Behind the Misleading Claims Fueling America’s Bourbon Boom

Terms such as "small batch," "craft" and "hand-crafted" have no set legal meaning — they are just marketing terms

Bourbon has become increasingly popular across the United States, but many recognizable and artisan American whiskey brands are sourcing their product from massive wholesale distilleries or taking creative liberties in how they market their product — negating claims made to market their brands, NBC News reported

Widow Jane, for example, doesn't distill its most well-known product: 10-year-old straight bourbon (the company is less than 10 years old). It's bought in bulk from a distiller in Kentucky, and the special water they highlight on their bottles doesn't actually come from the Widow Jane Mine itself, just from nearby, sources told NBC News.

Making matters more confusing, terms such as "small batch," "craft" and "hand-crafted" have no set legal meaning — they are just marketing terms. 

Without being fluent in the industry's jargon, it can be "very hard to figure out who’s actually distilling their own whiskey," according to Colin Spoelman, co-founder and master distiller of Kings County Distillery, which distills all its own spirits in Brooklyn.

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