Recent booze scams, rated and appreciated
Taking stock of grifting's Barrel Age
FINGERS FRAUD APPRECIATION BUNKER [LOCATION WITHHELD] — Prostitution is the oldest profession, but selling alcohol and conning rubes have to be up there, which probably explains why even as technology and education improve, bamboozling boobs with bunk booze remains a viable occupation for the drinking world’s unsavory slicksters. This is bad for unwitting customers, but excellent for disaffected voyeurs like us hoping to savor flavors of international intrigue, barely detectable deceit, and “Emperor’s New Clothes”-style ignorance exhibited by fools soon to be parted from their monies.
The ur-text in this genre is Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace (a book that I really must insist you read immediately if you haven’t yet), but as luck would have it, tales of bullshit bourbon bottles, misleading wine “investment opportunities,” and shady beer promos are in no short supply. Hell, hardly a week goes by here without a headline touting some booze-related racket crossing the desk here at the boozeletter’s elite Fraud Appreciation Unit. We are living in grifting’s Barrel Age, reader, and what an age it is.
I don’t always have the time to cover these stories as they appear, but I feel bad not sharing them with you, my beloved Fingers Fam. Thus, the official Fingers rating of recent booze scams you’ll find below. These ratings have been painstakingly calculated by our in-house team of highly trained fraud-appreciators, and are therefore completely correct, but if you believe we’ve erred by omitting your favorite alcoholic hoax, swindle, or boondoggle, please submit your contribution through the appropriate channel:
And now, the scams! Read on for gold-plated beer cans, faux fancy absinthe, willfully altered whiskey, and more: