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Woodford Reserve’s “200 Flavors” Claim Challenged, Recount Underway

In Banter, Parody by Bob Bennett5 Comments

Editor's Note: This story was originally debuted on the Bourbon & Banter Podcast Episode #9 - Texas Loses Again. We're sharing it with readers of our blog that may not have listened to the podcast. We do hope that all of you will check out the original breaking news story via the podcast as well. 

In what sounds like incredibly ironic timing, Brown Forman is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for its claim that there are more than 200 flavors to be discovered in a bottle of Woodford Reserve KY Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Several complaints were made by consumers from multiple states, among them Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada, of which no one discovered more than 4 flavors.  

Bourbon & Banter was able to secure one of the complaints, made by one, Jay Canoodle, of Columbus, GA.  The document states that despite multiple attempts, Mr. Canoodle was only able to decipher some pedestrian vanilla, caramel, and oak notes from his Woodford purchase. 

FTC agents were seen at the Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, KY, in mid-November, where they demanded the completed research on Woodford’s 200 flavors claim.  They then spent the better part of a week conducting a recount of all tasting notes, which were more than 3,500 in total. 

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The recount determined that indeed there was massive fraud in the initial tally.  The claim originated after the famed Louisville accountant, Candace B. Rittenoff,  calculated all results & informed Brown Forman that more than 200 flavors were detected.  The FTC recount revealed that the results were not tabulated by any actual accountants and that somehow, an employee in the mailroom whose sole responsibility was to inspect incoming packages for dangerous materials & hyper aged whiskey, tallied the results. 

More than 25% of the flavors were the result of misspellings of the word caramel on the tasting notes.  Other errors included 37 different spellings of marzipan and more than 156 flavors that after consulting with the FDA, the FTC determined didn’t exist.  Also worth noting is that the mailroom employee was a recent hire, having spent many years as a circus performer.  He became fond of bourbon just before leaving the circus, after spending time with someone in upper management.   

Brown Forman did not return our initial requests for comment, but Bourbon & Banter’s confidential sources have revealed a new Woodford ad campaign is set to launch soon.  The plan is to bury the 200 flavors campaign and focus on “your favorite flavors in one bottle.”  What exactly that means we have no idea.  Does it taste like lasagna, steak, donuts & ice cream? 

More to come from the most honest team in all of bourbon

For now, please enjoy this rare consumer panel feedback video that we obtain through our super secret insider sources.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Podcast Editor / Sr. Contributor |

The fifteen months Bob Bennett spent living in Lebanon, KY, as a child may have laid the groundwork for what would happen years later (something in the water…literally). Originally from Corning, NY, he grew up in a household where happy hour was celebrated every night. Surprisingly, Bennett didn’t start drinking until he was 23 years old. He quickly made up for lost time, gravitating to bourbon as his preferred libation immediately, and proudly filled the bar that was passed down from his father. In the years that followed, not only did he develop a deeper appreciation for bourbon, but began to cherish the opportunity to talk about the spirit he has grown to love. As the Artistic Director for Jazz St. Louis, Bennett has become the unofficial bourbon ambassador of jazz, spreading the gospel of good taste to musicians everywhere. It also helps endear him to the St. Louis community, which is needed, as bleeding Dodger Blue tends to rub those Cardinal fans the wrong way.
Read Bob's full profile.

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Bob Bennett

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The fifteen months Bob Bennett spent living in Lebanon, KY, as a child may have laid the groundwork for what would happen years later (something in the water…literally). Originally from Corning, NY, he grew up in a household where happy hour was celebrated every night. Surprisingly, Bennett didn’t start drinking until he was 23 years old. He quickly made up for lost time, gravitating to bourbon as his preferred libation immediately, and proudly filled the bar that was passed down from his father. In the years that followed, not only did he develop a deeper appreciation for bourbon, but began to cherish the opportunity to talk about the spirit he has grown to love. As the Artistic Director for Jazz St. Louis, Bennett has become the unofficial bourbon ambassador of jazz, spreading the gospel of good taste to musicians everywhere. It also helps endear him to the St. Louis community, which is needed, as bleeding Dodger Blue tends to rub those Cardinal fans the wrong way. Read Bob's full profile.

  • Avatar Rice says:

    This couldn’t have waited until April 1st? You’re just posting cringey BS all year round now?

  • Avatar Ray Copeland says:

    Haha, I found this article humorous as I am sure it was intended to be. Good for a chuckle on this cold wintery day. Now, for some Woodford Reserve!

  • Avatar Larry Masuoka says:

    clearly this intel leaked from classified documents prior to the official April 1 release date