Business

Booze Chief Sensitive To LDS Polygamy

The Washington Post features a local AP story in Today’s edition that’s sure to make the Leno and Letterman monologues.

Seems there is a new Vodka product on the market called FIVE WIVES.

Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson said the brand is offensive to Mormons who make up over a quarter of Idaho’s population and refuses to sell the product.

Regulators in Idaho notified Elite Spirits Distributor that the brand’s concept is “offensive to a prominent segment of our population and will not be carried,” according to a letter sent Thursday.

“The bottom line is, we represent everybody,” Anderson added Tuesday. “It’s masterful marketing on their part. But it doesn’t play here.”

If Anderson is worried about cutting into Vodka sales to local Mormons, he should check up on church doctrine. We’ll take a chance here and speculate the Church probably has more concerns over the fact the state sells booze than the name of the product.

The big question from barkeepers now: “Would you prefer a GREY GOOSE or FIVE WIVES?”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. What about “Polgamy Porter ” beer already being sold?

  2. What ever happened to separation of church and state? Seems to me the booze boss has stepped WAY over the line. I’m sure this violates the state constitution.

    Some people are allowed to break the laws of our state. Just ask John McGee who got away with GRAND THEFT AUTO! Or Dave Case who seems to have gotten away with ILLEGALLY RUNNING FOR OFFICE! Or the operators Les Bois Park who ILLEGALLY BRAODCAST GREYHOUND RACES FIVE DAYS A WEEK! But if you or I do something wrong? Yeah, you get the picture!

    EDITOR NOTE–You’re off topic. Do you want Five Wives or a Grey Goose? Dave Case may be able to give you both. :-)

  3. Ok, let me get this straight. The stuff is MADE IN UTAH and this guy is afraid the Mormons will be offended? Statements like this make Forrest Gump look like Albert Einstein!

  4. and who’s in charge of Les Bois?

  5. Grumpy ole guy
    May 29, 2012, 7:09 pm

    too funny! Stuff like this just can’t be made up.

  6. three hints. isp

  7. You just have to love the intolerance at all levels inspired by the LDS dominated legislature in Idaho. I am fairly certain a phone call was made to the director of the liquor dispensary and FIVE WIVES was no longer on the shelves.

  8. much a-do about nothing…..the state said the vodka was not unique and just average, so the company hopes to make up for the lost sales with lame t-shirts. Not uncommon for average companies to create edgy marketing to sell what will not sell itself.

    On a person note, I am personally offended, I have trouble keeping my three wives satisfied, much less 5. I find the notion offensive that I am taking the easy way out with only three.

  9. 5 Husbands Rum does not go down as smooth.

  10. Here is a history of the ladies on the label. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrison_Sisters

    The distiller was quote as saying the “5 Wives” was named for the 5 women of the Bartleson -Bidwell Party (Early pioneers).

    Seems no relation to the LDS church at all. I do understand the vodka section being overcrowed. Why do we need another middle of the road vodka? Because of the cute label? I do think it should be available for special order.

  11. Sounds like the State could/should be sued over this and get bit, just like Boise county.

    Shall we make fun now about what LDS means? I bet if we did that the Gardian would be banished from Idaho too.

  12. This is really all the argument we need to get the State out of the booze business. We need to actually participate in the 21st century. No wonder the Chinese don’t want to build busses here, they must be afriad they will have to join the LSD church. ( Sorry Zippo, I couldn’t resist!)

  13. idahocrystal
    May 30, 2012, 6:53 am

    Perhaps Mr. Anderson simply needs a history lesson – But then again, it’s not unusual for a public servant to put their ignorance on display.

    Or maybe he’s more of a fan of the Arrogant Bastard Ales?

    (I’m pretty sure Mormons are offended by vodka in general…)

  14. Pablo Hernandez
    May 30, 2012, 8:10 am

    Since I do not like Vodka in general I think someone should distill Brigham’s Bourbon!

  15. I’m a practicing “Mormon” – my 2 cents:
    – I’m not offended by liquor in general, although I don’t imbibe. I AM offended when people get liquored up and hurt other people… happens all the time.
    – I’m amused about the “5 Wives” brand. Never would’ve even known about it, if it weren’t for the “controversy.” Can you imagine the nagging if some guy with five wives was sittin’ around drinkin’ vodka?

    For the record – although polygamy is indeed part of Mormon history and lore, it has been grounds for excommunication for more than 100 years. (Offshoots of the Mormon Church still practice it.)

    Some might be offended by a brand name. We choose to be offended; some folks’ primary mission in life seems to be taking offense at as many things as possible. I feel bad for them.

  16. Polygamy is very common in the world, just look at the President’s family. Perhaps we Americans are not tolerant enough.

    Perhaps this is not about the label/name and more about a lobby effort which fell short? More sniffing and digging please!

  17. Yes we should privatize liquor sales in Idaho, there is no argument other than lucrative economics for the state to run alcohol sales.

    Last time I was in Vegas (for a bible study conference) Costco was selling liquor for about half what it sells for in Idaho (on a per ounce basis for buying in bulk the costco way) plus Costco had highly ranked store brands of Vodka and Tequila.

    Google Grey Goose Costco lawsuit, a lot of controversy that the Costco Kirkland Vodka is made by the same manufacturer of Grey Goose (Same plant, same equipment, same water source, same process, but a slight change in formula to legally differentiate) but sold for about half the cost.

  18. An obvious case of state sponsored censorship of free speech. If the Mormons are so F-ing offended maybe they should stay out of the liquor stores.

    Look for Ustick Brewing’s next brew either “Moroni’s golden pale ale” or “Mountain Meadow Massacre IPA”

  19. My letter to the Deputy Director Procurement,Distribution & Retail
    howard.wasserstein@liquor.idaho.gov
    Mr Wasserstein,

    As an Idahoan, I find your rejection of 5 Wives Vodka to be offensive. The country sees this kind of stuff and Idaho once again becomes the backward state.

    5 Wives Vodka is a fine regional product that a prominent segment of our population would be proud to have on our shelves.

  20. Keep in mind Ronnie that the state employee assumed mormons would be offended, there have been mormon posts on this and Idaho Statesman in favor of the beverage.

    What I think we have here is a case of a state employee, encouraged by a government system, to be overly politicaly correct.

    Good intentions gone a bit over-board.

  21. JJ, You are probably right. But whatever their reasoning I feel their actions are misguided. Whether through political correctness, ignorance or prejudice doesn’t matter. It’s important we give them the feedback they so obviously require.
    I also sent an email to his boss Jeff.Anderson@liquor.idaho.gov

  22. I see that now the 5 Wives guy (the distiller down Utah way) is threatening to sue the state because his rights to free expression have supposedly been violated.

    While the notion of a lawsuit is ludicrous, he should thank his lucky stars for all this free publicity.

    (He also said his “vodka” is made from wheat and corn. No spuds. So even if it was sold in the state-run liquor store, I’d hope people in the Famous Potato State would choose authentic potato vodka instead!)

  23. Karen Ragland
    May 31, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Ya just gotta love Mormons. I suggest a Geneology Gin. It can be put on the shelf beside the Five Wives vodka.

  24. Rod in SE Boise
    May 31, 2012, 8:18 pm

    The State of Idaho has no business regulating alcoholic beverages in any way. Same goes for cities and counties.

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