Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service


After the recent dangerous “Valkonov Vodka” alert, Trading Standards and Environmental Health Officers are putting out a new warning regarding more fake spirits, which contain harmful levels of methanol.

In November last year the Food Standards Agency warned the public about fake Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, which was found to be contaminated with methanol, a poisonous form of alcohol.

The same product has now been found by officers in Berkshire and it is possible that the product has been distributed in other areas around the country.

In addition, the officers in Berkshire have also discovered a stock of counterfeit labels for a product called “Highland Pride Finest Scotch Whisky”. As yet, no actual counterfeit bottles of “Highland Pride” have been found, but the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the labels suggest there may be contaminated product bearing these labels on the market.

Although none of the fake whiskies have been found in West Yorkshire, officers will be checking retail outlets to make sure they are not on sale.

The public should be aware that counterfeit whisky can easily be distinguished from the genuine product and that genuine Johnnie Walker and Highland Pride are completely unaffected.

Identification of Counterfeit Products :

Johnnie Walker

Highland Pride (Front Label)

Any retailer or member of the public who has purchased these products, or suspects they are on sale, should contact West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service or their District Environmental Health Departments. Under no circumstances should the products be consumed.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee warned:

“Methanol can cause serious harm including abdominal pain, breathing difficulties, blurred vision and even blindness. Those who have bottled such products clearly have no regard for the safety of the people who might drink them. I would ask the public to look out for these products as we need information to trace the source of supply.”

If consumers have any concerns they should contact the Consumer Helpline on 0113 3 848 848 between 8.30 am – 6.30 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am – 1.00 pm on Saturdays.

For further information please contact

Graham Hebblethwaite Divisional Manager/General Media Contact 0113 289 8218
Andrew Bibby Principal Trading Standards Officer 0113 289 8237
Steven Kaye Principal Trading Standards Officer 0113 289 8229

Food Standards Agency

Pictures of the products are available on the Food Standards Agency website.