Home » New York Times: Bourbon counterfeits increasing in quality and variety

New York Times: Bourbon counterfeits increasing in quality and variety

By The Bourbon Flight

The bourbon industry has been dealing with scammers who are passing off luxury bourbon bottles filled with cheap liquor for high prices and counterfeiters are branching out to include numerous brands, The New York Times reported today in an article called, “That $1,000 Bourbon You Bought May Be a Phony.”

Premium small batch and single barrel brands are driving the bourbon renaissance.

As bourbon has grown in popularity and the demand has soared, counterfeiters are taking advantage of new—and sometimes naïve—fans who are willing to spend big dollars for big-name bourbon brands, such as rare releases of Pappy Van Winkle and Col. E.H. Taylor. But scammers have recently been passing off other fakes of more affordable brands, like Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Blanton’s, Four Roses and George T. Stagg, the article said.

The quality of the counterfeit bottles has also increased, making it harder for bourbon buyers to distinguish the fakes from the real deal, the article noted.

Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 360% since the turn of the century with premium small batch and single barrel brands driving the bourbon renaissance as America’s only and official native spirit, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA). The total number of all aging barrels in Kentucky is nearly 10 million, the most ever in the modern era of American whiskey. This includes bourbon, brandy and other spirits. There are now more than two barrels for every person living in Kentucky, KDA said.

Bourbon is an $8.6 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion, according to the KDA. Spirits production and consumption pours more than $235 million in state and local tax coffers every year, the association said.

Find out how the bourbon industry and others are responding to counterfeiters and read the full NYT story here.

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