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California Judge Tosses “Handcrafted” False Advertising Suit Against Jim Beam

August 25, 2015

Beam Suntory has prevailed in another “handcrafted” lawsuit. A federal judge in San Diego has dismissed a suit accusing the company of falsely advertising that its flagship Jim Beam Bourbon is handcrafted.

The suit, filed by plaintiff Scott Welk earlier this year, maintained that Jim Beam’s claim of being handmade on its label enticed him to pay a premium price for a product whose production resembles “a modern day assembly line involving little to no human supervision, assistance or involvement.”

However, U.S. District Court Judge Larry Alan Burns disagreed, writing in his ruling that “a reasonable consumer wouldn’t interpret the word ‘handcrafted’ on a Bourbon bottle to mean that the product is literally created by a hand process rather than by a machine.” At around $15 a 750-ml., Jim Beam is one of the less expensive leading Bourbon brands.

The dismissal came a few weeks after another California federal judge tossed a similar suit against Jim Beam portfoliomate Maker’s Mark.

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