Gulp! Where'd that bourbon come from?

Lawsuit charges that label on Bulleit isn't truthful

Bulleit distilled in Lawrenceburg? Bull**it, say lawyers
  • Bulleit distilled in Lawrenceburg? Bull**it, say lawyers

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, 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."

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It's not bottled in bond it's bottled by the pond. (only really old Bourbon drinkers will remember such brands as Hiram's Bottled in Bond)

AlexClarke: Could it be bottled in bondage? Best, Don Bauder

The pretentious drunk/sophisticated sop demands to know.

First it was classy vodka that ran 30 plus a bottle and I've seen ads for upscale tequila. (As an aside a homeless friend of mine used to say that the cheapest vodka became smooth as silk when passed through one of the tap water filter pitchers.) Now it's purity in bourbon. It's amazing how money changes a alcoholic's taste.

MichaelValentine: You mean the top shelf really isn't worth the money? Best, Don Bauder

Mark Gillespie: Congratulations. WhiskyCat seems to have had the story in 2006. But if Four Roses terminated the contract in spring of 2014, where is the stuff made now? Best, Don Bauder

I hope they solve this issue quickly so someone can jump on the reason why my local BevMo has been out of 10Cane rum for two weeks! How does THAT happen?

Wabbitsd: Pen letters to both the retailer and the rum maker, and say you may desiccate if the booze doesn't go back on the shelves. Threaten to picket. Threaten to kill yourself. Best, Don Bauder

What I'd really like to know is what they say is amiss about Maker's Mark. For several years that has been touted as the best bourbon in the world. (It certainly carries such a price.) Is that being made in a converted oil refinery in New Jersey? Inquiring minds want to know.

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