Fake rums, how many are there?

I was wondering how many fake high priced rums are out there as I just saw that someone is selling an empty bottle of Albion 1994 on ebay in France.


There are a lot of fakes when it comes to high end Cuban cigars (especially in North America, the Caribbean Islands and Asia). Is the high end rum market affected as well? Not that I ever buy expensive bottles like this.

A lot of investors have entered the hobby and they deal in sealed bottles so it seems obvious to me that fake bottles must be floating around.


I guess we all know that “no” probably isn’t the answer here.
Although the market is most likely less affected than whisky and cigars. With some bottles consistently fetching five figures, I assume fakers took notice. And what are the odds that someone opens that 15k bottle and checks?!

I haven’t heard of any specific cases, though.


Last year there was some guy trying to sell several expensive looking decanters with “rum from country x” having fancy names as series with different price ranges, which where really ridiculous.
I looked it up and found it was a known scammer, filling perhaps 50€ zacapa into an expensive bottle, write “x exclusive from Panama” and sell it for 1500€.
Those offers seem to be gone now, but I guess there is a lot like this out there.


I saw some seemingly fake Caroni employees on catawiki. The bottles were a little too high compare to the originals. Like in the fake section of the book of Steffen Mayer.
But they were sold normal price and nobody at Catawiki seemed to have noticed that.
But to be shure, I neede to have a real one just next to the « fake » one. I’ve set a email the first time I’ve noticed it, but no answer…
Do you have experiences like that ?


I have seen a lot of fake cigars in various FB groups but have never seen a fake rum yet.

1 Like

Fake cigars can be quite regularly find on the market as when you travel in Cub, almost every Cuban has a brother-in-law that is working as a supervisor in a factory. It makes quite a lot of supervisors, no ?
So a lot of naive tourists think they have the real thing for 20 bucks…
For the rums, I think some fakes are just re-used empty bottles. Or is there completely remade bottles like in the whisky world ? I don’t know. Maybe here someone knows something about it. ?


The risk of being sold as fake is the reason I usually never give away empty bottles. At least not with the original labeling, especially if it’s a high priced rum with no bottle number. If the bottle is real it’s pretty difficult to find out whether it’s fake or not especially if the sealing is wax which looks a bit different on every bottle anyway. Not every collector rum tastes great so unless you have the original side-by-side to a fake you might not even detect it by „bad taste“.

I wouldn’t worry too much though. The expensive bottles shared here are „pre-tested“ so to say and I don’t think the overall market penetration of fakes is high. IMO it’s more probable that an independent bottler puts the wrong bottle in the box (inside joke) than finding an actual fake.


Afaik Catawiki keeps completed listings online, do you have a link?

Ah yes, I remember seeing those on eBay… “bla bla exclusive decanter series whatever”… although I would categorize these as scam, not fake (nit-picking, I know :sweat_smile: )



I don’t know how to find ancient auctions on Catawiki. Do you ?


This is not true, unfortunately :frowning: . Catawiki deletes old auctions. I checked a random link from my browsing history https://www.catawiki.com/en/l/50104833-port-mourant-1975-33-years-old-velier-old-demerara-rum-b-2008-70cl to find a 404 error. I think only auctions from several months ago are still accessible.

I found a link in SpiritRadar.

This is not the bottle I was speaking about. But I also have a doubt here :

The top of the bottle seems too high, as if they didn’t had the original cork and they manufactured something.

It seems that there’s is not the - - - - - - - on the sealing which is typical of Velier, but which is not present in all bottlings. -
I’ve checked and the opening is different on this bottling. So this is not conclusive.

If someone is good at this, what is your conclusion ?


I think it’s the original bottling just the photo is taken with a weird camera effect. Note that in the first photo the box is also curved like this “()” and extended vertically.

1 Like

Same seller,

This one seems original to me, but I can be wrong.
See the top of the bottle, it seems quite different to me.


I also found not too expensive Caroni in Switzerland, but when they sent me those pictures I stopped being interested.

Was I wrong ?

The top capsule seems odd and the whole work seems really amateur.

Again what is your opinion ?
I must say I’m a bit lost because those bottle are so expensive.


Velier uses (at least) two types of capsules. The shiny and the matte version. I’ve seen both versions on the same bottling (Foursquare Pleni) and even both versions employed on different bottles of the Magnum Series. Overall I don’t think the capsules are that hard to fake, wich is sad, given the market environments.

Edit: The shiny capsules have that dashed rip-off line, the matte version has the plastic stripe. Both the brigade and the swiss bottle show a ring pattern that I have not observed yet (but also wasn’t looking for it). It might be a replacement capsule or result from heat aplied to the original stripe (maybe from re-shrinking the capsule back on?!). In any case it looks like a warning sign to me and would at least warrant further investigation.

The Brigade above looks like the cork is not pushed all the way into the bottle?!

Edit 2: Found some closeups of likely original capsules showing the same ring pattern. One looks like theres a curly thing below the capsule, the other looks more like wrinkles from heating (sitting in the groove between cork and bottle neck):


Or maybe it will look like that when you open the foil from the sealing capsule ?

Photo taken from Steffen Mayer’s book on Caroni


I said that for the Brigade

Edit : yes, the same patterns but in your pictures that is not worrying me.


The pattern on the top of the capsule from Swizzerland is much harder to verify, since very few bottles get photographed from that angle. That swiss capsule looks very sloppy and wrinkled. Would not buy.

Here’s a capsule that doesn’t have this “star and grooves” pattern:

But that doesn’t mean it’s not legit. Just from browsing a little it looks like the veriety of capsules is broader than I thought.

In any case: when in doubt, stay away!


I just received a couple of Caronis, both are small bottles though. Here’s what the caps look like:


Ranmarine and Roopnarine, good choice !

The two top capsules don’t have the little holes in them, usually big bottles have two or four holes. But I don’t know more as there are few pictures of the top capsule. Plus those are small bottles.