Whisky sold for US$10,000 a shot at Swiss bar was fake: Report

PHOTO: AFP

GENEVA - Talk about needing a refund.

A shot of Macallan whisky purportedly made in 1878 that a Chinese man paid US$10,000 for at a Swiss hotel was actually distilled between 1970 and 1972, local media reported on Friday (Nov 3).

In August, the young customer entered the Devil's Place Whisky Bar at the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St. Moritz, northeast Switzerland, and expressed particular interest in rare Macallans.

The bar, which has a whisky collection honoured in the Guinness Book of World Records, had 47 options, ranging from seven Swiss francs to ten grand per glass.

The customer chose the bottle marked as an 1878 vintage, which went for 9,999 Swiss francs (US$10,000) for a two-centilitre measure.

Whisky experts were not convinced.

Man pays $14,000 for whisky shot at Swiss bar

  • A young Chinese man paid 9,999 Swiss francs at a Swiss hotel for a glass of whisky made in 1878 by the revered Scotch maker Macallan.
  • The report was confirmed by an employee of the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St. Moritz, northeast Switzerland.
  • The hotel's Devil's Place Whisky Bar has been honoured for its 2,500-bottle collection, including by the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Now that the bottle is open, the hotel hopes to sell the remaining shots and may consider dropping the price.
  • Before it was uncorked, the bottle had been valued at 50,000 Swiss francs, a relatively modest price compared to recent record sets by whisky bottles at auction.

According to the Swiss news site 20minuten.ch, specialists at Rare Whisky 101, who regularly serve as consultants at whisky auctions, established that the bottle's label was a fake.

The proprietor of the Waldhaus, Sandro Bernasconi, then travelled to Beijing and refunded the customer to prove that "the Swiss are honest people and do not engage in scams", 20minuten quoted him as saying.

The site also published a photo of the two men holding a symbolic voucher valued at 9,999 Swiss francs, dated October 2017.

Bernasconi said the bottle with the fake label was bought 25 years ago by his father who previously ran the hotel. "This whole time, we never doubted that the bottle was an original," Bernasconi told 20minuten.

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