Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

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JapanGuy
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Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby JapanGuy » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:10 am

I went to the most venerated whisky store in Japan about a month ago and saw that the Lagavulin 16 had nearly doubled in price from around two years ago when I bought my last bottle. The store owner said that the price went up sharply around a year back. I refrained from buying it and instead checked online retailers to see if I could find it for any cheaper. I did find a retailer that was still selling it for the old price, so I purchased it. When I tried it, however, I discovered that although it was a peated whisky, it tasted nothing like Lagavulin 16, and more to the point, it tasted watery and bad.

I contacted the online retailer and asked if this bottle could possibly be imitation, and they said no, because they had sourced it from a licensed Moet Hennesey Diageo wholesaler, it was most definitely the real McCoy.

The packaging is somewhat different than it was two years ago when I previously bought my previous bottle of Lagavulin 16, but it's not uncommon for companies to change packaging. I scoured the internet for information about imitation whiskies, but the general focus is on imitations of REALLY rare and expensive products rather than the price point at which Lagavulin 16 is sold.

Can anyone point me any advice on how to confirm whether this is an imitation. The Whisky Live Tokyo is being held in a couple of weeks, could I take it to a Diageo sales rep and ask him to sample it for me, or is that a bad idea? What other possible recourse might I have?

Thanks in advance

JapanGuy
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Re: Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby JapanGuy » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:59 am

Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately, I don't remember whether the casks in which it was aged was written on the label the previous times I bought it. I checked the one I have now and it says nothing about what types of barrels were used.

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bredman
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Re: Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby bredman » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:42 am

JapanGuy wrote: The Whisky Live Tokyo is being held in a couple of weeks, could I take it to a Diageo sales rep and ask him to sample it for me, or is that a bad idea?


I think that is a good idea, if you don't mind carrying it around. If the bottle is tainted or corked (it does happen on rare occasions) the rep may be able to advise.

JapanGuy
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Re: Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby JapanGuy » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:27 am

I of course mind toting a bottle of opened whisky around Tokyo, but the thought of some charlatan hawking bogus Lagavulin chaffs my hide. :evil:

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whiskgeek
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Re: Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby whiskgeek » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:26 am

Lagavulin has gone through some swings in quality and flavor profile in the last few years, but I wouldn't describe any of them as "watery and bad." A corked bottle generally tastes musty. A different label makes it sound like a forgery, but I don't know the Asian markets.

If you want to try finding a rep at WhiskyLive, just put some of the whisky in a mini bottle that fits in your coat pocket, and carry a good photo to show him the label. Of course, me may decline to taste your pocketed whisky, but it's worth a try. Or e-mail the photo to a Diageo rep in the country.

JapanGuy
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Re: Imitation Lagavulin 16 (?)

Postby JapanGuy » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:11 am

I have to confess, for anyone interested, I believe that the Lagavulin 16 is not imitation. Although the flavor profile might have changed somewhat, I also think that possibly that my palate has changed in the two years since I last drank LV16, and my memory is just fuzzy. Thanks everyone for your kind assistance.


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