Thursday, October 12, 2017

Van Winkle Bourbon Takes Action Against Counterfeiters

(The following was provided by Buffalo Trace Distillery)

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, the bourbon that is so hard to find it has been compared to unicorns, has become so popular it's often being counterfeited with knock off bottles and illegally re-sold on the secondary market.

The Van Winkles, along with partners Buffalo Trace Distillery, have taken action and successfully provided evidence of counterfeiting which resulted in a resident of New York pleading guilty for his sale of two bottles of counterfeit Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, which sold for $1,500 last year. The defendant will be sentenced in January 2018.

Although this case is the first successful prosecution for counterfeit Van Winkle Bourbon to date, other cases are under investigation. Buffalo Trace Distillery has spent over a half million dollars over the past year alone, to curb online marketplaces potentially selling fake bottles.

With the annual release of the much anticipated Van Winkle bourbons coming up soon, Buffalo Trace would like to take this opportunity to remind consumers to buy Van Winkle bourbons only from licensed retailers.

"Sadly, the Van Winkle bourbons are the latest victim of counterfeiting where innocent consumers are duped," said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Buffalo Trace Distillery. "Avoid buying any bourbon or whiskey, especially the highly sought after ones, from anyone in the secondary market, which includes online private sellers, or in these social media groups that claim to offer genuine products. The only legal and reputable source you should be buying from is a licensed retailer." 

Scam artists have been operating in a variety of ways, some of which include taking empty Van Winkle bottles and refilling them with a variety of other liquids, sometimes cheaper bourbons, sometimes mixtures of products only known to the deceiver.

Nowadays, the con artists have gotten more sophisticated with the ability to print counterfeit labels on home printers and other technological advances. "It's disheartening to see this happening and to see innocent consumers being swindled," said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. "We cannot stress enough to be careful, and do not buy your Van Winkle products on the secondary market. The old adage of if seems too good to be true, it probably is, definitely applies here."

Van Winkle cautions that if you see a bottle that does not have a matching face label with a capsule on top with the proper corresponding color, that's a sure sign of fraud. Any consumers that run across suspicious looking bottles or may have purchased a bottle from a source other than a liquor store are urged to call their local law enforcement, their state's Attorney General, or their state Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

5 comments: said...

Report any counterfeit and fake alcohol to you may also search for locations that have violations. As this article mentions 'refilling' and 'mislabeling' happen often and not just with premium brands. Cheers and drink safe!

The King of Carrot Flowers said...

Well if these licenced retailers ever let the product actually hit the shelves without withholding them and selling them to flippers to sell on the secondary market maybe this wouldn't happen as much.

This seems like a post (like the last one) to deter people from getting the woefully inept supply to the demand. Unfortunately the supplier is the root cause of all of these "problems."

Mark said...

So when will they do something about retailers selling for 10x MSRP?

Crown Point Marc said... Communist swine!

Richnimrod said...

So lemme get this straight...
You're saying this bottle I bought online, at a huge mark-up (over $120,000) because it's a "one-of-a-kind" release; is not the real stuff?
I assumed Puppy Van Winkle Family Reserve 21-year-old, dedicated to saving pooches in shelters nationwide would be easily worth $200,000.00 in a few years. No?