Jim Beam hit with ‘handcrafted’ lawsuit

18th February, 2015 by Melita Kiely

A lawsuit has been filed against Jim Beam Brands alleging consumers are being duped by claims its Bourbon is “handcrafted” when it is made with “little to no” human involvement.

Jim-Beam

Jim Beam Bourbon has been accused of misleading consumers by claiming it is “handcrafted”

Scott Welk, who brought forward the lawsuit on Tuesday in California federal court, accused the Jim Beam Brands of violating California’s False Advertising Law with its handmade claims thus forcing him to pay a premium price for Jim Beam’s white label Bourbon.

He argues Jim Beam’s labels call the whiskey handcrafted and its website says the process requires skilled craftsmen to create it.

However, according to the lawsuit, other information on the website, such as photos and videos of the production process, depict a mechanised process “resembling a modern day assembly line and involving little to no human supervision, assistance or involvement, as demonstrated by photos and video footage of Defendents’ manufacturing process”.

“There are no ‘skilled craftsmen’ involved in this manufacturing process”, the class action stated. “The use of mechanised and/or automated hammer mill is not equivalent to Defendants’ representation that Jim Beam Bourbon is ‘handcrafted’.”

“This claim is frivolous,” commented Clarkson Hine, spokesman for Beam Suntory. “We will defend our case vigorously and we are confident that we will prevail.

“Beyond that, as a matter of company policy, we don’t comment on the details of matters in litigation.”

This latest legal case is one in a long line of recent lawsuits alleging brands are misleading customers by claiming to be handcrafted and small batch.

Earlier this month, Angel’s Envy Rye whiskey also found itself in the midst of a lawsuit for allegedly claiming to be a small batch product when it is not.

Meanwhile, last year Maker’s Mark was also hit with a “handmade” lawsuit as was Tito’s Handemade Vodka.

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