IS IT REAL? IS IT FAKE?
The Los Angeles Whiskey Society specializes in the authentication of vintage, collectible, and historic whiskeys. We’ve inspected countless bottles, from typical attic finds to elite multimillion-dollar private collections. We've handled everything from the rarest of rarities to the most convincing of fakes. We have been consulted by all of the major U.S. auction houses, and have helped educate some of their specialists. One of the top auctioneers has even flown their specialist to Los Angeles for hands-on training with our team.
HOW WE VERIFY A BOTTLE
What we do is part science and part art, combined with a lot of experience.
There are two main steps to verifying a whisky bottle. The first is the obvious one, which is simply determining "Is this legitimate?" Fake whisky exists, and counterfeiters have become quite savvy in duping the collectibles market.
The second step is to ask, "Do we have good reason to believe that this has been opened, refilled, or tampered with?" Some bottles may appear to be sealed when in fact they are not. And there are some bottles that may seem suspicious when they’re actually fine. Knowing the difference is key.
Of course, actually answering those questions can be quite complex. An evaluation involves a thorough inspection of all aspects of the bottle. Every detail is scrutinized. We don’t discuss most of these authentication techniques publicly, because the counterfeiters are always looking to improve their work — and we don’t want to teach them how to do a better job next time!
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE AN OLD WHISKEY BOTTLE TO AUTHENTICATE?
We don’t charge for our services. We do this in our spare time because of our deep passion and knowledge of the subject. But, that means we are not able to evaluate all bottles, and the ones we choose to review are based on our preferences and time.
- If it’s an American whiskey (bourbon, rye, or other) it must be bottled prior to 1920. If a single malt scotch, bottled prior to 1970. If a blended scotch, bottled prior to 1930.
- It must appear to be sealed by any regular person's guess.
- The bottle must be in your possession.
If you want us to officially endorse your bottle as authentic (meaning we will issue a statement you can use to accompany the bottle), it is also very likely that we will need to see the bottle in person.
If you meet the above requirements, please contact us using the form below.
For multiples or collections, just give us the general details.