June 30, 2018 – Sydney, Australia

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), has filed suit in Australia against D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd for trademark infringement and deceiving consumers by distributing alcoholic beverages labeled as scotch that were not scotch. The SWA is citing three brands bottled and distributed by D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd. The brands named in the suit are The Black Scot, The Clansmen and J.B.R Scotch Whiskey.

The lawsuit was filed on the heels of an investigative report by Greg Miskelly and Riley Stuart for ABC in which it was revealed that D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd was producing scotch at their Orange, NSW facility. Laboratory tests confirmed that The Black Scot, which is distributed to bars, clubs and retail establishments, did not have the unique chemical compounds associated with authentic scotch.

Scotch Whisky Association @ScotchWhiskySWA sues maker of counterfeit #ScotchWhisky #DrinkSafe Click to Tweet

The Scotch Whisky Association filed suit against D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd and 7 related parties including Mr. Liquor and its website for the distribution of counterfeit scotch. The suit is seeking a damage award as well as an injunction prohibiting the Company from selling any product labelled as scotch.

The label for The Black Scot, says that it is a product of Scotland. During the investigation by Greg Miskelly and Riley Stuart they interviewed employees of D’Aquino Bros and were told that the product was produced and bottled at the Orange, NWS facility.

The Scotch Whisky Association  noted that as a protected product, scotch whisky can only be imported from Scotland. The SWA represents the authentic distillers of scotch whisky who produce 1.2 billion bottles of scotch a year. The SWA stated that they take counterfeit scotch very seriously and seek to stop it throughout the world.

Scotch Whisky Association
Scotch Whisky Association, SWA represents the authentic distillers of Scotch

The case of the Scotch Whisky Association versus D’Aquino Bros is slated for August 3, 2018 at the Federal Court Victoria.

The investigative report by Greg Miskelly and Riley Stuart not only cited The Black Scot as being a counterfeit scotch, it also noted that tequilas distributed by the Company were suspected of not being imported from Mexico. In the interviews with employees of the Company, it was also learned that the tequila brands were produced and bottled at the Orange, NSW facility. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila Is responsible for the protection and authentication of tequila. In light of the investigation by the reporters Greg Miskelly and Riley Stuart the Consejo Regulador del Tequila should also file suit against D’Aquino Bros.

The flagrant misrepresentation of branded protected liquors by D’Aquino Bros destroys the relationship between producer and consumer. It puts the consumers health in jeopardy while making profits from counterfeit products.  

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