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Old 11-17-2007, 05:45 AM
Kuan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: At the Birkebeiner
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Of all the stupid laws


Vintage Whiskey May Be Poured Out

Law Requires Officials Destroy Whiskey That Cannot Be Sold Legally

POSTED: 3:04 pm CST November 15, 2007
UPDATED: 6:54 pm CST November 16, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.

"Punish the person, not the whiskey," said an outraged Kyle MacDonald, 28, a Jack Daniel's drinker from British Columbia who promotes the whiskey on his blog. "Jack never did anything wrong, and the whiskey itself is innocent."
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Investigators are also looking into whether some of the bottles had been stolen from the distillery. No one has been arrested.

Authorities are still determining how much of the liquor will be disposed of, and how much can be sold at auction.

Tennessee law requires officials to destroy whiskey that cannot be sold legally in the state, such as bottles designed for sale overseas and those with broken seals.

"We'd pour it out," said Danielle Elks, executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“If it's forfeited to the ABC, we will divide the alcohol into sellable and unsellable alcohol. The alcohol that's available for sale will be auctioned off to the licensees in the state, and the funds will go to the state,” she said.

The estimated value of the liquor is $1 million, possibly driven up by the value of the antique bottles, which range from 3-liter bottles to half-pints.

One seized bottle dates to 1914, with its seal unbroken. Elks said it is worth $10,000 on the collectors market. Investigators are looking into whether the liquor was being sold for the value of the bottles rather than the whiskey.

"Someone was making a great deal of profit," she said.

Tennessee whiskeys age in charred white oak barrels, but the maturing process that gives them character mostly stops when it is bottled. A bottled whiskey can deteriorate over a long period of time, especially if it is opened or exposed to sunlight and heat.

Christopher Carlsson, a spirits connoisseur and collector in Rochester, N.Y., said old vintages of whiskey in their original containers are highly prized.

"A lot of these bottles are priceless," he said. "It's like having a rare painting. It's heavily collected."

The raids, prompted by a tip, were conducted at two warehouses and a home in Lynchburg, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville. Another raid was at a Nashville hotel room where drinks were being served and bottles were being sold.

For now, the whiskey is being stored in a Nashville vault.

Elks acknowledged that pouring out the whiskey would not be a happy hour for her.

"It'd kill me," she said.

Officials with Jack Daniel’s agree.

“Certainly we would be all in favor of the bottles being auctioned off in some way in which the proceeds could go to charity. We've had some discussions with ABC in Tennessee about that particularly, with the oldest bottle that dates back to 1914,” said Jack Daniel’s spokesman Phil Lynch.

But not everyone’s motives are so noble. Some just wish that enormous stash of Tennessee sipping whiskey could be put to good use.

“There's plenty of deprived drinkers out there who would take it, me being one of them,” said enthusiast Warren Faye.

Attorneys are currently researching Tennessee law to see if the bottles that aren't sold at auction could somehow be preserved for historical purposes.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows - Robert A. Zimmerman
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:20 AM
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This is a dastardly crime, are they out of their minds, 100 year old JD down the drain, a veritable sin in every testament.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:37 AM
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It is a little hard to follow the gist of the crime.

Tom W
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:58 AM
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..."Punish the person, not the whiskey,"...
That's a great line.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:41 AM
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What, Me Worry?
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
Posts: 3,112
Why don't the officials auction off the whiskey, and give the proceeds to charity?
I'm sure that some legal officials could wordsmith their way around it.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. Robert A. Heinlein

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Old 11-17-2007, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Delor View Post
Why don't the officials auction off the whiskey, and give the proceeds to charity?
that right there makes entirely too much sense where any form of government is involved.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:14 PM
1990 500SL
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hawthorn Woods, IL. USA
Posts: 329
Heck let them be pricks, auction it off and use it to pay for the goverment.

Get caught with drugs etc a lot of cities etc take your car and sell it to pay for the sting.

Note the goverment is almost a charity as is, can't afford college we'll give ya money, can't afford a house we'll give ya money, can't afford ... Well give ya .....


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I don't have to respect too many people anymore.
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