When we started Breaking Bourbon almost five years ago, we knew bourbon was growing in popularity and demand. What we did not know at the time, was how popular the secondary market would become, and along with it the proliferation of fake whiskey.
With few if any options for private parties to sell or exchange rare whiskeys in a legal marketplace, the market has inevitably gone underground. While many participating in these transactions are enthusiasts, there are some that take advantage of the opportunity to exploit the inefficiencies of the marketplace and trusting nature of its participants. Need proof? Just visit Ebay and enter “empty bourbon bottle” or “Pappy Van Winkle” in the search field. Unfortunately these empty bottles will not all become lamps, as the price rare whiskeys command has risen dramatically over the past decade, many will be refilled and resold as if they were the real thing.
With little ability to authenticate the province of whiskeys changing hands in this market, it is all too easy to take advantage of trusting enthusiasts.
To that end, we have been working diligently over the past three and a half years to develop a solution that will help identify a fake whiskey versus a real one. We’re nearing the point where we can finally bring the concept beyond the prototype phase.
In order to take this from concept to reality, we’ve catalogued over 240 of the most popular bourbon and whiskey vintages so far - a small portion of the overall total. Cataloguing each effectively to satisfy our concept takes an enormous amount of time and generates a tremendous amount of data. Capturing each vintage requires a large number of photographs, measurements, 3D model renderings, heat signature testing, and more. But that is only the beginning. What unfolds from there requires a significant additional investment into the concept in order to make it happen on a large scale.
We’re excited to invite the bourbon community to participate in this exciting endeavor, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of making this concept a reality. Please visit our Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and don’t delay, this only happens if we reach our funding goal!