David about the auction and its buyers if they are fully aware about what's going on here on this forum, he said that some of them are not aware about this discussion. And I asked him if that was any trouble at all, no he said because he assured me that every old bottle of Macallan or any other bottle of Macallan is genuine. He couldn't say that the bottle that Dave Broome has used was a fake or not, simply because he has never seen it or had the chance to examine it.

Call all of this a Red Herring or a Harry Potter tale or a fable, I don't care less.
All I can say is, that if some of you here took any trouble at all to contact the Macallan or The Whisky Magazine (to sort things out for you), you probably knew just as much as I do right now at this point. And all I did was trying to tell you how things are related to one another. I have said that all your questions will be answered, well I'm sorry if it never did happend and I must say that after I have red the article I had to admit that I was to early about saying that all the question where being answered (In a way they did, but the only thing is you have to do something for it and that's for some of us very difficult do here), because I was trying to get somethings done here and to be honest to you if you only took any trouble at all to find something out it would have showed how concerned you where about the Macallan and their behaviour. And this discussion wasn't even necessary at all, all we had to talk about then was comparing any data or information to share here. So far I'm the only consumer and forum reader (and from time to time a Macallan representative) here, who is concerend about an article wich says that the Macallan showed in that article was a fake. All I have seen here on this forum is that I and the Macallan are being critized, and no one here took any serious thougths about this. The fact that you critize me about a case I can't do anything about, well that's something I can't describe or have any words for that.

Rest me to say, I have done the best I could and perhaps I was a little to quickly about saying things here, but that was only because of information was requested here on this and I'm depending on others too. And if they decide to do otherwise, well there's nothing I can do about that. I have red David's article over and over again and in my eyes this is an open invitation to contact The Macallan to request more information or evidence, and to see the some other parts well like I said earlyer, if you are realy interested and happen to be in the neighbourhood(I'm not saying that you have to go there, and go over some trouble getting there) of Perth, well drop by and ask your questions in person (make sure you made an appointment first).

All I tryed to do is getting some information for you and me guys, and some solid and hard statements. And if I failed in your eyes well then I have failed in your eyes, don't even care about it. David has read some of the reactions here on this forum and said that I was doing well, but even I can do only then the best I can.

For those who are interested, here's the article for those who still have to wait for a copy of their Whisky Magazine, and you can read it in advance.

Cheers,

Erik (still smiling and perhaps even harder then the rest here and still enjoying a dram of The Macallan)

The Macallan : genuine old and rare whiskies.

In July, 2002, we decided to commission an investigation into the authenticity of the substantial collection of nineteenth century and early twentieth century Macallan bottles held in our archive at Easter Elchies. This collection has gradually been accumulated over many years and, whilst we had no particular cause for concern, we considered it prudent to invite two experts in the fields of glass and paper to give us a view on the validity of our collection given its potential value (£1M). This work was completed before the publication of Dave Broom’s article in issue 28, in which he called into question the provenance and authenticity of a number of very old scotch whisky bottles in general, and two examples of The Macallan (1872 and 1888) in particular, both of which he wrote were “Proven to be fakes”. By implication, this article called into question the veracity of much that passes for antique scotch whisky, and the true value thereof, in a market which has seen substantial rises in prices paid by collectors and connoisseurs over the years.

In replying on behalf of The Macallan to Dave Broom’s assertions, we seek to re-assure all interested parties that the nineteenth and early twentieth century Macallan bottles, currently held under our control at Easter Elchies, have been closely examined by two of the world’s leading experts in their respective fields to establish the authenticity of these bottles beyond all reasonable doubt.

We invited Simon Cottle, Head of European Ceramics and Glass at Sothebys, and Peter Bower, a forensic paper historian and paper analyst, and one of the world’s two foremost practitioners of this discipline, to come to Easter Elchies and examine the old Macallan bottles in our archive. They carried out their examinations in July and August, 2002. Their conclusions are as follows :

Simon Cottle : Simon inspected 95 bottles at the distillery, comprising our 19th and early 20th century archive. The following is extracted verbatim from his report :
“Of these bottles, I noted several varieties, the majority of which appear to have been made by Scottish bottle makers of the nineteenth century. 1848 and 1849 are of late 18th century manufacture. The colour of the glass varies from amber to olive green. This does not suggest a change of fashion or a different type of whisky but indicates the variety of colours available to all the whisky sellers in the 19th century. In conclusion, while the dates of the bottles may be ten to fifteen years later than the distillation date of the whisky on the label, it is my opinion that apart from the specific examples mentioned above, all the bottles are of genuine 19th century Scottish origin. The bottle styles are similar to known examples supplied to other distilleries in the second half of the 19th century”.

Peter Bower : “Acting on your instructions, the labels of 19th and 20th century whisky bottles were examined on 21st and 22nd August 2002, at the Macallan distillery at Easter Elchies, in order to determine if any details of the papers used were out of period for the purported dates of the whisky”. Peter then proceeded to give a detailed description of the label paper of each of the bottles. In conclusion he wrote, “There is nothing out of period for any of the papers used for any of these labels”.

Further to address some of the concerns expressed by Dave Broom, Peter Bower noted that the signs of scuffing and wear on the labels were not uniform but more random in nature. Signs of wear are not just on corners, but in portions within the body of the label, consistent with bottles being pushed together on shelves, in boxes etc We have noted that fill heights are also inconsistent across the range of bottles, indicative of varying rates of evaporation over many years. Furthermore, when some of the bottles have been opened, such as the 1841, 1851 and 1861, the corks have disintegrated, again indicative of great age.

While distillery records pre 1890 are patchy, the cask books clearly show from whom each order was received and to whom each cask was delivered, together with the number and type of cask. In turn, some of these casks could have been sold on, or bottled for others.

We are, therefore, confident that the 19th and early 20th century bottles in our collection at Easter Elchies are genuine. We would also be pleased to help any collectors who may hold very old bottles of The Macallan, and who may have concerns following Dave Broom’s article, to have their bottles examined for authenticity. Given the fragility of many of these bottles, it may only be practical for the collector concerned to hand-carry them to Scotland, but given their potential value, a potentially worthwhile exercise. If anyone wishes to follow this up, we suggest contacting The Macallan on our web-site (http://www.themacallan.com), or sending an e-mail to the under-signed, dcox@edrington.co.uk. The Macallan is the pre-eminent single malt in the market for old and rare whiskies, and we fully recognise the importance of ensuring a responsible approach to determining the genuine origin & provenance of old whisky bottles, many of which are now commanding high prices at auction and in transactions between owners and potential purchasers.

Dave Broom has raised many common-sense issues and concerns. The market for old and rare whisky bottles is no different from any other market in valuable and collectable items. Vigilance on the part of the buyer is always paramount, as a rogue operator will always be tempted to take advantage and slip in a fake among the genuine bottles. The market for old and rare, antique single malts is still relatively small, and is unlikely, yet, to have attracted the attention of major fraudsters who will be more active in more lucrative and international markets such as fine wine, art and antique furniture. However, no matter how small, it is incumbent in all of us in this market, especially the distillery owners, to ensure that the old and rare whiskies in our possession are what they are supposed to be.

We are, therefore, satisfied that our priceless archive of antique bottles held by The Macallan are genuine. Finally, for those that are interested we are delighted to confirm that a selection of these bottles are on display in our visitor centre at the distillery.


David Cox
Director, Fine & Rare Whiskies,
The Macallan.


[This message has been edited by Huurman (edited 17 June 2003).]
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:16 pm

Well Huurman, I'm still waiting for my issue of WM to appear so I appreciate you taking the time and effort to give us an advance article to pour over. I still have some questions but I think the answer lies in Kemp being involved with both distilleries at the same time. This issue is a bit of a tempest in a teapot and I'm very fond of the Macallan whiskies and I'm not going to deny myself a really good dram over a stupid collectable bottle. In my opinion bottles of whisky are for drinking and enjoying with friends not as an "investment" but it's a free market so who cares. As to Macallan not giving an answer on this forum I don't blame them. The question and potential damage was done on the pages of WM and it should be dealt with and corrected there. I think that if Macallan really thought for one minute that a single bottle or two out of £1,000,000 worth of vintage inventory was really suspect it would be withdrawn so quickly if would make your head spin. I tried the Macallan 1841 Replica Sunday night and it was excellent as was the 25 year old we followed it with.

Lawrence

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited 23 June 2003).]
Lawrence
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Jun 18, 2003 6:38 am

Erik, a few points

Since this whole debate started, I've been in touch with several people who DID contact Macallan and asked for more information. They either got no reply or a brief statement that the report (and I gather that refers to the Cottle-Bower report) is confidential. So there was an attempt from the start to contact Macallan directly; people just got nowhere with that. I e-mailed David just now for a copy of the report, but from what you say that probably won't work.

As to the possibility of Kemp owning both "Macallan-Glenlivet" and "Talisker Distilleries Ltd" for a few months and that being the explanation for the appearance of both company names on the label as if they were one, that's an interesting possibility which ought to be explored. But we don't have to become religious and just 'believe' it. Research can be done to dig up exactly in what months of 1892 Kemp owned Macallan and Talisker and whether there really was overlap.

You bring up a new bit of info, which is that tests on the whisky itself are on-going and the results will be ready in September. I hope that it will be made public (1) which bottles this concerns, (2) exactly what tests were done, and (3) what the results (I mean the actual results, not the conclusions) were.

Can you briefly explain why there is so much secrecy around the Cottle-Bower report? How many lives of undercover agents are at risk if this is made public? If I were under pressure like this and I had at least some evidence I'd be shouting it from the rooftops rather than keep it 'confidential'. Why not simply make a pdf-file of the report and put it on the web-site for everyone to see?

Cheers, Lex

[This message has been edited by lexkraai (edited 18 June 2003).]
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jun 23, 2003 9:07 am

Lawrence,

Ditto... But I never expect you or any one else here to believe my point of vieuw and what information I come up with here. It's not that we all suppost to be religious.

Erik.

P.S. I had the 1841 too, and I must say: a lovely dram, or a lovely replica(but that's something I can't judge)

[This message has been edited by Huurman (edited 23 June 2003).]
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jun 23, 2003 9:16 am

Lex,

Sure, the Kemp matter needs some more research(I wish I was in Scotland right now). I wonder what the Macallan will come up with.

There's no secrect or what so ever, about the Cottle and Bower report, all I said was that David wouldn't let it made public, but that doesn't mean that it is a secret or so. Like I said before, if you happen to be in Perth, well the Macallan would appriciate it if you drop by and ask for those reports to see for your self (Ofcourse those who are interested to buy a bottle from the 19th Century get to see those reports, at least I would demand that as a buyer).

About the Lab. tests: I believe that's not a problem to publish them as soon as they are ready.

Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Rudy » Sat Jul 05, 2003 8:37 pm

Hi All,

just bought Issue 32 and there, on page 16/17 is the statement from The Macallen by David Cox.

'Fake whisky debate: The Macallan hits back', it says on top of the page. Then a comment, introducing the issue and a statement that the unedited letter from David Cox follows. The text is similar to the preview given by Erik on June 17th.

To me it seems that with this statement as far as The Macallan (David Cox) is concerned:
1. the issue whether or not the bottles offered at the auction are genuine or not, is now cleared: they are genuine.
2. if you have such a bottle in your possession and are in doubt, you can contact him to examine it further.

I do not have such a bottle, and will not contact him. Nor I do get the feeling that a further explanation or comment will follow from their side.

Although I'm not a collector and will never buy such bottles, this answer does not take away my doubts.

Is there anything I have missed or misunderstood in the discussion or the comment by David Cox?

Rudy.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 08, 2003 4:09 pm

Hi Rudy,

In their point of vieuw The Macallan has proven that the bottles they are selling are genuine.

However if there are still any questions or what so ever, you might contact the Macallan.

I know that it's not completed but that will be if the Whisky Magazine allow them to response and that can only happen if readers (like your self) start asking questions to the editors of this magazine.

Yet they brought some of this precious stuff to a laboratory and have that examined results will follow.

I you still have any doubts, well I'm sorry that's not my problem.

I must say that Davids article shooked the whole whisky world, in other words he made us aware that there are maybe some fake bottles from distilleries. Just like I saide before on this forum a 'fake' is something you may find everywhere (paintings, wine, cognac, china, etcetera)

Erik



[This message has been edited by Huurman (edited 08 July 2003).]
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:25 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Huurman:
<B>Hi Rudy,

In their point of vieuw The Macallan has proven that the bottles they are selling are genuine.

However if there are still any questions or what so ever, you might contact the Macallan.

I know that it's not completed but that will be if the Whisky Magazine allow them to response and that can only happen if readers (like your self) start asking questions to the editors of this magazine.

Yet they brought some of this precious stuff to a laboratory and have that examined results will follow.

I you still have any doubts, well I'm sorry that's not my problem.

I must say that Davids article shooked the whole whisky world, in other words he made us aware that there are maybe some fake bottles from distilleries. Just like I saide before on this forum a 'fake' is something you may find everywhere (paintings, wine, cognac, china, etcetera)

Erik

[This message has been edited by Huurman (edited 08 July 2003).]</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well Erik

The Macallan 's point of view is that they are sure the bottles are genuine - although reading the letter from David Cox his experts seem only to have said, in effect, there is nothing to say the bottles are not genuine, which is not quite the same thing.

But that is not the point , is it? Nobody drinks the bottle or the label, do they?

All of this is just a red herrine to get peoples' attention away from the real point -
Did the Macallan know for sure absolutely 100% without question BEFORE they offered the whisky for sales that it was the genuine article?

And since they are only now having the whisky itself analysed - and the results as I understand it won't be available until September - I cannot see how they could have guaranteed the provenance of the WHISKY - not the bottle or the label - nearly a year ago when they announced the sale.

I am sure that you will say they did know - but if they did and they could prove it, why are they having it analysed now?

So many questions - so few answers even now.
Maybe issue 42 ( or 43 or 44 or 45 ) of Whisky Magazine will finally carry proof one way or another.

And maybe pigs will fly by then

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:59 am

Hi Rudolph,

I see that there are still some questions. I you have red the article then you know that if you still have some questions or any doubts you can drop an e-mail to David Cox. Daivd is delighted to help you out. dcox@edrington.co.uk Please note that it is holiday time now so it might take some time when you get some response OK? However I believe that for some of your questions the answer can be found in the article that David has written. OK, except for one thing the R Kemp story.

Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Iain » Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:09 pm

Hmm... I came back after a month's holiday to find Erik saying "it might take some time" to get a reply from Macallan!

Hurrah! It's Groundhog Day!

Everyone has probably realised by now that in the whole of 2003 Erik has said thousands of words on behalf of his organ-grinder at Mac, and not a single sentence has said anything at all pertinent to the matter at issue!

Meanwhile, it looks like Mac failed in WM to answer even one of the questions asked here several months ago. Instead, a lot of twaddle about crumbly corks (as if no one has ever experienced a rotten cork on a 2 year old Italian wine!) and vague nonsense about indeterminate tests carried out on unidentified bottles. Who are the phantom bottlers? Never mind the age of the bottles - how old is the whisky in the bottles? Did anyone test the shoulder flashes? Is Mac doing business with any vintage whisky label collectors from, say, Italy (maybe in the late 1990s? In the bar at the Mansefield Hotel in Elgin, for example?)

I just returned from Italy, home of the Spaghetti Western. And it looks like Mac may has become the home of the Spaghetti Whisky. A pastiche of the real thing, but with a very strong Italian flavour!

There's more than a hint of Bolognese sauce in all of this!
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Postby westcoastboy » Sun Jul 13, 2003 9:19 pm

Iain,

Don't tell me you visited Bar Metro in Milan - I've never been lucky enough to go but have noticed over these past few days that their web site has - vanished !
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Fri Jul 25, 2003 9:25 am

Just to remind you all that the first posting on this topic was on January 1 - nearly 7 months ago!!

At this rate, by the time we get an answer from the Macallan, this posting will qualify as a 10 year old!

Cheers

Rudolph
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