Given its global recognition and cultural icon status, it should come as no surprise that counterfeits of Hennessy are widely available. In this post, you will learn the telltale signs of counterfeit Hennessy so you can avoid getting ripped off.
Profitability of Fake Products
Although the existence of counterfeit designer clothing, watches, and accessories is common knowledge, the existence of counterfeit alcoholic beverages is not as widely known. Due to how simple it is to make a fake alcoholic beverage, it is widely used.
It’s easy to see why a cultural icon like Hennessy wouldn’t be safe from counterfeiters when the fake products business is expected to be worth $449 billion in 2019. The widespread consumption of the spirits makes them a prime target for counterfeiters. True connoisseurs of cognac can tell the difference between a fake and a real Hennessy Very Special (V.S.) by its aroma and color. However, not everyone has such expertise, and tasting the alcohol after purchase is usually the only way to tell if it is real or not.
The objective is to identify a fake before making a purchase. Thankfully, certain easy indicators can help you tell the difference between an actual thing and a fake. We researched so you wouldn’t have to.
Smuggled Products Are a Multibillion-dollar Industry
There are several different kinds of Hennessy, but the regular V.S. Cognac is the most widely sold and consequently the most frequently counterfeited:
- V.S. comes in a bottle that stands out from the crowd. The cylindrical body tapers from wide at the top to narrow at the base.
- The pattern has been circulating for a while, so be aware of any V.S. that looks different from the ones you’re used to seeing.
- There is a wide range of sizes and shapes to choose from while shopping for additional Hennessy varieties. Since their “marks” might not always be aware of the uniformed bottle that V.S. arrives in, this works in favor of the counterfeiters.
- Hennessy V.S. comes in a 750ml bottle and has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%. Any Hennessy bottle displaying values outside that range should be assumed to be counterfeit.
Hennessy typically retails at around $60. Red flags should go up if you’re offered much less for the renowned cognac than this. We’re not suggesting it’s impossible to find genuine Hennessy at lower pricing; we are, however, advising caution. The adage goes anything is not worth having if it is too wonderful to be true.
Buying Hennessy through a respected platform or establishment, as opposed to buying it privately, will reduce the likelihood that you will be disappointed. Since you can’t physically examine the bottle before buying it online, this is very crucial.
Focus on Specifics
Authentic brands, no matter the field, share a commitment to excellence in execution. The genuine article, be it a timepiece, a piece of jewellery, a pair of shoes, or a piece of designer apparel, will always be of higher quality than its knockoff counterpart.
- The Explanation for This is Straightforward: legitimate businesses take great delight in the quality of their wares, while fakers lack the wherewithal to do the same.
The “Neck” Emblem
The Hennessy bottle’s neck symbol is a reliable indicator of its authenticity. It should have a distinguishing black and yellow color scheme and can be found closer to the bottle’s neck. The Hennessy logo lies in the middle of the symbol, between the two circles. Embossed on the insignia are a series of irregular, tiny squares within the smaller circle.
You know you have a fake if the insignia does not contain these little squares.
Customised Bottle Engraving
- A fake Hennessy bottle won’t have the same number of engravings as the real thing.
- A large ‘1765’ (the year Hennessy was founded) is inscribed on the front bottom half of the bottle. Recently produced knockoffs do not have this glaringly evident, yet complex, detail on the bottle.
- Even the base of the bottle has been carefully engraved. A genuine Hennessy bottle will have three concentric circles with stippled lines, as shown. In addition to the two-digit number in the middle, there is a significant indentation on one of the sides.
- Also etched on the base will be the bottle’s volume and the business name “Jas. Hennessy Co.”
- Products that are not authentic will lack any or all of these engravings or will contain engravings that are of poor quality.
Check Those Labels
If you examine the front and back labels of a genuine Hennessy, you will note that they are well-kept and professional-looking. The front is embossed with a grapevine and leaves, and it’s wonderfully made overall.
You can see how this particular grapevine and its accompanying leaves are sculpted by blacklight “to enhance your parties” on the Hennessy website. While this may be the case, it also serves as a novel test of authenticity.
In the absence of a black light, regular vision can be used as a backup. Both the bottle and the label of authentic Hennessy are adorned with vivid colors that may be lacking on knockoffs.
There is a serial number, yes, even cognacs have serial numbers, on the back label. More recently, serial numbers have consisted of a letter followed by twelve digits. A fake can be easily identified if the serial number does not appear in this location.
Stamp of Excise
All alcoholic beverages must be accompanied by an excise tax stamp. While an excise stamp on a bottle may not be 100% conclusive evidence of its legitimacy, the absence of such a stamp is usually indicative of a fake.
There is a health risk linked with drinking counterfeit alcohol, in addition to the disappointment of not getting the desired flavor and quality. This is another good reason to double-verify everything. Since they are not governed by any standards, you can never be sure of the quality.
No one enjoys being fooled into purchasing a knockoff, whether it be shoes, a fine watch, or a bottle of spirits. In the case of alcohol, it’s not only distressing, unpleasant, and embarrassing, but also potentially lethal. Knowing what to look for makes it simple to identify if something is authentic or not. Please utilise this guidance the next time you shop for cognac so that you can avoid purchasing counterfeit Hennessy.