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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Angry Wine based "Whiskey"?

    I had a interesting experience tonight, I was at a local billiards club and ordered a Jack n Coke. The drink that came was absolutely horrid. I asked the waitress for another, drinkable one, thinking that maybe it was a bad bottle, there was something foul in the soda lines??? Next one came just as nasty as the last (think molasses and kerosene, with a slice of lime). At this point I had to talk to the bartender, to see just what was going into these cocktails. Turns out that the club only has a beer and wine license, and is selling "wine based spirits". The one marked "whiskey flavor" was emitting the same odd smell coming from my drink. The bartender told me (straight faced I might add) that he serves 50 "whiskey" drinks a night, has worked there for 2 years, and has never had any one notice that his drinks were made from anything less than Mr. Daniel's finest.
    And now to the point:
    1. Anyone else had any experience with "wine based spirits"? I have had the JD RTD cocktails, which are actually not bad, but I am reasonably sure they contain actual whiskey. Correct me if I am wrong.
    2. What's with the bar not telling it's patrons what they are pouring? Putting well whiskey in cocktails instead of the call / super call whiskey that is ordered is low down and dirty, but I am sure that we have all seen it happen, but swapping out types of liquor altogether? That has to be against some law.

    I guess that's what I get from departing from my regular "just give it to me strait"
    Last edited by Thirsty; 09-02-2006 at 20:49.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    I don't know Arizona law on this matter, but can just about guarantee that their failure to tell you your Jack ain't is illegal. Even the term "wine based spirits" to describe what you described is inaccurate, as a "wine based spirit" is brandy. If it isn't distilled, it isn't a "spirit."

    The Jack Daniel's pre-mixed cocktails all contain actual Jack Daniel's. They briefly sold a "malternative" made by Miller...I think it was called Jack Daniel's Hard Cola...that did not contain any whiskey, but it never caught on. It was in a 16 oz. bottle that looked like a beer bottle. The pre-mixed cocktails are, I think, 8 oz. bottles and come in four-packs.

    The malternative products sold under the Smirnoff and Bacardi names have been pretty successful. They contain no vodka nor rum, respectively. They are the same basic product as Zima, a "beer" that has all of the color and flavor stripped away, to which flavorings are added. Mike's Hard Lemonade is another example.

    In the USA, because beer and wine can be sold in many places where spirits cannot, the spirits-based RTD's have not been very successful. They are huge in Australia, for example.

    I wonder if Arizona has an unusually large number of establishments licensed to sell beer and wine, but not spirits, so that these products have been created primarily for sale in that state, much like the "diluted" spirits sold in Ohio, and nowhere else, because of the pecularity of the laws there.

    But, bottom line, if you order "Jack and Coke" and the establishment is unable to provide a mixture of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and Coca-Cola, selling you something else without full disclosure is some level of fraud.
    Last edited by cowdery; 09-02-2006 at 22:28.



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