Bourbon brand Jim Beam is facing a lawsuit over the use of the word "handcrafted" on its bottles. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, plaintiff Scott Welk filed a class action suit against the bourbon maker on Tuesday for $5 million. Under fire is Jim Beam White Label bourbon for use of the term.
The lawsuit alleges the booze is not "handmade by a skilled craftsman as the company claims." It continues, noting that the labeling is "immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and/or substantially injurious to consumers" because "consumers are led to believe that Jim Beam bourbon is of superior quality and workmanship by virtue of it being ‘handcrafted,' when in fact it is not." Jim Beam's parent company Beam Suntory has issued a statement against the suit, calling it "frivolous." The paper notes that the plaintiff suing Jim Beam is represented by the same law firm behind a similar suit again Marker's Mark, which is also owned by Beam Suntory.
Beer maker Anhesuer-Busch also faced a similar situation regarding the labels on its Kirin Ichiban beer. Plantiffs claimed that Kirin is "deceptively advertised as being imported from Japan" even though the label does note in small print that it is brewed in America. In January, a judge ruled that people who believed the beer was imported from Japan should be offered a refund.