Russia Sets Sights on Banning Kentucky Bourbon

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Straight outta Bardstown. Photo: Sazerac/Wikimedia Commons

Fresh off its assault on McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and fruit salads, Russian consumer watchdog group Rospotrebnadzor is now going after Barton 1972 Distillery's Kentucky Gentleman, otherwise known as the "PBR of bourbons." The agency says an incoming shipment of the bargain-basement whiskey, which is 49 percent grain neutral spirits to begin with, tested positive for phthalates, a class of chemicals found in products like shampoo and vinyl blinds, so it's ban time. "As of now we are talking about this distillery only," a spokesperson says. In addition to Bardstown bourbon and McD's burgers, others seem to be feeling the effects of strained diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia: While writing its decision had "nothing to do with politics," Wendy's abruptly announced last week it will shut down its eight Russian outlets. [Spirits Business, Related]