Famous US wine shop accused of selling fake bourbon

The US's oldest wine and spirits shop – New York-based Acker Wines – has been accused of selling a counterfeit bottle of rare Kentucky bourbon for nearly $1,000.

It's an embarrassing situation for the prestigious store, which has previously come under the spotlight for its association with notorious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, who was deported from the US in February after serving a seven years of a 10-year jail term.

The counterfeit Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain Bourbon produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, which can sell for upwards of $3,000 per bottle, was discovered after an investigation by Inside Edition.

The sought-after bourbon won the World Whisky of the Year title in the 2018 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, but the suspect bottle turned out to be a low-quality counterfeit when analysed by Buffalo Trace.

The alcoholic proof of the bourbon didn't match the genuine brand, and there were various other anomalies on the bottle and packaging, including a missing tube container and lot number.

Acker Wines sent us the following statement on the incident.

"A few months before we were contacted by Inside Edition, we became aware of a possible authentication issue with a select bottling of Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain Bourbon that we obtained from a private collector. After an immediate investigation into the authenticity of the bottles, including contacting the parent company of E.H. Taylor, Sazerac, our concerns were not alleviated, and we removed all of the bottles from our shelves and ceased all business with the providing collector.

We immediately contacted and refunded all of the customers who had purchased bottles before our recall, save for one buyer who declined to provide his contact information. We now believe this was the bottle behind the Inside Edition story.

We are committed to delivering the very best in fine and rare wine and spirits to our clients, and the authenticity of our products is paramount. We recently announced the launch of our global spirits division which included hiring US and Asia heads, and have also invested in authentication practices through the retention of multiple, well-respected, independent spirits authenticators."

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