Whisky is becoming more popular in China for who can afford it. In 2006, China became a world top 10 whisky drinking nation, when total sales hit 58.2 million pounds (115 million dollars), an increase of 27 percent over 2005, according to Edinburgh-based Scotch Whisky Association.
Foreign brands represent less than 10 percent of the spirit market in China.
Mark Ralston wrote an article about it for AFP:
"But like many products that sell well in China, the new trend in drinking is also falling victim to counterfeiting with some fake whiskies capable of passing a taste test, although others are undrinkable.The most common way to counterfeit is for a nightclub manager, smuggler, gang member or anyone else so-inclined to simply take an empty bottle of expensive whisky and refill it with an ordinary one."
But then again, Ralston writes: "Very few Chinese can taste the difference between a pure malt aged for 18 years and a cheap scotch, according to various industry insiders."
Well, the day after, if a severe hangover kicks in, might give you an indication about whether the beverages were counterfeit or not: "Cheap spirits, and especially cheap whisky, and cheap champagne are among the worst culprits" (BBC News, Hangovers: The number one festive illness, BBC1 24 Dec, 1998, interview with Dr James Schaefer, a research professor at the department of anthropology at Union College in Schenectady, New York).
Read the AFP article via SAFW News here.
IP Dragon reported before about traditional Chinese spirits that were counterfeited:
Baijiu counterfeiters prey on drunkards
Beijing AIC: Old Wine In New Bags: Scarce Stats, However, Purchasing Advice