View Full Version : Brown Forman vs Barton
Just got off the phone with Bill Friel, retired master distiller from VOB, to find out the scoop on what's going on. Folks, let me tell you, this is sad. Not only to the parties involved, but the whole bourbon industry. There is no way that you can compare Ridgewood Reserve with any other product, namely, Woodford Reserve. The only good thing that can happen out of this is that VOB will finally get the recognition it truly deserves. I have e-mailed Brown & Forman this evening to let them know how displeased I am with this lawsuit and I urge others to do the same. Their e-mail address is: Brown-Forman@b-f.com. This kind of action is not good for the bourbon industry. I only hope that VOB will challenge this and stand their ground on principal that they are right. It is just the right thing to do!!!
I agree with you 100%...I have sent an emessage to BF...I hope my little bit helps...
Same here , E-mail sent ...
Thanks Marvin, I couldn't agree with you more... it's a shame they would even file such a stupid lawsuit. Man I hope it gets thrown out.
I sent an email, but I really don'y know what it will do.. BF seems to be a large company, probably some lawyer told their management that they should sue and it's done with... who knows what the intern who probably will read our messages will bother to say to anyone...
In that news article that omar has a link to they mention how people confused the 2 bourbons at whiskeyfest... I couldn't understand it until you realize that most of the people at whiskeyfest are scotch people! Anyone more than a little into bourbon will really notice the difference unless they are half crocked already in a room with tons of other spirits there for the free sampling (whiskeyfest)
I was at WhiskyFest, and I didn't see Ridgewood Reserve there. As far as I know, there were no Barton's products represented at WhiskyFest at all, to everyone's loss. If it was there and I overlooked it, that would be my loss, but I don't think I would have missed that, especially after the Bourbon Festival! I also saw the mention of confusion of the 2 products at a NY event. I'm wondering if there was another NY event, as I don't remember seeing anything in the link from Omar specifying that it was at NY WhiskyFest.
While scanning the WSJ last week, I noticed a passing mention of the fact that the lone securities analyst assigned to Brown Forman was recently redirected. I'm no authority in such matters, but I assume that means the securities industry now regards Brown Forman as less significant than before. If so, that seems like the sort of thing that might cause a shake-up in the executive ranks, or, more to the point, it might prompt acts of desperation, such as silly lawsuits and sillier admission charges. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif
If Barton saw fit to market their products in California, I'd go buy a bottle of Ridgewood Reserve just for spite (assuming I could distinquish it from Woodford Reserve http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif ).
I doubt that I'll ever make it to Kentucky to enjoy the various distillery tours, but if I do, for $5 I expect rides and people walking around in cute animal costumes.
My initial reaction was that it's a shame, because all of us had long hoped Barton would enter the super premium segment and expand the distribution of their bourbons. This is the sort of thing that could prompt them to cut their loses and simply abandon the project. They are a very diversified company and bourbon is not their bread and butter. They can put their new products investment elsewhere.
On the other hand, they're not naifs. They're big kids and this is how the game is played. Both Brown-Forman and Constellation Brands, the parent company of Barton, are pretty big outfits. Both are publically-traded. Constellation has a market cap of $3.2 billion. Brown-Forman's is $5.1 billion.
Does B-F have a case? As Goetz's article in the C-J points out, trademarks cases need to be evaluted in totality, not piece by piece, but I think the key is their use of the word "wood," i.e., "Ridgewood." Everything else is too generic. If they change the name to "Ridge Reserve" the case goes away.
I had to laugh...
realize that most of the people at whiskeyfest are scotch people! Anyone more than a little into bourbon will really notice the difference unless they are half crocked already in a room with tons of other spirits there for the free sampling (whiskeyfest)
My Mom was the first person to call me with the BF/Barton dispute.
She doesn't even drink, but keeps up with Bourbon news... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Her take on the whole thing was pretty much the same. If a person can't tell the difference between those two bottles...maybe they shouldn't be drinking at all... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
If a person can't tell the difference between those two bottles...maybe they shouldn't be drinking at all...
LOL... or maybe they've been drinking too much already http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
I was in error in saying that Ridgewood Reserve wasn't available at WhiskyFest. I asked John Hansell, Editor and Publisher at Malt Advocate, if Ridgewood Reserve was available that evening, and he confirmed that it was. He said that although he saw it, he can not say that he witnessed it being poured, but I'm sure that it was. Somehow, I missed it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif That was definitely MY loss. So, probably this was the NY tasting event referred to in the article mentioned by Omar in the beginning of this thread.
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