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Back to the Future Dept: Pears, Barbados and the Wolfboy

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:18 am    Post subject: Back to the Future Dept: Pears, Barbados and the Wolfboy Reply with quote

Puff, puff went the Wolfy... blowing, but not a house in sight!

...and who seemingly has yet to find a bottom for the puffery that prevails in the current and very sad environment of made up product. To wit:

Summer Love Spiced Pear Vodka

According to the Frozen One, this one is made by a buddy of one his buddies, the latter who happens to be a next door neighbor. So impressive. Buds of a feather I suppose. According to our well positioned, self-appointed reviewer and reporter - bent over - "Summer Love's" story becomes the product:

A fellow Canadian whose alleged backstory is that he created some of his own fruit-infused vodka, which his friends liked so much that - naturally (think Chip Tate) - this crafty canuck then - of course - per Wolfie "...went (to) distilling school, came home, bought a Christian Carl still, and began looking at leasing property in downtown Calgary for his small distillery. That’s when Mike realized that the economics of his business plan wouldn’t fly."

Please tell me he's kidding. Bought a really expensive Carl still and only then realized he couldn't afford to use it? Really? But of course the Frozen One's bud of a buddy didn't give up. It is said he then hooked up with an outfit called SRL Global Distillers who was engaged as a "a third-party distillery who would produce his recipes to his specifications." It is further alleged the vodka is "distilled 5 times" and uses "real fruit" from Alberta! Wow! Double Bow Wow!! This is the Canadian hook that our cool boy must get woodies over.

Hooky, hooky...

It gets even worse. Turns out the designer of the rather blatant, bottom feeding label is, hello! - "...made by Dean Stanton, a well-known Calgary artist who just happens to my next door neighbor... I like both the bottle and the label which have brought a little warmth and sunshine helping to ease the pain of a long winter which has just turned into a cool Alberta Spring."

Damn, this "Summer Love", jobbed out, quasi-Canadian concoction has everything. An engaging backstory, colorful label, alleged quality and authenticity, and not least - a Canadian connection that the Frozen One simply cannot resist. Sounds good, right? Or is the story too good?


Well you know me. I just can't help being a bit skeptical when faced with this kind of puffery. Failed local boy who messes up, but urp, doesn't give up and bingo! Produces a Canadian based product, allegedly using real local fruit - a pound per bottle is claimed, and a climate warming label produced by yet another Canadian who - double urp - just happens to be the Frozen One's neighbor.

How incestuously Canadian. And let's not forget the unsubstantiated (and typical) claim of in this case, "5 times distilled" vodka. Ho hum.

Enter Mr. Google

I first found a link to the not-really-the distiller, producer of "Summer Love" products, the local rising star...

" At Summer Love Vodka, we salute the pursuit of happiness. We aim to combine our passion for good drink, fresh picked fruit and berries, and the amazing Canadian summer.

Our mission is to capture summer in a bottle and share the love with Albertan communities. This means delivering all-natural fruit vodkas to you, and supporting our #sharethelove partners."

Couldn't be more local, but the Summer Love website says little more than this puffy paragraph. No details, no pictures of stills, no description of process. Just a short blurb for "now available in stores". Whew!

Next up was a search for the Wolfies' reported actual producer, SRL Global Distillers. And this is where the real and until now, unreported backstory begins.

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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So just how Canadian is "Summer Love"?

Not much. Let's review: "Summer Love" has a lovely Canadian backstory, bout a local canookie who created a real fruit infused vodka for his buds, who liked it so much, that he spent big bucks on an alleged (and expensive) Carl still - but only then discovered he couldn't afford to make his exciting new product, and so........

....he jobbed it out to an outfit named SRL Global Distillers, allegedly maded to his alleged recipe, using allegedly real fruit, to an alleged pound per bottle. Oh my, that really IS a story.

So how Canadian can this jobbed out creation be?

Well let's start here. A google of SRL reveals the company is not based in Canada, not in the US, but in Barbados of all places. Second, I learned that SRL itself has a rather checkered past and present, namely they appear to be involved in a nasty lawsuit. And for what?

For producing a cheepo, rip off alleged copy of a much better established, yes, flavored vodka. Hoo boy! Apparently there's a company "Crosby develops various spirits, including its highly successful KINKY® Liqueur." A skim of the lawsuit shows that "Kinky" seems to be a rather successful mid shelf fruit flavored liqueur (made with vodka). Further, they claim that SRL established and owns a cover company called "Minhas" in Wisconsin. And why the lawsuit?

"Crosby brings this lawsuit because Minhas has embarked on an unlawful campaign to lure customers into purchasing its fruit-infused vodka liqueur under the mistaken belief that it comes from, is sponsored by, or is associated or affiliated with the
KINKY® brand, Crosby’s highly successful line of fruit-infused vodka liqueurs."

Please be SURE to check the link and check out page 2 of the lawsuit, and you'll see pictures of the two bottles which should illustrate just how blatant the rip appears to be. Amazing.

There's even more...

In yet another seeming deception, the very same SRL/Minhas has engaged in yet another faux Canadian schema, this time making and promoting what appears to be a small and local Canadian beer (thus earning Canadian subsidies) but which seems anything but that. Per the Huffington Post:

"Case in point: the ongoing saga in Alberta involving Calgary-based Minhas Craft Brewery. Minhas employs a PR strategy in which it fancies itself as a hometown David going up against a pair of ruthless, foreign-owned Goliaths in the form of Labatt and Molson."

"Minhas likes to position his brewery as an all-Canadian little guy taking on the world, when one examines this brewery a little more closely, such is hardly the case... For starters, as previously reported, all the Minhas brewing jobs are actually located in Monroe, Wisconsin. That wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that Minhas has its beer taxed at a lower rate than the big breweries (which actually employ Canadians.)"

"The bottom line? Minhas beer is brewed in the U.S., subsidized in Alberta, and sheltered from taxes in Barbados. Some local hero."

Minhas/SRL's response to this brouhaha seems to be opening an actual - tiny (5000sqft) - brewery so as to be able to get Canadian subsidies, while continuing to brew almost all their beer in Wisconsin.

Bottom Line:

How and why the Wolfboy either fails to investigate the "Canadian" boy heroes he purports to know, or to even care remains a mystery. The problem of reviewers who grow to depend on the conveyor belt of freebies, and who seemingly love to promote their "inside" knowledge and relationships seems ever growing.

I just have to find my hip boots...

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