Followup on Five Wives Vodka flap

A few days ago, I reported ("Idaho joins ranks of the nanny states") that the Idaho Liquor Control Division has banned the sale of Utah-made Five Wives Vodka because its title may offend Mormons whose religion once allowed polygamy.

Part of the fallout from that ludicrous position -- polygamy has been outlawed since the 1800s -- was the possibility that the distiller, Ogden's Own Distillery, was considering withdrawing as a sponsor of the upcoming Boise Music Festival.

However, the distiller reconsidered after seeing a lot of public support for their product in Idaho. More than 1,000 T-shirts emblazoned with "Free the Five Wives" have been sold in the past few days. The company said it will use the proceeds to help underwrite the music festival at the original level of commitment. It will continue selling the T-shirts online.

"We are absolutely humbled by the support of the people in our neighboring state," said Steve Conlin, partner and vice president of marketing for Ogden's Own Distillery told the Idaho Statesman. "We've sold so many T-shirts to Idaho residents that we think it is only fair to give those proceeds back in sponsorship dollars. We feel bad that we can't get the shirts out fast enough."

Due to many state laws, the company cannot ship directly, but is hoping to have an online distributor available in 26 states early next week.

Ogden's Own is a micro-distillery located in Ogden, UT, the city's first licensed distillery since the 1800s. Its first product, Underground Herbal Spirit, won a Double Gold award at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Incidentally, the vintage photo used on the label of Five Wives is of an old, scandalous vaudeville group, not a group of Mormon wives. The Salt Lake Tribune did some digging to get the background on the story. A fun read, available here.

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