WhistlePig, the cult rye whiskey company adored by whiskey enthusiasts, is being sued by the company that owns Crop Harvest Earth Organic vodka for using the word “crop” on the label of WhistlePig’s Farmstock whiskey. Here we are America. The litigation frenzy never ends.
Chatham Imports Inc. issued a cease and desist letter to WhistlePig on March 21, according to the Burlington Free Press. According to the letter, the organic vodka has been “widely distributed and well-known throughout the United States” since 2008. In reality, the number of people who would confuse cult whiskey with organic vodka is pretty low. But then again, this is the same country where a woman sued Starbucks for putting too much ice in its iced coffees.
WhistlePig’s Farmstock label states that it’s “Crop No. 001” in reference to the rye used in the whiskey mash. Crop Harvest Earth Organic Vodka also features the word “crop” prominently on the label, although rye isn’t anywhere to be seen. It’s certified organic, and won a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It’s not winning any medals for winnable legal actions, though.
WhistlePig responded to the lawsuit on March 31 basically saying, “nah.” Specifically, according to the Burlington Free Press, the response said that the two liquors are “entirely different in appearance and overall commercial impression.”
Of course, WhistlePig is no stranger to litigation. The former frontman for the company, Raj Bhakta, was accused of fraud and criminal activity. As for this lawsuit, well, it’s a little harder to back up.