bottle and glasses of whisky

Scientists find method to discover fake whisky

Unbelievable but true. Atomic bomb tests during the 20th century allowed scientists to reveal the true age of a whisky.

Gordon Cook, a researcher at the University of Glasgow, and his colleagues managed to reveal the age of a whisky. In fact, it was supposed to be produced in 1863, when it was actually made between 2007 and 2014. The scientists published their findings in the magazine Radiocarbon on Jan. 8.

This research, carried out by Glasgow scientists, reveals the true age of a whisky. They can therefore confirm its legitimacy. Today, there is an abundance of fake whisky on the market. In 2019, an estimate of around £40 million worth of fake whisky was circulating.

To expose the whisky scammers, Gordon and his colleagues applied a technique that measures the rate of carbon isotopes in various random whisky samples of unknown age. Atomic bomb tests conducted during the 20th century added large amounts of the carbon isotope 14 to the atmosphere. “This is absorbed by living things and disintegrates at an unknown rate. This means that in an organic sample, like the barley distilled for whisky, its age can be accurately revealed“. As explained by the scientific journal Radiocarbon.

The article on the study called “Using Carbon Isotopes to Fight the Rise in Fraudulent Whisky” appears in the journal Radiocarbon.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


Join the community on Reddit

Spirits Hunters is a community dedicated to spirits and the world of mixology. Feel free to talk about the world of mixology and bartending here!