How to spot fake vs real Hibiki Whisky?

Amid the rising reputation and popularity of Japanese whisky in both the domestic and overseas markets. Distillers have been struggling to meet the growing demand for their popular labels. Coupled with its increasingly high-priced sales in the auction market, has made it a favored option among whiskey enthusiasts for collection, and investment. As demand for Japanese whisky continues to surge, the market is witnessing an increase in counterfeit products.

To spot a counterfeit, our whisky specialist uses a 10 pointers. Here are 3 simple methods for your reference:

1) Whiskey’s color and bubbles:

Counterfeiters often reuse wine bottles or replace labels, making it challenging to replicate the true color of the whiskey unless they engage in large-scale operations. Therefore, it’s crucial to compare with an authentic bottle.

Generally, bubbles that form in a bottle with higher alcohol % tends to have bubbles that last longer, with 50% ABV tends to last 20 seconds or longer. A Hibiki 21’s bubbles disappear faster than a Hibiki Harmony after shaking may indicates the bottle is not genuine. 

2) Examine the bottle label

Examine the label closely to verify authenticity. While high-precision scanning and reproduction can mimic label printing, there are still differences in paper and printing textures. Vintage whiskey labels utilize “和纸” technology, featuring a natural texture and rough edges.

Counterfeiters may opt for simpler methods, such as swapping labels from expensive bottles to cheaper ones. However, if a label is re-pasted, please check and examine if the label retains a natural texture and rough edges.

Using professional lights our specialists are able to spot whether the label is re-pasted or modified. 

3) Inspect bottle seals

Counterfeiting bottle seals incurs higher costs compared to label changes, making this another critical aspect for distinguishing genuine from fake whisky. For instance, fake Hibiki whisky logos often display differing fonts.

It is increasingly difficult to spot counterfeit even new features like Hologram cannot be spotted under naked eyes, therefore it is recommended to buy bottles from reputable source. 

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