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Scotch Whisky by John Lamond

If you are investing in whisky, be careful.

Analyst, broker and investment advisor Rare Whisky 101 (RW101) has said that it has uncovered a haul of fake Scotch whisky of very high quality which has been doing the rounds of the auction houses for some time.

The bottles bought by RW101 and revealed as fakes include a bottle of Laphroaig 1903 -- which had long been believed to be the oldest Laphroaig in existence -- supposedly worth £100,000 (U.S. $124,000) and two sets of Fine & Rare Macallan valued at £500,000 (U.S. $620,000) and £250,000 (U.S. $320,000) respectively.

The bottles were subjected to a series of tests, including examinations of the glass, labels, cork and capsule and an analysis of the whiskies' peat-derived and grain compounds. A sample of the "Laphroaig" liquid was carbon-dated by Oxford University’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit and this concluded a 75% probability that the liquid was distilled between 2007 and 2009, more than a century after the claim on the bottle's label. The analysis also proved that it is a blended whisky.

"We had our suspicions from the start, but the forensic testing has enabled us to examine each and every component," said RW101 cofounder Andy Simpson. "Despite a very convincing aesthetic, our bottle, which had been circulating at auctions for a good few years, was most certainly a fake and quite possibly the most expensive young blended Scotch in the world."

The full text of this article is available in the Summer 2017 issue of Scottish Life.

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