I’ll Have a Talisker and Soda – but Make it with Cutty Sark

The Dallas Morning News reports on Operation Bottoms Up which has revealed that numerous Texas watering holes are not always serving the high priced liquor ordered by the customer.

You’ve been warned: The Good Stuff you’re ordering at your favorite bar, restaurant or, um, gentleman’s club could be the cheap stuff.

That’s according to an undercover investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which sampled drinks at 68 licensed establishments across Texas and determined that 21 of them were serving phony pours — “counterfeit liquor,” according to the release. TABC spokesman Chris Porter tells The Dallas Morning News that five of the 21 establishments staring at steep penalties are in North Texas, with one each in Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Mesquite and Addison. He says he can’t name names until formal charges are filed. He also says he can’t reveal what brands were ordered and what brands were actually served, since they don’t have the manufacturers’ permission.

“What we identified in this situation was folks who ordered high-end may not have been receiving what they ordered,” he says. “It could have been rotgut or lesser-quality alcohol. But what they ordered isn’t what they received.” He says the samples involved spirits — vodka, bourbon, rum — but not, say, beer.

Over the years, he says, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has received countless complaints that bars and restaurants are selling the cheap stuff at high-end prices. But until this spring, the TABC had no way to prove it.

“This is the first operation we’ve done like this, because we didn’t have the technology to do something like until early spring,” Porter says. “We receive complaints on a fairly regular basis. Folks will order something that doesn’t taste right, and now that we have the technology to test it, we plan on conducting several operations.”

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