Ogden’s Own Distillery, based in Ogden Utah, has been making headlines with it’s Five Wives Vodka. The vodka has been sold in Utah, a state heavily associated with Mormonism, for some time. When Ogden’s Own Distillery decided to bring the vodka to neighboring Idaho, things started to break down. Howard Wasserstein, deputy director of the Liquor Division, stated in a letter that Five Wives was denied distribution in Idaho because the name would be offensive to “a prominent segment” of the Idaho population.
Unfortunately, Wasserstein didn’t specify which population that would be. The assumption was that he meant Mormons, which account for 27% of Idaho’s population. Utah, with a 60% Mormon population, carries the vodka and Idaho carries beer such as Polygamy Porter. That certainly makes Idaho sound like the hypocrite.
Furthermore, Ogden explained that “Five Wives” wasn’t referencing polygamy. Instead, it was referencing a group of settlers comprised of many men and only five women.
However, Idaho State Liquor Division administrator Jeff Anderson said that the Mormon community had no say in the denial of the vodka. The screeners denied the vodka because the vodka wasn’t very good (at least for the price). Anderson told ABC News that there were 106 other vodkas around the $21.95 price point. Apparently Idaho didn’t feel there needed to be a 107th. And that the potential offended population would be women, like the women on staff at the Idaho State Liquor Division, not Mormons.
The five “wives” on the label, it turns out, weren’t wives. Rather they were sisters in a vaudeville troupe that would ask the audience if they wanted to see their lady parts, then reveal that they had cats strapped under their dresses. If you look at the photo, which is supposedly legit, you can even see the cats poking their heads out of the girl’s dresses.
Ogden’s Own Distillery are now considering a First Amendment lawsuit.