Bad/fake whisky common?

Got what I’m convinced was a bad bottle of Glemmoragie 10 year single malt in Hualien. I don’t want to say where exactly, but it was a large chain supermarket. Had a terrible headache this morning, which doesn’t make sense. I had a big dinner and, as always, was Very careful about hydration during and after drinking. Drank from the same bottle the night before and felt extremely sleepy after two small glasses. And the taste seemed a bit off: smelled the same but the fruit flavors didn’t come through when tasting. I’m back in Taipei where I have another bottle of the same stuff. After a drink or two from the bottle here in Taipei, I’m even more convinced that the bottle in Hualien wasn’t the real thing.

Anyone else experienced this in Taiwan?

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Not from the store, but I was given a bottle of fake scotch at a KTV. I don’t recall what brand it was trying to pass itself off as, but it was another well known. It was a big well know establishment; I don’t know who was at fault, but it was a baaaad fake

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Next time head to the dollar store

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Oh sh*t. I won’t b get excited for them switching out an expensive brand for a cheap brand, that’s to be expected.
What do you think they were replacing your whiskey with? Just a cheaper whiskey or something else more interesting. Weren’t people going blind after drinking fake whiskey during the American prohibition?
Didn’t they put something in order watered down milk a few years ago to make it seem that had the correct protein content?
What stuff could they put in your whiskey to stretch it out or cheapen it?

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You’re right. Bathtub hooch was more like it. It was NOT even whiskey

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I will never know if my gut feeling was right, but my guess would be that they took 100 bottles, opened them, filled half of two hundred bottles in copy bottles, then tipped off these two hundred bottles with an odorless and tasteless chemical. Something like that.

Haha my father in law (R.I.P.) went to jail for selling fake whiskey. It was in the papers for a while. He’d go to the Philippines, buy whatever crap they were distilling there, and dump it into a Johnnie Walker bottle. He made a lot of money that way. Some of the money was seized, some of the money’s sitting in various South American bank accounts that no one’s able to open.

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But in my case, the Glenmorangie 10 year smell was still there, but the taste was off, by which I mean it was lacking the full fruitiness. Very crafty operation if what I suspect is true.

A bit dangerous too maybe. I felt extremely sleepy after drinking this stuff. And that headache the next day. I had the worst swim in about year that morning.

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I’d have thought fake stuff would be more of an issue in bars etc. Can’t you take it back to the supermarket and complain?

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We drank it all! My wife and I drank it over the course of three days. I drank what was left (about 200ml?) on the last night, and it wasn’t until I woke up with a splitting headache that we started putting the pieces together (my wife’s headache the night before, my feeling that something was off when drinking it, my sleepiness). We are now back in Taipei and the bottle was thrown away. I will never get a bottle there again. I will stick to Costco and the two liquor chains that seem to be very careful about this type of thing (one of the two puts their own sticker/paper stamp on each bottle).

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Interesting to read about this, and that it was from a big supermarket chain. I have no idea if fake stuff is common, but I admit I’m still hesitant about the many no-name whisky retailers (the shops have no name, not the whiskeys): there’s just something… odd… about a place with such expensive stock and zero spent on rent, employees, decor, displays, dusting, etc.

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I think they decant the whiskey in Taiwan sometimes from large barrels ? Maybe at that point it was adulterated ? Or afterwards even.

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It’s not common, but does happen. Usually they sell highly rectified spirit with whisky flavouring, watered down to 40ish percent ABV. There are also a lot of parallel imports, basically the real thing but brought in from overseas, undercutting the official importers.

Hard to avoid, even where you wouldn’t suspect it. Thus, find a trustworthy wine and spirits merchant and stick to it.

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I don’t know about fakes, but I’ve had some pretty awful “special Taiwan-only” stuff. Distilleries like to sell their bad batches here. Mark the bottle as a special run just for Taiwan and put a high price tag on it. Helps if the alcohol content is high, Taiwanese will buy anything expensive with a lot of alcohol in it for the “status”.

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