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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Re: Brown-Forman vs. Barton

    Brown Forman uses the word " Birthday" in Birthday Bourbon, I have a Birthday. Do I have a Case ?

    <font color="brown"> Good God Give Those Poor Guys at Barton A Break! </font>

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    SI, NY

    Re: Here\'s a photo

    If they win by what you mentioned there's more proof that we live in a sue crazy, disgustingly ugly society... Give me a break. That is no where enough to prove that they stole the 'thunder' out from BF...

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Bryan, Ohio

    Re: Brown-Forman vs. Barton

    While I think the suit is just silly I would have to disagree, when I pulled these two bottles out side by side in my collection I was amazed at how similar they actually were, and I can honestly see how someone from who does not know much about the bourbon industry could presume they were from the same distillery. Actually that is the exact kind of similar bottle I expected BF to use when the inevitable "Woodford Reserve Distillery" line extensions arrive.

    That said I have always been rather adamant about my annoyance with marketing in relation to bourbon, and this is yet another negative example of it. I would love to just focus on what is in the bottle, but some folks in the industry just cant get past looks. Its sad, just hope that it doesnt kill a great bottling of bourbon in the process.


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Re: Brown-Forman vs. Barton


    I think that's an excellent point, and by the way, I think we all have birthdays, and we all should sue BF cuz of their BS! Don't they have anything better to do than this ? I for one do not see much similiarity between the bottles. If I was looking for Woodford Reserve (which I'm not, and won't be as a result of this ), I can see the difference. If 4 people at a public tasting got it confused, that's their problem. Maybe they had too much to drink, or need to get their eyes examined! I'd also wonder how many people were at the tasting? 100? 1000? Anyway, like so many others, I'm dismayed at this news. It is ridiculous and I hope BF comes to their senses. If not, I hope Barton kicks their asses in this suit. GO BARTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Midland, MI

    Re: Brown-Forman vs. Barton

    >If I was looking for
    >Woodford Reserve (which I'm not, and won't be as a result of this ), I can see
    >the difference. If 4 people at a public tasting got it confused, that's their

    Just to make myself clear:
    If Brown-Forman is claiming that people will accidentally buy 1792 when
    they are trying to buy Woodford Reserve, then I disagree with such a claim.

    If, instead, Brown-Forman is claiming that people will buy 1792 thinking
    that it is a special bottling of bourbon that is made by the same
    people who produce Woodford Reserve, then I agree. I think 1792 looks
    like "part of the family". 1792 looks like there is some connection
    between it and Woodford Reserve. My first impression of 1792 is that it
    is somehow a higher-priced higher-end limited-release version of
    Woodford Reserve. That is the confusion that I think is legitimate.

    Tim Dellinger

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2000

    Round 2: Barton Fights Back

    And now Barton goes after Brown-Forman for 'misleading' Woodford Reserve advertising. See full story in link below.



  7. #17

    Re: Round 2: Barton Fights Back

    I just hope the wind doesn't change direction too quickly, or somebody in this pissin' contest is gonna get wet!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Charleston, SC

    Re: Round 2: Barton Fights Back

    I think both of them should get wet--this is all so asinine.

    It's funny, though, I just walked in the door about half an hour ago with a bottle of Woodford Reserve in hand. I figured after the hellish day I had at work, I deserved a little treat. Now, after reading about all this nonsense, I'm thinking I should have shelled out the extra cash for that Blanton's I was eyeing so seductively in the package store...

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Bloomington, IN

    Re: Round 2: Barton Fights Back

    from the article: "We've been very forthright about communicating that, and our consumers have understood it," Lynch said. (Lynch is the spokesperson for BF)

    In my experience, if they want the "our consumers have understood it" argument to stand up in court, they had better have some marketing research studies that show consumers are not confused about the place of origin.

    This is a very interesting case between BF &amp; Barton. I'm guess it all gets settled out of court. However, the Barton claim about misleading advertising is an FTC issue.

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Round 2: Barton Fights Back

    One perspective I would offer, as a consumer not as a lawyer, is that Woodford Reserve's success seems to be based on the quality of the product (the bourbon, but also the presentation) more so than on the consumer's intention to drink pot still whiskey made at the distillery in Woodford County. The stuff about the historic distillery and all is more background music than anything else.

    Also, the taste profiles of Woodford Reserve and Old Forester are different.

    So what's really behind the lawsuit? I have heard, and I think this may have some credibility, that Brown-Forman filed this lawsuit to make a point about the bias and ineffectiveness of the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA), where this dispute should have been quietly resolved. It is derived from Brown-Forman's belief that the KDA and, by extension, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, has become a clique dominated by the Bardstown-area distilleries.

    Ironically, because Barton probably is the smallest company in the mix, the real and ultimate adversary may be Jim Beam. Consider these facts. Brown-Forman has banked on brand names more than type. Its two most successful American whiskey products are not bourbons, Jack Daniel's and Early Times. Its marketing theory that the consumer buys brand names and not types seems supported by the success of Jack Daniel's, which is the best selling American straight whiskey in the U.S. and the world. Brown-Forman also makes two bourbons, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve, that are highly regarded. Also, Brown-Forman and Heaven Hill are the only American whiskey-making companies whose headquarters are in Kentucky. Brown-Forman is still largely controlled by the Brown family, whose roots in Kentucky and in the whiskey industry stretch back into the 19th century. No other American whiskey maker can say that at the corporate level (i.e., Jim Beam's parent has its roots in tobacco, Barton's is in wine, Buffalo Trace's parent is a liquor distributor in Louisiana and Texas, Wild Turkey's parent is French, Dickel's is English, as is Maker's, etc.)

    So what? I guess I'm suggesting that behind what seemingly is a fight about trademarks and advertising is a battle for the soul of the American whiskey industry.



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