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Posts Tagged ‘qualifications ’

Cougars on Facebook

Clos Lachance has two fairly new wines. CougarJuice and MommyJuice.

In the matter of lusty cougars, Peyton Imports was fairly early, with the Urban Cougar. Perhaps she is real, what with this site exhorting over a million members to:  “Join CougarLife.com and meet great young guys before they’re snatched up.” Foreshadowing that this theme may be over-ripe, or ripe for a trademark lawsuit, Cougar Juice Vodka slinked into the bar a few months ago.

The MommyJuice label also happens to mention Facebook on the back label, prompting TTB to assert that “Information on Facebook and/or Twitter must be in compliance with all labeling and advertising regulations.”

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Beer made with Vodka

This approval shows a tremendous amount of change in eight short years. First of all, it is hard to imagine that the Bureau would ever allow the term “vodka” on a beer label. Somehow I don’t think that would fly in this day and age. Further, the qualification seems to mandate the use of this term, in a particular way. The qualification suggests that the arrangement of the words may lead to controversy, rather than the reference to vodka and a famous vodka brand on a beer label. Pages 12-22 of this document show the controversy.

Second, the product is gone. So is the named agency (that is, the label functions have moved from ATF to TTB). So is the person that approved it. Judy was tremendously helpful and probably had many good reasons to approve this label, in a different era. I wouldn’t want to mention the person, but for the fact that the name is right there and the memories are good.

This is also a good example of a “use-up.” The approval tends to say the label is not ideal but the agency will allow it to be used for six months only. I believe TTB/ATF has allowed use-ups for many, many decades. It is difficult to imagine other agencies allowing this privilege, such as FDA allowing a dubious label but only for a few months, or Customs allowing a dubious origin statement for a few more months. For these reasons, I wanted to highlight the label before it fades further into history.

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flavored malt beverage, vodka


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Too Much Rum in the Jumbie

jumbie

August 28, 2009 was a bad day for Rum Jumbie. In a slew of “approvals,” TTB directed Varela Imports to make “rum” much, much, less conspicuous. TTB said:

When new labels are printed, the word “rum” in your trademark name Rum Jumbie cannot appear more prominent than the Class and type. The [statement of composition] and the words Rum Jumbie must appear in the same color print. … No more use-ups will be granted.

That is, Varela must make their brand name and trademark much less conspicuous because this is not “rum” and the actual designation is “Rum with Natural Flavors.” TTB’s point, essentially, is that Varela is putting far too much rum in the Jumbie. This label emphasizes the rum aspect at least four times.

Jumbie has a trademark, and seems to have argued it here, to not much avail. There is little if any chance that the Trademark Office will come to the rescue and persuade TTB that there is not too much rum in the Jumbie. Also, the above image makes it pretty obvious that the product contains flavor.

It is not clear whether Varela has smashed into an aberration, or an evolving policy. On one hand “rum” is quite prominent and it’s not “rum.” On the other hand, back in 2004, a similar label was good enough under similar rules for the prior importer. Beyond that, spiced rum is in the same category (rum specialties) and it is common on such labels to emphasize the rum.

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distilled spirits specialty


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