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Warning: McTear’s To Sell Original Rare Whisky Labels — Dramming
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Warning: McTear’s To Sell Original Rare Whisky Labels

by Oliver Klimek on November 8, 2015

Yesterday on the Malt Maniacs & Friends Facebook page there was a highly disturbing post that I believe needs to be spread as widely as possible before it is too late. McTear’s is going to auction off several sets of old whisky labels in pristine condition on 18th November.

Lots 1176, 1177 and 1178 contain labels for a lot of rare whisky bottles that most likely are unused overstock from a bottling plant. It does not take much imagination what could happen if these labels got into the wrong hands.

Bottles faked with these labels could sell for thousands of pounds, so McTear’s should be urgently advised to retract these auction lots. Selling these labels is almost as dangerous as selling empty bottles of rare whisky, which continuously happens on Ebay. Don’t give whisky fakers yet another possibilty to commit their crimes!

Update: The lots have been withdrawn from auction on the same day. I heard tha a lot of people emailed McTear’s and demanded retraction. Thank you for the quick reaction.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Giorgio D'Ambrosio November 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm

E’ assurdo, non è possibile che McTear irresponsabilmente metta in vendita queste etichette. Una leggerezza di incapacità totale, da vergogna! Deve ritirarle oppure annullarle con un timbro.


Oliver Klimek November 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Please comment in English so everyone can understand it.


Giorgio D'Ambrosio November 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm

And ‘absurd, not You That McTear irresponsibly put on sale THIS Labels. A lightness of total incapacity, to shame! He should withdraw or cancel them with a stamp.


Oliver Klimek November 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Thank you 🙂


Giorgio D'Ambrosio November 8, 2015 at 1:41 pm

The SWA and distilleries concerned should intervene, retreating, their labels putting an end to the shameful irresponsibility (or inability) to MacTear.
I already have these bottles with their photographs.


sku November 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Great work Oliver! You’ve really done a service to the whole whisky community with this.


Oliver Klimek November 8, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Thank you, but I also wouldn’t want to forget the MM&F regulars who started to email McTear’s independently of this post. I am glad that this joint effort was successful in such a short time.


Jeff November 9, 2015 at 2:16 am

It’s nice to see people standing up for the integrity of whisky. Too bad the principle wasn’t more widely applied, however. Someone privately lying to someone else about what’s behind a label is a crime and to be opposed, but experts endorsing the ridiculous industry idea that age maturation is magically “irrelevant” to whisky with NAS labels – which is clearly a lie about the very NATURE of whisky itself in general, and FAR more widespread – is not. No outrage needed there? Of course not. Carry on with the spirited defense of the moral high ground.

Is McTear’s complicit in misleading consumers about a future whisky purchase? Quite possibly, but are they in any way alone in what they do, or only in how they do it?

Warning: Whisky experts to continue supporting industry fabrications about the magical properties of NAS labels.

Shameful indeed.


Ol' Jas November 9, 2015 at 4:24 am

Well, that was on topic.


Jeff November 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

Thanks for the reply – at least you read what I wrote.

It WAS entirely on topic in terms of “scandals” damaging whisky, and the point, however inconvenient for some, still stands – through their silence, whisky experts continue to endorse the single biggest lie currently told about the spirit: that, through NAS, the entire impact of age maturation varies, not with duration, but with labeling alone and with just whether the industry can use age as a marketing point. Where it is not discussed, and won’t enhance sales, age simply doesn’t matter. It’s utter bullshit, of course, but the people who know whisky best simply won’t denounce it. Want a “scandal” to “investigate”? Try that one on for size.

While this ENTIRE topic is intentionally ignored for the industry’s marketing benefit, what we’re left with in terms of expert commentary is worrying about whether this or that distillery is ramping up or someone somewhere is legally selling some labels. Sure, the potential to make fake bottles is there but, evidently, as proven by the seller, one CAN own such labels WITHOUT making such fakes with them (which is why they’re not on fake bottles now) and the possibility exists, therefore, to buy such labels without making fakes as well.

In contrast, NAS is a lie about the nature of whisky EVERY time this marketing is used – and commentators DO know this to be the case – but let’s completely ignore that and hand out kudos based on stopping a transaction over paper instead. But, hey, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, it makes people feel as though they are “guardians of whisky integrity” and, most importantly of all, it doesn’t upset the whisky marketing applecart by questioning holes in industry logic that anyone could drive a truck through with room to spare.

With producers tracking the age of every cask produced and continuing to age whisky for decades, where is the evidence that EVEN the industry believes it is losing 2% a year to a process that is “irrelevant”, but somehow “irrelevant” only half of the time and depending ONLY on labeling? For good or bad, age matters to the character of EVERY whisky – there ARE no whiskies aged 5, 15, and 25 years in the same conditions that emerge from the process the same as each other – and whisky experts, like the industry itself, KNOW this and that, therefore, the significance of age CAN’T be suspended or erased by simply not discussing it. Does ANYONE actually believe in this marketing, not in terms of it being “a good business move”, but in terms of it saying anything even remotely true about whisky itself?

NAS is the Emperor’s New Clothes of whisky, it’s a boldfaced lie about the nature OF whisky, and experts who won’t say so are complicit in the deception.

But let the silence reign, and the brains of the spirit continue to ignore what they know but won’t face, all while otherwise playing at “championing” the cause of the whisky consumer and helping “protect” the little guys against the big.

People who DO know better should simply be saying so.

Oh, and…



Kjell November 9, 2015 at 9:44 am

Now they are withdrawn.


Jeff November 12, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Thank goodness! We wouldn’t want anyone to be misled. That would be terrible, and a disservice to whisky – at least in this case, I guess.


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