Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Issue 70 - War on whisky fakers

Whisky Magazine Issue 70
February 2008


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

War on whisky fakers

Having been duped, he began to dig a little deeper. On e-Bay he discovered a faker's paradise where you can buy old bottles, old labels, even capsules and empty cartons, sometimes empty bottles of Macallan Gran Reserva with box. There's nothing illegal about this, but when the same people who buy these items then miraculously discover a full bottle of, say, Talisker ‘Robert Watson' the scent of rat assails the nostrils. The faking can be as crude as repainting a capsule or highly sophisticated.

Labels can be laser copied, tax stamps produced, stains can be added. All that's needed is an empty bottle, and with full bottles selling for very little money on e-Bay, that's hardly a problem. Valentin has now coopted five other experts onto a ‘War Cabinet' and anyone worried about a potential purchase can contact them on

In less than a fortnight his blog's ‘War Pages' received 23,500 visits.

In addition, 35 bottles have been examined with many more questions and requests received.

At the time of writing, 30 whisky websites and blogs have links to the ‘War Pages'.

Serge has now written to the owners of the leading collectable brands: Springbank, Macallan, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Gordon & MacPhail asking them what they are doing in a practical way to stop this trade.

Those who have replied at the time of writing, have expressed their concern and Springbank has offered help to any potential customer wh...

To read all of this article...
Please register with Already registered? Login now.


Whisky gift and present finder