I know what you’re thinking. No, this isn’t another post about the Pappy heist. This is a PSA for the Bourbonr community. Make sure you destroy all empty bottles of Pappy Van Winkle and other limited releases [insert joke about people not drinking Pappy]. As prices increase scoundrels will find their way into the bourbon market. Fake Pappy isn’t a matter of if but when. I’m sure it’s currently happening at some level but luckily it doesn’t seem to be a huge issue. Guys will refill empty bottles, reseal them and sell them for secondary prices. Why else would someone pay hundreds of dollars for an empty bottle? The scotch industry has already experienced this problem. Collectors were shocked to find that their rare/antique bottles of Macallan were actually fakes.
Because of the increased paranoia about reused bottles guys in facebook groups are pledging to break all of the rare, empty bottles. For the good of the bourbon community, I endorse this action. But, have some fun with it at least!
Maybe you don’t want to break your bottles but you also don’t want them to end up in the hands of thieves. Here are some cool alternatives for empty bottles:
– Fill with coffee from your favorite roaster
How To Spot A Fake Pappy Van Winkle
- Know the person you’re trading with. Try to stick to friends or guys that can be vouched for by another member of the bourbon community
- Ask for proof of purchase
- Look for a laser code
- Most importantly, check the cap for signs it’s been replaced. Everything about the bottle could be original except for the foil cap (and contents). Be familiar with the real Pappy foil caps. Real bottles are done in Buffalo Trace’s million dollar bottling facility. If the cap looks wrinkled, crooked or just off it’s probably because the guy refilled the bottle and put the foil cap on in his bathroom with a hair dryer.