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craigthom
05-03-2010, 14:49
Sazerac Sued Over Use Of 'Bourbon Trail' (http://www.wlky.com/news/23432505/detail.html)

I have no problem with this. The KDA has created the "Bourbon Trail" as a successful marketing tool for members of the organization. If you quit the organization, you no longer get to benefit from the advertising the organization is paying for.

DeanSheen
05-03-2010, 19:46
Horribly written blurb.

Suing. Should not these guys work together?

I guess this is what KDA is doing with that surplus they had in the budget, using i to hire lawyers.

Ultra
05-03-2010, 20:26
No matter how one slices it up, this isn't good for Bourbon.

cowdery
05-03-2010, 20:41
I wish someone who is sure they know what this is about would enlighten me.

I don't know what this is about.

I do know this. The KDA is a membership organization. This isn't some entity, the KDA suing Sazerac, this is all the remaining members of KDA suing Sazerac. This is the industry against one of its own who is defying the will of the rest of the leading companies, and not saying why.

KDA had no choice but to sue to protect its trademark. If Sazerac can use it without permission anyone can use it without permission so why would the remaining companies continue to fund it?

KDA's actions are easily explained. The mystery is why is Sazerac provoking this confrontation?

I don't have a theory that makes sense.

Ultra
05-03-2010, 20:45
I don't have a theory that makes sense.

Wild theory...

What if Sazerac was going to start making Bourbon outside of Kentucky?

cowdery
05-03-2010, 20:48
Wild theory...

What if Sazerac was going to start making Bourbon outside of Kentucky?

Please elaborate. How would that explain this?

Ultra
05-03-2010, 21:14
Please elaborate. How would that explain this?

I am wildly speculating about what is driving the wedge between the KDA members and Saz, primarily to enliven conversation about any other possible scenarios. If Saz were going to distill and bottle "Bourbon" in Australia, for example, it might be a reason to explain the underlying bad blood of late between the KDA and Saz.

ErichPryde
05-04-2010, 01:54
I am wildly speculating about what is driving the wedge between the KDA members and Saz, primarily to enliven conversation about any other possible scenarios. If Saz were going to distill and bottle "Bourbon" in Australia, for example, it might be a reason to explain the underlying bad blood of late between the KDA and Saz.

Bourbon, as defined by law, is an american spirit. it can be distilled in kentucky or in texas, but not in australia.

Josh
05-04-2010, 03:45
Bourbon, as defined by law, is an american spirit. it can be distilled in kentucky or in texas, but not in australia.

That's an interesting theory Ultra, but in addition to the US law Erik mentioned, there's an international treaty that protects the use of the term Bourbon. The same treaty(s) protect Scotch, Tequila, Cognac, Armagnac, Port et al.

Plus they already make bourbon outside of Kentucky. They own the Bowman Distillery in Virginia which has been making bourbon for decades.

Saz's break with the KDA has been very strange. I wish we could get the straight dope from somebody.

craigthom
05-04-2010, 04:51
Here is an article (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9FFITCO0.htm) that may explain how this got started:


The dispute started in summer of 2009, when Sazerac applied for a trademark and copyright on the phrase "Buffalo Trace Distillery on the Bourbon Trail" and "Tom Moore Distillery on the Bourbon Trail."

The Distillers' Association claims those proposed trademarks violate the existing trademarks related to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a cluster of distilleries in central Kentucky.

Sazerac was once a member of the association, but resigned from the Kentucky Distillers' Association in January after being unable to settle the dispute over the trademarks.

In an e-mail dated Feb. 1 and attached to the lawsuit, Sazerac President Mark Brown said the company doesn't plan to violate the association's trademarks.

"However, we will continue to use the public domain phrases 'the Bourbon Trail' and 'the Trail' to describe the location of our Buffalo Trace and Tom Moore distilleries as permitted by federal trademark law," Brown wrote.


So does a judge think "the Bourbon Trail" is different enough from "Kentucky Bourbon Trail"? I think we'll find out.

Ultra
05-04-2010, 06:21
I used quotes around the word bourbon because I know the law. Scotch not made in Scotland is malt whiskey. "Bourbon" made in Aussie might be called something else. The other distillers won't care what it is called if it takes a big bite out of their exports.

OscarV
05-04-2010, 11:56
Sazerac/Buffalo Trace has been going down the wrong road for a while now.
The killing off of their best brands, Centennial, Proprietor's Reseve, Eagle Rare 101 and Old Charter 12yo and now getting out of the KDA but infringing on KDA'a copyrights.
Maybe they are just gettin' to big for their britches.
Has anyone heard how they are doing in the Vodka Distillers Association?

Josh
05-04-2010, 12:30
They still make some good stuff, but I would also love to see all those whiskeys back.

When we toured Tom Moore, our tourguide Pam (she said she was a former chair of the KBF) gave the impression that everybody at TM has just been left hanging. Saz told them they were going to change the name of the distillery back to Barton, which hasn't happened, and halted completion of the new gift shop in favor of a new location for it, but hasn't given them the greenlight on that or anything else. The whole place seems to be in a holding pattern. Which is fine with me. As long as VOB BiB is left alone, I'm fine.:cool:

OscarV
05-04-2010, 12:48
They still make some good stuff,

You think so?
I don't, I can't think of anything that I would spend money on from BT.
I'm bored and tired of WLW SR and OWA 10/107, the rest of the line up is to grassy for me.
And as far as I am concerned the highly touted BTAC has fizzled out and ran it's course, just another example of much ado about, well not nothing but not about much.
BT, ETL, RHF, AA and Blanton's, c'mon, anyone can make that stuff.

Josh
05-04-2010, 12:59
You think so?
I don't, I can't think of anything that I would spend money on from BT.
I'm bored and tired of WLW SR and OWA 10/107, the rest of the line up is to grassy for me.
And as far as I am concerned the highly touted BTAC has fizzled out and ran it's course, just another example of much ado about, well not nothing but not about much.
BT, ETL, RHF, AA and Blanton's, c'mon, anyone can make that stuff.

Oh man, you're gonna hear about that comment.:lol:

I'm pretty much with you on the BTAC, but I did end up buying a bottle of the Stagg this year. It grew on me.

The Ancient Ancient Age 10 y/o is a very good whiskey for $18. On par with 4R yellow label I think. I also enjoy Old Charter 10 in a similar range. I enjoy ETL and RHF too. Sometimes that delicate sweetness really hits the spot, but they do cost too much.

As for the Wellers, I think they're good for the price. They don't hold up to their Van Winkle cousins, but they're still good buys to me. But if I had your stash, Oscar, I doubt I would be buying them either.

OscarV
05-04-2010, 13:08
The majority here on SB.com always brings price into the equation.
So I'm gonna do it to, if I have to spend money on a bourbon then I'll pass on the Sazerac/Buffalo Trace line up.

Don't get me started on the Brown-Forman circus of whiskies.:grin:

ErichPryde
05-04-2010, 13:37
The majority here on SB.com always brings price into the equation.
So I'm gonna do it to, if I have to spend money on a bourbon then I'll pass on the Sazerac/Buffalo Trace line up.

Don't get me started on the Brown-Forman circus of whiskies.:grin:

Too bad wild turkey doesn't make anything except for their incredibly overpriced tradition that's worth a damn anymore when compared to how it was 20 years ago, eh Oscar?

OscarV
05-04-2010, 13:47
Too bad wild turkey doesn't make anything except for their incredibly overpriced tradition that's worth a damn anymore when compared to how it was 20 years ago, eh Oscar?

Never had it 20 years ago so I can't really say.
But it has been no secrect here on the SB.com forum for a couple of years now that I am the leader in calling out Wild Turkey for to young whiskey in their Kentucky Spirit and 101.

matthew0715
05-04-2010, 18:02
You think so?
I don't, I can't think of anything that I would spend money on from BT.
I'm bored and tired of WLW SR and OWA 10/107, the rest of the line up is to grassy for me.
And as far as I am concerned the highly touted BTAC has fizzled out and ran it's course, just another example of much ado about, well not nothing but not about much.
BT, ETL, RHF, AA and Blanton's, c'mon, anyone can make that stuff.

Perhaps you should update your profile now? You've just trashed all of your "Recommended" bourbons except The Rose's.

-Matt

Rughi
05-04-2010, 18:33
Sazerac/Buffalo Trace has been going down the wrong road for a while now.
The killing off of their best brands, Centennial, Proprietor's Reseve, Eagle Rare 101 and Old Charter 12yo...

Oscar, you're channeling the ghost of Mozilla!
I miss that ol' BT cusser...

Roger

pepcycle
05-04-2010, 20:13
WTF Good is a Bourbon Trail that extends all over the state, but every time there's an event, other than The Salato Sampler, its in Bardstown. This has been a major complaint of the non-Bardstown distillers, including Makers, for years.
C'mon. If KDA wants to take credit for the Bourbon Trail, they should spread the events out.
I'm thinking that FR and WT have enough pull to move The Bourbon Festival to Frankfort.

C'mon KDA. It isn't the Heaven Hill Bourbon Festival or the Jim Beam Bourbon Festival.

How about Louisville?

Bardstown will fold without the Bourbon Festival. I see the GN closing without our support.

The KDA wants as many Bourbon Trail sites as possible. They should earn them.

ErichPryde
05-05-2010, 00:12
Never had it 20 years ago so I can't really say.
But it has been no secrect here on the SB.com forum for a couple of years now that I am the leader in calling out Wild Turkey for to young whiskey in their Kentucky Spirit and 101.

You didn't have it 20 years ago, but you're having turkey from 20 years ago today, so to speak. It's no secret that one thing you and I, and a couple of other people on this forum have in common, is our love of old turkey. I count my favorites on my right hand, and of four, three of them are turkey and they no longer exist. The other is a member of the BTAC... but I digress.

The fact is no one is making standard whiskey releases that even come close to what was once possible. Demand is too high, everything is chill-filtered and has a high exit/entry proof.

If we all pretend for a moment that we didn't try Wild Turkey RR101, 8 year, 12 year, 17 year- ETL107, AA107, ER101---- If we all pretend that none of those were even remotely available, would you not see Rock Hill Farms on your "to buy" list? It's damned good bourbon, especially the Julio's versions of it.

I think if it weren't for that complete ******* of a BT rep you guys have up there, you wouldn't feel so strongly against BT. I can't blame you, it's amazing how much damage one idiot can do to an entire company. May he drown in rain vodka.

OscarV
05-05-2010, 10:48
Perhaps you should update your profile now? You've just trashed all of your "Recommended" bourbons except The Rose's.

-Matt

No, I only had to delete one and qualify two others.
Thanx 4 the suggestion.

OscarV
05-05-2010, 11:03
A. would you not see Rock Hill Farms on your "to buy" list? It's damned good bourbon, especially the Julio's versions of it.

B.I think if it weren't for that complete ******* of a BT rep you guys have up there, you wouldn't feel so strongly against BT. I can't blame you, it's amazing how much damage one idiot can do to an entire company. May he drown in rain vodka.



A. Actually I did have a Julio's RHF last year, it was a very good bottle of whiskey.
I wasn't interested in it from my experience with their standard releases which are, (here goes that G word again) grassy.
But another SB.com'er insisted I get it, I did and glad I did.

B. Man I've been over that a long time ago, you just can't tell by my posts though.:grin:
I just lost interest in the BTAC and yes, it did have a lot to do with the distributors and retailers, they took the fun out of it.
I have at least 2 bottles of every release of WLarueW and to keep the collection intact I will get another one this fall.
As soon as one shows up on eBay, those guys are the greatest, they don't play games, they got the goods and are glad to serve.

Josh
05-05-2010, 19:50
WTF Good is a Bourbon Trail that extends all over the state, but every time there's an event, other than The Salato Sampler, its in Bardstown. This has been a major complaint of the non-Bardstown distillers, including Makers, for years.
C'mon. If KDA wants to take credit for the Bourbon Trail, they should spread the events out.
I'm thinking that FR and WT have enough pull to move The Bourbon Festival to Frankfort.

C'mon KDA. It isn't the Heaven Hill Bourbon Festival or the Jim Beam Bourbon Festival.

How about Louisville?

Bardstown will fold without the Bourbon Festival. I see the GN closing without our support.

The KDA wants as many Bourbon Trail sites as possible. They should earn them.

The KDA probably feels that since they made the Bourbon Trail, and own the trademark, then they have the right to decide how the name is used. That said, The Bourbon Trail without BT is a joke. They have arguably the best tour (the Hardhat) and arguably the best visitor's center. The only one that comes close is the BHC.

It doesn't make any sense for Saz to be mad about the location of the Bourbon Festival, since after they acquired Tom Moore they have the only working still (with the possible exception of KBD) in Bardstown. One could even walk easily from Tom Moore to the grounds of the KBF.

That means that 3/3 of the big KBF events are in cities with a Sazerac distillery. They should have a strong presence at all those events but for whatever reason, they don't. The only whiskey being served at the BT booth at the Sampler this year was BT. No Weller, Eagle Rare, Elmer T Lee, RHF nothin'. This while Beam was pouring JB, JBB, Booker's and Bakers and whiskey sours. It was great to see Greg Davis at the Sampler, but all they were pouring was 1792. VOB is one of the best value for money bourbons on the market and has been for years, but you would never have known that they made it.

Thanks to Craig for posting that article. But now I have more questions than I did before! :confused: I get the feeling that there's a lot more to the story.

bourbonv
06-05-2010, 09:22
The law suit has been filed and it is over the use of the term "Kentucky Bourbon Trail". Sazerac is trying to negate the KDA trademark of the term. If that happens then anybody can place themselves on the "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" and we could see the"Kentucky Bourbon Trail Wendy's" and the "Kentucky Bourbon Trail Sewer Service" since anybody will be able to use the term. The KDA is fighting to save their trademark.

Mike Veach

OscarV
06-05-2010, 09:26
The KDA is fighting to save their trademark.


Mike Veach



That seems perfectly resonable.
I wish KDA a success in court.

pepcycle
06-05-2010, 13:59
Why does Sazerac have to infringe?

Because they chose to opt out of THE bourbon trail.

Why are they out?

Because they don't get any benefit from KDA?

Why not?

Who knows?

My point is that if KDA wants distilleries in and to supprt their trail, then they should support other cities besides Bardstown.

craigthom
06-05-2010, 14:05
While I agree that the KDA needs to do things outside Bardstown, Sazerac now has a large distillery there and will have the same benefit that Heaven Hill and Jim Beam do.

It would be nice if the festival was held every other year in Lawrenceburg. There are two distilleries there and two more close enough.

Stu
06-05-2010, 15:28
There's a lot of planning, expense, and work to do putting on an event like KBF. Do the other cities want to do it? Do they have the money, facilities, manpower, and local interest to do it? Louisville or Lawrenceburg could easily host an activity at a non conflicting time if they so desire. I think the reason Bardstown has it is because they have the manpower, facilities (including the Getz), time, etc to do it. They also have a spark plug in their tourist bureau named Johanna. Any city wishing to vie with them would also need such a spark plug.

My two cents worth, and I'll give you two pennies change.

cowdery
06-05-2010, 15:31
I can't seem to get to the bottom of this dispute but I can tell you it has very little to do with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival or any perceived regional favoritism on the part of the KDA.

OscarV
08-27-2010, 15:35
Here's another little addition to the story.
The first Laky of KY announced that 17 new highway signs to direct people to bourbon distilleries as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Sure enough, no BT.

http://www.kentucky.com/2010/08/25/1406087/new-signs-to-mark-kentuckey-bourbon-trail.html#ixzz0xiuTPgw5

Bourbon Boiler
08-27-2010, 17:28
Here's another little addition to the story.
The first Laky of KY announced that 17 new highway signs to direct people to bourbon distilleries as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Sure enough, no BT.

http://www.kentucky.com/2010/08/25/1406087/new-signs-to-mark-kentuckey-bourbon-trail.html#ixzz0xiuTPgw5


I saw that story yesterday. I believe there are signs that I assume are state funded in existence pointing people to BT, just without reference to the trail. This would eliminate any claim BT would have to the state playing favorites.

Josh
11-10-2010, 09:07
Anybody have any updates on this business?

OscarV
11-10-2010, 13:03
Anybody have any updates on this business?



Yeah, where's Mike AKA BourbonV?
He always has the latest on this kind of stuff.

OscarV
10-20-2011, 05:51
Almost a year later, any word on what this was all about?

p_elliott
10-20-2011, 21:38
It was over an advertising campaign that BT wanted to use.

Josh
10-21-2011, 04:49
It was over an advertising campaign that BT wanted to use.

Anywhere we can find information on that?

callmeox
10-21-2011, 06:18
Anywhere we can find information on that?


I was wondering the same thing.

Do tell.

Tucker
10-21-2011, 06:26
Anywhere we can find information on that?

A good summary of the initial complaint can be found here (you have to scroll down a good bit).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-07/rolls-royce-utc-apple-victoria-s-secret-sazerac-intellectual-property.html

barturtle
10-21-2011, 07:29
This is what it's all about:


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n_qnL6vMlS0/TqGBh-K-5-I/AAAAAAAAAao/lMJk16Sgd6E/s800/buffalo%252520trace%252520trail.jpg

Josh
10-21-2011, 07:40
Ah...I see.

I still don't get why Saz pulled out of the KDA in the first place. Diageo is a member for chrissakes.

barturtle
10-21-2011, 12:31
Browsing the KDA site, I find this statement interesting


Consolidation has reduced KDAís current membership to six companies, representing seven distilleries, which together produce 95 percent of the worldís Bourbon: Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Brown-Forman, Diageo North America, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, and Wild Turkey.

Surely BT/Barton/Independents account for more than 5%?

jburlowski
11-18-2011, 04:47
A settlement has been reached:
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20111117/NEWS0103/111180316/Dispute-over-Kentucky-Bourbon-Trail-settled

Josh
11-20-2011, 16:32
We still don't know why Saz withdrew from the KDA in the first place, or what the precise source of the bad blood between Saz and the KDA. I think Chuck suggested there may have been some tension between Saz and HH based on their former contract relationship.

p_elliott
11-21-2011, 08:46
Josh

Sazerac and KDA got into a fight over a copyright infringement. BT wanted to use the line "on the bourbon trail" in their ads. KDA said you can't do that it's our copyright. They got mad at each other law suits were filed and BT and Sazerac pulled out of the KDA. The suit has been settled out of court with BT being able to use that ad.

cowdery
11-21-2011, 09:00
Trademark, not copyright, and that's what the lawsuit was about.

I don't think the bad blood between Sazerac and HH had anything to do with it and I never suggested that it did. That's not so much institutional as it is personal, i.e., an old grudge between Max Shapira and Bill Goldring.

Sazerac says KDA membership is expensive and they believe that money can be better spent in other ways.

No one seems to really know (or will say) except to speculate that Sazerac felt its influence within the KDA wasn't what it should be.

The settlement appears to mean that neither side is going to waste time and money on futile lawsuits, but that doesn't mean all is now well. There has been no talk of Sazerac rejoining KDA, for example. Sazerac also appears to have abandoned its own attempt to re-trademark 'bourbon trail' as part of its own tourism 'brand.'

The settlement is more like a ceasefire than a peace treaty.

Josh
11-21-2011, 10:06
I didn't mean to imply that I thought the lawsuit simply the result of "bad blood" or that Chuck thought it was. It was just nosiness on my part. I was interested in the nature and origins of the aforementioned "bad blood". Thanks for answering my questions, Chuck, and thanks for the rest of the information.

p_elliott
11-21-2011, 10:13
Trademark / Copyright I was close but no cigar :grin: I'm not a lawyer like you Chuck. I know the difference now that you pointed it out.

cowdery
11-21-2011, 19:16
I've never understood exactly what happened between Sazerac and Heaven Hill. I think it was because Sazerac bought BT and stopped buying bourbon from HH. Something like that.

Pastor Bourbon
11-22-2011, 18:10
Bourbon, as defined by law, is an american spirit. it can be distilled in kentucky or in texas, but not in australia.
I wouldn't complain if they set up shop here in South East Queensland!!! :)
They wouldn't even have to call it bourbon as long as it tasted like the batches made in Kentucky...

cowdery
11-23-2011, 09:37
Depending on the local laws, and whether or not Australia has by treaty agreed to protect the name 'bourbon,' you might be able to call your product 'bourbon' locally, but you'll never be able to import it into the United States under that name.