Getting drinks at bars can really take a toll on your wallet, but one Chinese tourist took it to the next level by taking a single shot of whiskey worth $10,000, which turned out to be fake.
Zhang Wei, who is reported to be China’s highest-paid online novelist, traveled to Switzerland with his 82-year-old grandmother to down a shot of Macallan at the Devil’s Place Whisky Bar at Hotel Waldhaus in St. Moritz.
Shanghaiist reported that the 139-year-old whiskey was created in 1878 by the Macallan distillery, and it could be the most expensive of its kind in the world.
The writer of the wuxia novels shocked his followers on Weibo when he posted about paying 9,999 Swiss francs ($10,331) for a single shot of whiskey.
“I was in Switzerland and saw a 100-year-old whiskey. I didn’t spend long weighing up whether to get it,” Zhang wrote. “In a nutshell, it tasted good. I was drinking not so much the whiskey but a lot of history.”
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According to ScotchWhiskey, however, the $10,000 Macallan 1878 vintage Scotch whisky purchased on July 29 at the St. Moritz hotel was a fake, experts say.
“On Thursday I got some information from a whisky expert that this bottle could be a fake,” said Sandro Bernasconi, the manager of the hotel. “I’ve done some research and talked to different people.
“Yesterday [Friday] I called the Chinese guest to tell him that it could be a fake and said we would give the money back [if it is]. It’s very important to us to find out if it’s a real bottle or if it’s a fake.”
“We’re open to find out the truth,” he added. “If we had known it before, we would never have sold it.”
Concerns have been raised about the artificially aged Macallan cork.
“All the fakes have those corks that are artificially aged to make them look old, but they don’t have what all the real ones have, a natural ‘maturation’ of the cork that makes them shrink after decades,” explained Bernasconi.
It also turns out that the bottle came from his father’s collection of more than 400 Macallans. The hotel was considering taking legal action, Bernasconi said.
“It’s a very big issue,” the manager added. “For us it would be very bad, but if it’s a fake we have to tell everybody in the world that it’s a fake, and of course we have to give the money back.”