If you’ve ever walked into your local gas station and excitedly picked up one, or even a handful of mini Fireball bottles, you might want to sit down for this news. It turns out that the teeny bottles don’t contain any whiskey whatsoever. Like most gas station beverages moonlighting as cocktails or hard liquor, Fireball Cinnamon is actually a malt beverage.
Food & Wine reports that the news was uncovered due to a class-action lawsuit filed by Anna Marquez. The lawsuit, which was filed against Sazerac Company, Inc. (the makers of Fireball), calls out the company for misleading customers with their labeling.
To break it down a bit, there’s Fireball Cinnamon and there’s also Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. The miniature bottles of both offerings look quite similar, but the label for the Fireball Cinnamon states that it’s a “Malt Beverage with Natural Whisky & Other Flavors and Caramel Color.” Additionally, the Fireball Cinnamon alcohol by volume (ABV), which stands at 16.5%, is much lower than the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (33%).
“Using the words ‘With Natural Whisky & Other Flavors’ is a clever turn of phrase because consumers who strain to read this will [not] see how it ‘Natural Whisky’ is distinct from ‘Other Flavors,’” the lawsuit says. “They will think the product is a malt beverage with added natural whisky and other flavors.”
“What the label means to say is that the product contains ‘Natural Whisky Flavors & Other Flavors,’ but by not including the word ‘Flavors’ after ‘Natural Whisky,’ purchasers who look closely will expect the distilled spirit of whisky was added as a separate ingredient,” the lawsuit continues.
Fireball has reportedly fired back at the lawsuit, stating that Fireball Cinnamon can be differentiated from its boozier counterpart by “the words Fireball Cinnamon on the front label, without ‘Whisky.’”
Weekend Editor/Contributing Writer
Danielle Harling is an Atlanta-based freelance writer with a love for colorfully designed-spaces, craft cocktails and online window shopping (usually for budget-shattering designer heels). Her past work has appeared on Fodor’s, Forbes, MyDomaine, Architectural Digest and more.
Source : Esquire