Some time ago we posted up some images of a fake bottle of Macallan 18 year old Gran Reserva.
The bottle had been auctioned at Perth based Whiskyauctioneer.com (WA). As soon as the auction-house realised the bottle was fake they cancelled the sale and all was good in the world of rare whisky again. The right thing was done by a responsible auctioneer who take fakes very seriously.
The big problem is, much as all reputable auctioneers would like to destroy the bottle and remove it from the market, legally, they cannot. The offending item has to be returned to the owner who can choose whatever they wish to do with it. Probably list it on ebay in some cases, in others something far more interesting.
On this particular occasion the owner did something brilliant. They agreed the bottle could be opened and the contents, at least to some degree, analysed.
Thanks to Whiskyauctioneer.com we managed to obtain a 20ml sample from the full bottle. The team at WA described the contents upon nosing the full, open bottle as “a bit funky”. A descriptor we would wholeheartedly agree with.
Without sending the sample for a pile of chemistry doing, we too, assessed it organoleptically and measured the alcohol content with our faithful portable alcohol meter… affectionatley known as ‘Scooshie’.
Even upon the full bottle being opened, you could smell far more grape than grain in the bottle.
After nosing the sample in detail we came to the conclusion this was indeed some sort of whisky (most likely a cheap blend) diluted with cheap, dark sherry to give a very good colour match. There was clearly some ‘bite’ and a far higher level of alcohol than simply sherry on its own. Just imagine the damage these things could do to a brand if it’s not spotted as a fake and the gets consumed in the (false) knowledge that this is the real thing?
Scooshie confirmed what we thought when she told us (accurate to within +/- 0.2% ABV) the liquid was 34.77%.
So if you have a massively burning desire to explore what cheap supermarket, own brand, bottom shelf, blended Scotch tastes like when mixed with cheap dark sherry… go on ebay and buy a bottle of Macallan Gran Reserva!