How to spot counterfeit whisky?

According to media reports, imported liquor has witnessed a rise of 20 % annually. This has led to the counterfeiting of liquor on a large scale across the country. Liquor counterfeiters are easily selling adulterated bottles of liquor at different locations in the country. They have also resorted to filling empty bottles of expensive wines and whisky with IMFL (Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor).

Fake whisky is troublesome for whisky aficionados and manufacturers. It dupes the consumer since its overpriced, ruins their health and damages the brand image of the liquor manufacturers. However, there are certain ways through which you can identify the genuineness of whisky. Let’s discuss some of them.

1.Always try to do a strip search: Forgers usually try to place a tax strip from an old wine bottle to cover up a refill. Always try to feel around the neck for sticky patches which could indicate the presence of an original strip.

2.Fill level could be a big giveaway: The condition of the whisky can be ascertained by the fill level. Some whisky bottles are just filled to the shoulder. It is also a fact that the air space in the bottle can increase with time. Always be suspicious of old whisky bottles with high fill levels.

3.Check the label with a magnifying glass: A home-printed label or packaging will show pixelation when viewed from a magnifying glass. This is an obvious red flag for the product to be a fake.

4.Go through the minute content information: Yes, wrong spellings could be a big sign of fake or counterfeits. Grammatical mistakes, misplaced words or even a faulty punctuation are red signs. Obviously, counterfeiters are not language experts.

5.Look for sediments in the bottle: Old vintage whisky will always have a layer of the sediment at the bottom, particularly those matured in casks. If there is an absence of sediment, then it could be a sign of a counterfeit.

6.Crosscheck attributes of the cap and neck: Try to match the colour, material, ridges and material of the cap with original website. Also, check that the seal or base ring of the cap has been broken or not.

7.Beading check: You can check the whisky by shaking the bottle which will form a ring of bubbles on the top know as beading. The bubble ring or beading formed in the whisky bottle with 30-40 % of alcohol will disappear immediately after few seconds whereas a bottle with alcohol content of 50% will form a beading which would persist even after 20-30 seconds. This can be further cross-checked with the label for any discrepancies.

8.Look closely at the labels: Older labels are easily removed and glued to another bottle. Feel along the edges of the label for recently applied adhesives. Pay special attention to chips in the label. On a vintage bottle, a chip won’t leave any glue residue. Labels can be easily removed and applied on a new bottle. Try to feel the edges of the label for the presence of or any trail of adhesives. Irregularities in the pasting of labels are one big sign of a counterfeit whisky bottle.

The above discussed points are quite useful in determining the genuineness of whiskey. However, what should be done in case of other liquor products? The problem of counterfeiting has enveloped a vast share of liquor sector and many liquor brands are using anti-counterfeiting solutions to fight the menace. Holostik is one of the companies which provides cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting solutions to the liquor industry. These products and solutions have time and again helped the liquor industry to counter duplication successfully.