American whiskeys like bourbon have been around since the early 1800s. It is a cherished spirit that is steeped in heritage and has a flavor that is rich and nuanced. The danger of fake goods, though, is rising in tandem with its popularity. The prevalence of fake bourbon is growing, and the difference between authentic and fake might be subtle.
Anyone who appreciates bourbon must be able to recognize imitations.
One variety of whiskey, known as bourbon, is distilled mostly from maize. Whiskey has to fulfill several legal criteria before it can be called bourbon. Here are the necessary items:
- American distillation is required for the whiskey.
- Whiskey must have at least 51% maize in the mash bill, which is a combination of grains.
- New charred oak barrels are required for the whiskey’s aging process.
- Alcohol by volume (ABV) cannot exceed 80% in the whisky during distillation.
- Minimum alcohol by volume (ABV) for bottling whiskey is 40%.
- Because of the large proportion of maize in the mash bill, Bourbon has a reputation for having a sweet and velvety flavor.
- Wheat, barley, rye, and other cereal grains are all fair game for the mash bill.
Pay close attention to the bourbon’s scent, flavor, and finish when you taste it. Factors like the aging procedure and the type of barrel utilized can impact the aroma, which is the scent of the bourbon. Factors like the mash bill and the maturing procedure can impact the flavor, which is the taste of the bourbon. The term “finish” describes the lingering flavor of bourbon, which can change depending on variables including its alcohol concentration and how long it has been aged.
How to Spot Authentic Bourbon Labels
You can tell a fake bourbon label from the real thing by looking for specific characteristics. Some of the most distinguishing characteristics of authentic bourbon labels will be discussed here.
Identifying Requirements for Labels
Domestic distilled alcohol labeling is overseen by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Labels on authentic bourbon must be by the rules set forth by the TTB. According to these rules, the label must have details like the distillery name, bourbon type, proof, and bottle size.
Proofreading for typos and grammatical mistakes is a quick and easy approach to identifying a counterfeit bourbon label. True bourbon labels are hand-made with care and rarely have typos. The presence of typos or grammatical mistakes should raise red flags about the product’s authenticity.
Recognizing Deceptive Advertising Phrases
There are bourbon labels that use deceptive marketing terminology. A bottle of bourbon, for instance, could boast that it is “handcrafted” or “small-batch,” even though it was mass-produced using automated machinery.
Buyers should seek out labels that detail the steps used to make the bourbon to avoid being duped by such deceptive advertising. Some bourbon labels may include the still used for distillation or the number of years the spirit was matured in charred oak barrels.
Inspecting the Container Verifying the Cap’s Seal
A tamper-proof seal is an important feature of authentic bourbon bottles. False goods may not have a seal at all, or the seal may be of poor quality or design.
Keep an eye out for the seal’s placement as well. It may be an indication of bottle tampering if it seems uneven or off-center. It could also be a warning sign if the seal appears too tight or too loose.
Evaluating the Bourbon’s Shade
The distinctive color and flavor of real bourbon are imparted by its aging process in barrels made of charred wood. Bourbon should maintain a uniform hue throughout the bottle. An indicator that the bourbon has been changed or watered down could be the presence of color variances.
Checking the bottle for particles or silt is another important step. Particles or silt floating on the surface of the bourbon may indicate that it has been tampered with or is not authentic.
The real flavors of the bourbon may be detected by tasting it, and any artificial aftertaste can be easily detected. To identify fake bourbon, here are some things to keep in mind when tasting it.
Mastering the Art of Bourbon Flavor Recognition
The distinctive flavor profile of genuine bourbons sets them apart from imitations. Here are some classic bourbon flavors to look out for:
- The sweet flavor of Bourbon is derived from the corn that is utilized in its mash bill. Instead of dominating, the sweetness should complement the other flavors.
- Bourbon gets its distinctive vanilla taste from aging in wood barrels. Try to get a faint, velvety vanilla flavor.
- Bourbon also gets its caramel flavor from the char and aging that occurs in the barrel. The caramel flavor ought to be noticeable without being overpowering.
- Mash bill ingredients like rye or wheat give bourbon its distinctive peppery flavor. It is important that the spice flavor not be too dominant.
Determining the Veracity of Bourbon’s Aftertaste
One telltale sign of fake bourbon is their strong aftertaste. Indices of a synthetic bourbon aftertaste include the following:
- Due to the use of artificial flavorings, fake bourbons often have a chemical taste.
- A severe burn may persist in the mouth and throat after consuming fake bourbon.
- The bitter aftertaste that some fake bourbons produce is strong and unpleasant.
- Verification of Source and Price
- Various Pricing Points
If you compare the price of the phony bourbon to the real one, you can tell it’s not real. One telltale symptom of fake bourbon is a price that is far cheaper than what you would normally pay for it. Nevertheless, keep in mind that certain stores can have sales or discounts running that could temporarily bring the price of a real thing down.
Assessing the Trustworthiness of the Store
Customers should only buy bourbon from trusted stores that have shown time and again that they sell authentic products.
Customers can check for these signs to see if a store is legitimate:
- Is the storefront or website of the retailer credible and professional-looking?
- Is the store well-respected by its peers or by other customers?
- If you have any questions or problems, is there a customer service department or return policy that you may contact at this store?
Another option for consumers looking for feedback about a store is to read reviews or forums online. Bourbon buyers can lessen their chances of getting a fake by conducting their research and sticking to reputable vendors.
Fake Bourbon Q&A
Can You Tell Fake Bourbon by Looking for These Telltale Signs?
A fake bottle of bourbon will have certain telltale symptoms. Some examples of these problems include misspelled words, a lackluster label with an unusual font style, a distinct duty stamp and barcode, a recycled container that looks and smells like something else, an unpleasant burning feeling when you drink it, and so on. On top of that, you may find phony bourbon for incredibly low prices.
Is There a Way to Tell a Fake Blanton?
There are a lot of fake Blanton’s bottles floating around because it is a popular bourbon brand. Searching the label for typos and discrepancies can help you spot a counterfeit Blanton’s bottle. Furthermore, a real Blanton’s bottle will have the label firmly fastened to it. Lastly, make sure the bottle’s base has a distinctive and hard-to-replicate glass design.
How Can You Tell if a Bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon is Authentic?
Several characteristics identify authentic Blanton’s Bourbon. A good bourbon label will have the distillery’s name, the spirit’s type, and the proof. A unique and difficult-to-replicate glass pattern should adorn the base of the bottle. Lastly, a horse and jockey should be placed on the cork, along with the letters “B”, “L”, “A”, “N”, “T”, “O”, and “N”.
How Can I Tell Whether a Bottle is Genuine With a Pappy Laser Code?
Many fake bottles of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve bourbon are floating around because of how popular it is. Seeing a laser code on a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve can help you determine if it is authentic. You can use this code, which is exclusive to each bottle, to confirm its legitimacy.
Can You Recommend Any Trustworthy James Bourbon Location Reviews?
You should exercise caution when relying on the various online evaluations of James Bourbon to inform your purchase decisions. You should be wary of biased or untrustworthy reviews. For peace of mind, it’s wise to seek the advice of an expert or buy from a reliable vendor when buying a bottle.
Several telltale signs can help you spot fake bourbon. Check the label for typos and grammatical mistakes; genuine bourbon labels are hand-crafted with great care. Second, look inside the bottle to make sure the glass is good, the label is attached securely, and it doesn’t have any unusual shapes. Thirdly, make sure there is a recognized trademark symbol on the label and look for important facts such as the distillery name, bourbon type, and proof. Additionally, be wary of whiskey deals that seem too good to be true; premium bourbon is expensive to make, so it’s important to get it from a reliable source to ensure its authenticity.