345 – Chasing Bourbon Counterfeiters with Adam Herz

Refills, counterfeits, and bogus bourbon. It’s the unfortunate reality that we live in right now. Only until very recently have we seen distilleries start taking a more aggressive approach thwarting some of these efforts. But there is one individual who has stepped up to be known as THE person in the community when it comes to hunting down scammers and that’s Adam Herz. Adam calls himself a whiskey watchdog and got into the habit of tracking down fakes a few years ago. He works with a team of people to find where bottles, foils, and sales originated to bring justice to the bourbon world. Adam has been featured on Inside Edition and was responsible for tracking down employees at Buffalo Trace who were involved a counterfeit ring at one point. He gives us some insight into his process and even some red flags to look for when you are wanting to buy a highly desirable bottle. Here’s another fun fact about Adam, he is the creator of the American Pie film series. What bourbon would you pair with apple pie?

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about dusty bottle ages.
  • When did you see the rise of counterfeit bottles start making their way to market?
  • Can you talk about your old hunting days?
  • What does FOAF’ing mean?
  • Can you give some insight and history into creating the American Pie series?
  • Now that you’re an adult, what bourbon would you pair with apple pie?
  • How did you find a need in the market for someone to validate bottles?
  • What drives you to be “the person” who uncovers these stories?
  • How do you start gathering evidence and then presenting the facts?
  • Are you keeping a database of Pappy bottles sold on eBay?
  • What are some red flags when people are looking for fakes?
  • Is it easier to fake a new or older bottle?
  • Have you ever thought about involving law enforcement?
  • Talk about how you broke up a Pappy Van Winkle counterfeit ring that led back to an employee at Buffalo Trace
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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