Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Why the George Remus Bourbon Brand Is a Terrible Idea


Murderer George Remus and his victim, in happier times. (1907)
This is a tease post for the latest issue of The Bourbon Country Reader, where we cover the Remus issue in some detail, but I won't make you subscribe to get the payoff.

George Remus was a criminal, a crook who happened to deal in whiskey. He was caught, convicted, and imprisoned. He was also a murderer and the victim was his wife.

The violence against women aspect makes the Remus story particularly problematic for the brand. From social media and other sources, it appears some consumers like that part of the lore. “Bitch had it coming,” is the common sentiment. 

MGP/Luxco, the company that sells George Remus Bourbon, has done nothing to encourage this, but when that kind of noise is attached to your brand, it can only end badly.

In principle and in general, it is a bad idea to link legal businesses to criminals and crime, but it is an especially bad idea for makers and sellers of alcohol.

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But wait, there's more! 

Also in this issue, "Tennessee Whiskey. It's Not Just Jack Daniel's Anymore," in which we survey recent goings-on in the Volunteer State. Also, expansion at Wilderness Trail, and whiskey distilleries making a green walnut liqueur. 

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frederic said...

Considering Luxco continues to market Rebel Yell Bourbon with its name and ad campaign historically tied to the Confederacy, it's not too shocking.

Sam Komlenic said...

Frederic, Luxco rebranded Rebel Yell as simply 'Rebel' a while back.

frederic said...

Rebel or Rebel Yell as a name doesn't shake the pro-slavery roots of its original marketing.