Franklin County, NY – October 12, 2017

In Franklin County New York, the esteemed bourbon brand, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, in conjunction with their partner, Buffalo Trace Distillery were instrumental in a successful prosecution of a liquor counterfeiter. When faced with charges that could result in a jail term, the counterfeiter pled guilty to the charges and awaits sentencing in January 2018.

The prosecution was announced in a Press Release issued by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. The reputation and cost per bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon makes it a target of counterfeiters. It was announced that Buffalo Trace Distillery has other active cases of fake booze on their radar. The President and CEO warned consumers to “Avoid buying any bourbon or whiskey, especially the highly sought after ones, from anyone in the secondary market, which includes online private sellers, or in these social media groups that claim to offer genuine products. The only legal and reputable source you should be buying from is a licensed retailer”

The Van Winkle Bourbons have been appearing on secondary market web sites where alcohol sales are permitted. This first successful prosecution spearheaded by Buffalo Trace Distillery was trigged by advertisements on a web site that offered the Van Winkle Bourbon. In a concerted effort to protect its brands, including Van Winkle Bourbons, Buffalo Trace Distillery has budgeted $500,000 towards fake booze sales.

Counterfeiter Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Click to Tweet

In Europe and Africa, where the problem of fake alcohol has become rampant, local and national agencies are constantly pursuing the counterfeit alcohol producers. In The USA, the companies themselves are taking the lead in investigating and pursuing the counterfeit liquor industry. It is hard to comprehend the extent of the fake booze problem in the USA without the intense pursuit and publication of investigations.

The efforts of Buffalo Trace Distillery is only the beginning in understanding the fake alcohol problem in the USA. Other distilleries, distributors, and retailers must join in the efforts to pursue, prosecute and publicize fake alcohol cases to bring this problem into the National Spotlight. is a consumer advocacy group that has taken up the challenge of exposing fake alcohol throughout the world, and needs industry partners to continue this work and add resources to the shinning the spotlight on this growing problem.

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