Whiskey in a can causes controversy even before it hits shelves

Continuing the theme of crazily alcoholic beverages in cans, Panama-based Scottish Spirits LTD is now offering whiskey in 12-ounce cans. That's eight shots, apparently intended to be shared by three people.

And we thought Four Loko was bad...

The product is not yet available in the United States, as the company is in the process of adapting the product's labeling in accordance with each country's food and liquor laws, but when it arrives, the suggested retail price will be $5 a can.

But it turns out the cans are creating less controversy than the company's name.

While Scottish Spirits is a Panama-based company, it maintains an office in Glasgow, Scotland, from which to distribute several types of spirits, predominantly whiskey. (A glance at the company's offerings--cheesily labeled bottles with names like John Bow and Imperial Famous--suggests Scottish Spirits traffics mostly in premium-brand knockoffs.)

The company has been careful to clarify that, despite its company's name, the spirits are not produced in Scotland, and therefore not Scotch whiskey, and not to be marketed as such. Even so, the Daily Mail recently reported that the Scotch Whisky Association may try to ban the cans due to their breach of international labeling rules.

Whiskey expert Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, commented to the Mail that whiskey is sold on draught in Chicago and in plastic sachets in Uganda, so the cans are not that shocking. He also noted that Scotch spends some time in metal containers during the distillation process but that keeping it in aluminum cans for too long could affect its flavor.

Of bigger concern to Murray was the spirits' quality: He said he tastes roughly 3,000 whiskeys a year and has never come across the Scottish Spirits brands.

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