We knew the blowback from western sanctions against Russia would get serious - and Europe is already finding that out the hard way - but Vladmimir Putin appears to have gone 'cruel-and-unusual' in his latest step. As ITAR-TASS reports, Russian consumer-protection agency Rospotrebnadzor will decide in next few days whether to seize Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Honey Liqueur after 'reportedly' finding "suspicious" chemicals in batch of flavored whiskey on sale in Sverdlovsk stores. Luckily Jack Lew has told us this will not impact the US economy (unless of course, you are Jack Daniels).
A regional branch of Russia's state food safety watchdog found "chemical substances not common to whiskey" in Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Liqueur, an agency spokesperson told the ITAR-Tass news agency late last week.
The agency also had issues with the honey-flavored drink's more common sibling, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.
Under Russian law, alcohol packaging should include a list of ingredients written in Russian, the location where it was brewed, and the length of the distilling process — all of which Jack Daniel's lacks, the spokeswoman said.
Responding to suspicions that the whiskey in question may have been fake — state statistics indicate 9.9 million liters of fake whiskey may have been sold in Russia in 2013 — a spokesman for the region's customs service defended the results.
"According to our information, the alcohol products on the Sverdlovsk region market are original," the spokesman said, adding that no imports of counterfeit U.S. alcohol to the region have been recorded for at least a year and a half.
The regional authorities are continuing their inspection and plan to confiscate the Jack Daniel's whisky currently in circulation, the food safety watchdog's spokeswoman said.
Earlier this month, imports of Kentucky Gentleman bourbon, another popular U.S. alcohol brand, were suspended by Russia's consumer protection watchdog. The agency said that it had discovered phthalates — organic chemicals — in the bourbon.
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