Law firms Hyde & Swigart of San Diego and Kazerouni Law Group of Costa Mesa on June 1 filed a suit in federal court claiming that Diageo, the big London distributor of alcohol brands, is telling a whopper about its Bulleit Bourbon. Diageo says in its promotions that it is distilled by Bulleit Distilling Co. in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
Not so, charges the suit. Diageo does not have a distillery in Lawrenceburg. The suit cites a Bloomberg News article of May 27, titled "Bourbon Bait and Switch: What's Really in Your Glass?" That story says Bulleit is distilled at a Four Roses Distillery, owned by Japanese brewer Kirin.
Actually, Bloomberg was beaten on this story by The Chuck Cowdery Blog, which reported on February 26 and again on March 6 that Bulleit has a phone number in Lawrenceburg, and if you ask to see its distillery, an operator says that, unfortunately, there are no tours.
"Diageo continues to be secretive about where Bulleit bourbon is actually distilled, aged, and bottled," says the Cowdery blog. "We believe it is aged at Stitzel-Weller in Louisville and bottled at Diageo's facility in Plainfield Illinois, but Diageo won't confirm."
On June 3, WhiskyCast.com reported that the two law firms pressing the suit against Diageo also have similar suits pending against Beam Suntory's Maker's Mark and Jim Beam bourbon brands. Diageo told WhiskyCast that the Bulleit suit is "baseless and frivolous."