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Fireball Cinnamon Falsely Marketed as Whisky, Class Action Alleges

Sazerac Company, Inc. faces a proposed class action that alleges the branding of its Fireball Cinnamon beverage is misleading in that it is almost identical to that of the company’s Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, except the product does not contain whisky.

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The 11-page case explains that the front label of Fireball Cinnamon, often sold at supermarkets and convenience stores in small, 99-cent bottles, appears identical to the brand’s Cinnamon Whisky, save for the word “whisky.” However, unlike Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Fireball Cinnamon is a malt beverage that does not contain distilled spirits and is only flavored to taste like cinnamon whisky, the complaint argues.

“When viewed together with the Fireball distilled spirit brand name, the label misleads consumers into believing it is or contains distilled spirits,” the lawsuit argues, especially since most buyers will not detect this minor label difference.

The filing further charges that a statement on the product’s front label, written in the smallest allowed size, deceptively describes it as a malt beverage “With Natural Whisky & Other Flavors and Caramel Color.” Consumers reading this “clever turn of phrase” will think that the beverage contains “natural whisky” as a separate ingredient as well as other flavors, the complaint says.

The suit argues the product should be labeled more accurately as containing “Natural Whisky Flavors & Other Flavors” because Fireball Cinnamon is a malt beverage created by fermentation with added whisky flavoring.

“[E]ven where a distilled spirit is used to manufacture flavors, it loses its class and type when blended with other ingredients,” the complaint adds.

Per the suit, Sazerac Company has intentionally misrepresented Fireball Cinnamon in order to sell its product at a higher price.

The lawsuit looks to cover anyone in Illinois, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona, South Carolina or Utah who purchased Fireball Cinnamon during the applicable statute of limitations period.

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