World

Fake whisky goes for $13,600 a shot at Swiss hotel

GENEVA: Talk about needing a refund. In August, A Chinese man entered the Devil's Place Whisky Bar at the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St Moritz, north-east 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 (S$9.50) to 10,000 Swiss francs a glass.

The customer chose the bottle marked as an 1878 vintage, which went for 9,999 Swiss francs (S$13,600) for a shot (20ml).

Whisky experts were not convinced, and it turned out to be a fake.

According to the Swiss news website 20minuten.ch, specialists at Rare Whisky 101, who regularly serve as consultants at whisky auctions, established that the bottle's label was a fake and the drink was actually distilled between 1970 and 1972.

The proprietor of the Waldhaus, Mr Sandro Bernasconi, 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 website also published a photo of the two men holding a symbolic voucher valued at 9,999 Swiss francs, dated October 2017.

Mr 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," he told 20minuten. 
- AFP

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