Fake Macallan Gran Reserva (1979 18 Year Old)

Fake 1979 18 year old Macallan Gran Reserva Alert.

Awful as they are, fake bottles of high quality/valuable Scotch whisky are destined to become more prolific as supply on the open market increases… and this one’s a classic – it’s Macallan and it’s relatively high value…. The perfect forgers target.

The following link to the recent http://www.whiskyauctioneer.com sale is a stand-out example of a fake Macallan 18 year old Gran Reserva – http://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/004840/macallan-1979-gran-reserva-18-year-old

Fake Macallan Gran Reserva 1979 18 Year Old in all its glory
Fake Macallan Gran Reserva 1979 18 Year Old in all its glory

While there’s no disputing this one’s fake, they’re still quite difficult to pick out unless there’s a genuine bottle available for comparison. So here’s the main and most visibly instant reasons why this one’s a fugazi –

– The gold border on the label is far too wide, the genuine label has a far finer border.
– The gold border (and other detailing) is poorly printed ‘gold’ rather than the bright bronze-powder gold which Macallan used. As with the border, the gold detailing etc on the fake has a really dull lustre to it whereas a genuine bottle is bright. Apparently the genuine labels were a real challenge to produce because of the specialised type of granulated bronze powder paint used.
– The texture of the fake label is too flat (and too white). The genuine article has a laid-paper label where you can pick up clear vertical ribbing/ridges in the high quality paper used.
– The general colours aren’t as vibrant as with an original bottle. The reds in particular are ‘flatter’ than a genuine bottle.
– The rear label has the same issues (gold border is all wrong) and Easter Elchies House looks almost olive green on the fake where it should be cream on an original.

Accepting photo’s can be challenging from many perspectives, all told, this one just looks wrong, that’s what drew my attention to it.

What’s in it? Probably 10 or 12 year old Macallan… maybe much worse! Who knows… Definitely NOT almost a thousand pounds worth of one of the best Macallans ever released, that’s a certainty.

I’ve recently benefited from having physically held one of these fakes alongside the genuine article and the contrast is stark by comparison. That also means this occurrence is not simply a rouge bottle, nor are these fakes solely isolated to the 1979 vintage, other vintages of Gran Reserva are affected too (the one I examined recently was a 1980 vintage). This bottle sold for £960 which is more or less current open market value – collectors and drinkers are being duped by these awful things.

I spoke to the auctioneer about this and (being wholly supportive in trying to combat fakes) they immediately agreed to cancel the deal and refund the buyer. I do suspect the bottle will be sent back to the vendor rather than being destroyed, hence trying to raise awareness in spotting the duds. I only hope the vendor destroys it and takes another fake out of the market.

Here are some detailed shots of real bottles from a reference perspective.

Macallan Gran Reserva

MACALLAN Gran Reserva 1979_label_ 9

MACALLAN Gran Reserva 1979_label_ 11

Gran Reserva Full Size

Don’t be duped… Fight those fakes.

2 thoughts on “Fake Macallan Gran Reserva (1979 18 Year Old)”

  1. As someone who actually has an unopened bottle of the ’79 (and an opened one almost finished), this physically makes me ill. There is a special place in Hades for people that do this with whisky and wine.

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