Will Scotch in a Can Get the Four Loko Treatment?

Here is a product that seems designed to make the heads of FTC bureaucrats and state attorneys general explode: Scotch in a can. And I'm not talking about Scotch aleThe Huffington Post's Ben Muessig reports that a company called Scottish Spirits Imports plans to sell its 80-proof "single grain scotch whisky" in 12-ounce cans. That's the alcohol equivalent of 1.7 Four Lokos or eight beers (assuming an alcohol content of 5 percent). Worse, the containers are nonresealable, although "Scottish Spirits hopes to begin shipping the cans with an attachment that allows them to be resealed." (Under pressure from the FTC, Phusion Projects, which makes Four Loko, agreed to sell it only in resealable containers as of April.) Scottish Spirits says the eight shots per can are meant to be sipped and shared, not guzzled by one person. "They'll crack it open and pour it with Coke or some kind of mixer," says Ken Rubenfeld, the company's vice president of operations, "and have fun with it with their friends." If the container did not tip you off, that scenario probably tells you all you need to know about the quality of this product.

It still might be classy enough to avoid trouble with federal regulators, whose main complaint about Four Loko was not its caffeine (since removed but contained in many other alcoholic beverages that remain on the market), its Chardonnay-level alcoholic strength, or the size of its cans (23.5 ounces) but rather its garish marketing aimed at "young adults" looking to get drunk cheaply, quickly, and easily. Scottish Spirits 3-Year-Old Single Grain Scotch Whisky, which will sell for about $5 a can (pricier, per ounce of pure ethanol, than Four Loko), seems intended for an older, if not wiser, demographic than the fruity, bubbly, neon-colored malt beverage. "A lot of people like to have beverages by their pool, on their boat, in a campground, at sporting events or tailgate parties," Rubenfeld explains. "It's easier to bring a six-pack of a beverage versus bringing a bottle of scotch."

Just to be clear: Although I do not care for Four Loko and probably will not start carrying my Scotch around in six-packs, such choices should be left to consumers, not paternalistic prosecutors or busybody bureaucrats. I suspect Scottish Spirits will have more luck in that respect than Phusion Projects did, for reasons that have more to do with taste than public safety.

[Thanks to Max Minkoff for the tip.]

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  • Alison Brie Running||

    Off topic: cops are thugs!

  • Xenocles||

    Actually that's pretty much always on topic.

  • Max||

    Oh, it's so good to know that you don't kow-tow to paternalistic prosecutors or busybody bureaucrats. Who do you think gives a flying fuck outside libertoid circle, you stupid shit?

  • Alison Brie Running||

    Who are you yelling at?

  • Alison Brie Running||

    And do you need a hug?

  • AlmightyJb||

    You prolly want to wear a containment suit for that:)

  • Bear||

    I've got one for him. C'mere, Maxie.

  • Dylboz||

    Isn't someone going to type ARF ARF ARF ARF!?!

  • MaxiPup||


  • Hey MaxiPad||

    Why in the fuck do YOU care? That can is in the shape of you-know-who's KOCH so shove it in your ear.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... you're in favor of this sort of thing.

    Right, Max?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the container did not tip you off, that scenario probably tells you all you need to know about the quality of this product.

    Hey, no judgments here.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Personally, I think it's wonderful... but mostly because a local radio station used to run fake ads for "Heinie Winery," makers of Heinie Wine, the wine in a can. Located in beeayoutiful downtown Short Pump.

  • Britt||

    Why have I never heard these ads? Because I understand why beautiful down town Short Pump is in fact a joke.

  • ||

    Me too. I avoid Short Pump at all costs.

  • Dylboz||

    I like how it is cleverly called "single grain," not "single malt." Nice marketing ploy for a blended whiskey which can only ever be made from barley. Although, the crappier Scotch sold in America is often cut with grain alcohol and water (aka Vodka).

  • protefeed||

    I'm guessing that the people knowledgeable enough about Scotch to know the good stuff aren't gonna be fooled by that "single grain" crap. I mean, just having it in a can is warning enough.

  • ||

    "Oh, this is the best pizza in a cup ever. This guy is unbelievable. He ran the old Cup 'o Pizza guy out of business. People come from all over to eat this."

  • ||

    Where does it say single grain? As far as I can see, the can only says "blended scotch", which means that it contains both grain and malt whiskies. Labeling laws in the UK are pretty strict on what you can call your whisky.

    Interestingly, there are some single grain scotch whiskies out there and they are generally pretty expensive.

  • ||

    Ah, I see it's on the website for the company. It's not a trick. They offer a single malt, a single grain and a blend. Those are all real types of scotch whisky.

  • protefeed||

    The expensive ones are single MALT.

  • Zeb||

    No, you are wrong. Most of the more expensive Scotch is indeed single malt. But single grains also exist and can be quite pricey. See: http://www.planetwhiskies.com/grainwhiskies.html.

  • chris||

    All they had to do to make it multi-grain was throw in a loaf of pumpernickel bread into the vat, but sounds like they are too cheap to do even that much effort.

  • Zeb||

    "Single" means from a single distillery.

  • Bok Sux||


  • ||

    Good call with the Old Chub, Sullum. It is quite tasty. The scotch in a can however, I'd buy just to see a real scotch snob's head asplode.

  • Jeffersonian||

    But what about da chilrunzz?

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    High officials who are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Trilateral Commission & the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Phil G.||

    I write about Brazilian cachaca every so often. One of my finds is a pop-top 12oz can of the stuff with a neoprene lid.

    Regulators may say that it discourages consumption all in one sitting. For me, it means that less alcohol is lost to evaporation if you leave it on a table at a party. YMMV.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I used to make it my goal to polish off a bottle of 51 or Velho Barreiro before turning in at night.

  • AuH20||

    Oh liver! I have a new friend for you to play with!

  • ||

    The liver is evil and deserves to be punished!

  • rather||

    onetime I drank scotch and stared at a plaid kilt and then a snake jumped out and scared me.

  • ||

    True story: When Cisco first came out it was marketed like a wine cooler. So a friend of mine guzzled down a couple each when we found it on the store shelves. It as nasty tasting skizz, but not that much worse than Bartles and James. So we ended up pretty damned sick. I hadn't been sick drunk since my 21st birthday. I could easily imagine some teenager dying of this stuff unaware of how loaded it was.

    So while my libertarianism is about a mile wide, there is a tiny part of me that doesn't show much sympathy towards these kinds of drinks.

    Perhaps a label on the side with 72pt font: WARNING 40% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME!!!11!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I don't see kids chugging down cans of this stuff. If there is one who can, I'd like to shake his/her hand.

  • Xenocles||

    It's illegal to sell any alcohol to a teenager everywhere in the US, and in every place in the US I've lived it's illegal to supply alcohol to a teenager or allow one to consume it. That's about all the state interference this situation needs, if even that much.

  • El Commentariosa||

    And yet somehow kids are still getting alcohol.

  • Dick Durbin||

    But... but... it needs to be made illegaler!!!

  • kiwi dave||

    if only the Feds could find a way to presuade people not to drink even though it's illegal for them to buy alcohol. Actually, scratch that, they did think of it already:


  • ||


    it's legal in many jurisdictions for parents to supply alcohol to their OWN children (usually only in their residence)

    supplying it IN EXCESS can be illegal, but mere alcohol is legal.

    i started drinking wine at 14 and i turned out ok... :l

    also, iirc "bona fide" religious ceremonies (however that is defined) are also exempt, but again the liquor has to be provided in small quantities

  • ||

    oops, my bad. i reread your comment, and noticed it did not say what i thought it said

    apo-pologies sir

  • Xenocles||

    It's cool, although since you're in WA what you said is probably true about Kitsap, where I lived last. So thanks.

  • ||

    well, you did become a cop. May lessons be learned.

  • ||

    yes. more people need to drink wine at an early age.

    granted, if not a cop, it would have been rock star or lawyer.

    maybe the world is better off

  • ||

    it would have been rock star or lawyer.

    maybe the world is better off

    One Bryan Adams is more than enough.

  • np||

    Interestingly, in most EU countries, you can buy alcohol for teens, like at a restaurant, and in several countries, they can buy it themselves depending on alcohol content (e.g. beer, wine)

  • NippoMan||

    In Japan, one can buy hard liquor from a vending machine. Yet, somehow Japan is not overrun with lushes.

  • l0b0t||

    This! I had my very first Suntory whiskey in a can from a vending machine in Roppongi back in 1985. Nice to see the US is almost ready to move into the 20th century.

  • Xenocles||

    They are clearly marketing to children. Look at the can. It says "3 years old," which is obviously a description of their target market. And look at the cartoon lions - they're probably trying to come up with the next Joe Camel or something.

  • Dick Durbin||

    Next thing you know, they'll be smoking candy-flavored cigars while chugging on cans of scotch. We MUST do something!

  • Jeffersonian||

    How about you go put your mouth on the exhaust pipe of a bus, asshole?

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George H.W. Bush & leftist Sen. John Kerry, Congress's Mr. New Money.

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    I have unmasked the plot for world government, world money, and world central banking.

  • kiwi dave||

    shiny gold and green can; bright colours. Anyway, they must be aiming for kids, no adult should be drinking blended scotch, let alone anything they sell in a can.

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shut the fuck up.

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    Tax dollars are the foundation of the New World Order, the international equivalent of the welfare state.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Is there a point to this?

  • ||

    If you lived the past decade stroking a 4 inch war-boner, or living off of checks from uncle sugar what kind of schizoid panic would a possible Ron Paul presidency send you into?

    This is what we're dealing with, and it's only going to get worse.

  • capitol p-ing my pants||

    zomg. that was funny.

  • Xenocles||

    Johnnie Walker's offering are mostly blend, and Black Label and up are quite nice.

  • Zeb||

    There are many quite excellent blended scotches. You may prefer malts, but blended whiskies are in no way inherently an inferior product (there are some pretty terrible malts too).

  • phah||

    Those lions are meant to look like drunk cougars, thereby encouraging kids to get their friends' moms drunk and pliable. Oh, the humanity!

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    With the prospect of George [HW] Bush following Jimmy Carter as a Trilateralist chief executive, it's time to re-examine this organization.

  • Binky||

    No true Scotsman would drink that stuff.

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    THREAT LEVEL 1 is the final & most dangerous level that your will face. A full-scale riot erupts with looting, arson & wanton attacks.

  • Attila the Huh||


  • rather||

    They will ban this first.  This one is more for the children than a can of pop scotch

  • barfman||


  • Bill Clinton||

    One ice cream bar is = one cocktail, and something really cool to lick during out hot summers.

    I'll give you something good to lick.

  • ||

    "A lot of people like to have beverages by their pool, on their boat, in a campground, at sporting events or tailgate parties," Rubenfeld explains. "It's easier to bring a six-pack of a beverage versus bringing a bottle of scotch."

    For NO GLASS CONTAINERS ALLOWED situations, apparently; not such a bad idea, marketing-wise.

  • Mr. Yuck||

    "[Insert Clever Name Here]: The Beverage in a Colostomy Bag"

  • Canadian Clipper||

    [Insert Clever Name Here]

    Bitter End?

    Tufta Taik?

  • Herm DeSpurm||


  • Bingo||

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Perfect thing to take to the pool.

    Although the generic stuff at the grocer's is a better bang for the buck at $6 for a fifth and usually comes in a plastic bottle anyways.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Yeah I didn't get the point of this until I read that. It does make some sense now.

  • ||

    What Voros said...except, what Bingo said.

  • l0b0t||

    It would be a perfect product for New Orleans. We have no open container laws but we do have bans on public consumption from GLASS containers.

  • ||

  • ||

    *shakes fist at squirrels*

    Perhaps a label on the side with 72pt font: WARNING 40% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME!!!11!

    Or the more succinct FLAMMABLE LIQUID.

  • Herm DeSpurm||

    IIRC, alcohol causes cancer.

    I mean, in children.

  • Alan Kellogg||

    Anything that can be guzzled will be guzzled.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Freedom means freedom for the Scotch we hate.

    But Scotch in a can? Ach, it's nae right!

  • I love scotch||

    Nothing like a cold can of scotch at the ball game!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There is nothin' I like better than sitting in front of the TV in my underwear, scratching my nuts with one hand and holding a can of scotch in the other, while watching the football game. *belch!*

  • rather||

    Are you flirting with epi?

  • SIV||

    $5 for 12 oz of low-grade 80 proof scotch seems like a deal. How bad can it be? It isn't made from sugarcane waste like that generic white liquor they sell in Florida.

  • protefeed||

    The company's website is hilarious -- sounds like their ad copy was written by a foreign ESL student with an advanced case of Asperperger's Syndrome.

    "We're number one in the Cayman Islands!"

  • silver haze||

    Reminds me of that scene in European Vacation:


  • envious of the young||

    Damn! Kids have it so good these days. All the super cool toys, the bounce houses, the limitless internet porn. And now this, scotch in a can. That would have been soooo great on my youthful backpacking trips.

  • rather||

    and the new popsicle that will make people go really Loko

  • ||

    Seems like a pretty good plan to me dude. Wow.


  • ||

    too bad I over did my tolerance for alcohol and the pleasures it gave is history for me if I want to continue living.

  • ||

    This won't be sold in the US in this format. TTB only allows certain approved sizes for spirits: 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, Liter, 1.75L, etc.

  • rather||

    No, they allow popsicles laden with alcohol

  • ||

    This company is a joke. They take neutral spirits and splash them with some flavorings and are able to call the swill that results "Scotch whisky" due to crappy labeling requirements in the countries they sell it in. The Scotch Whisky Association has moved against these clowns before.

  • ||

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  • Some Guy||

    This article needs more Ron Burgundy.

  • t||

    Will there be a cask strength edition also?


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