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Kentucky ABC raids two Justins' House of Bourbon locations, bourbon bottles seized

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Jan 19, 2023

(LEX 18) — Justins’ House of Bourbon is being investigated by the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. On Tuesday, they inspected both locations in Lexington and Louisville. Jake Kratzenberg, creator of The Bourbon Flight, says this doesn't look good for local secondary bourbon markets.

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He says, "Vintage bottles can be sold and bought on the secondary market and Justins’ House of Bourbon has been one of the leaders in Kentucky, for that corner, for bourbon enthusiasts. So, it is definitely a shame."

Kentucky ABC says they received several complaints saying the retailer had several violations for improper acquisition, possession, transport, and sale of bourbon — including vintage distilled spirits. Kratzenberg explains that bourbon enthusiasts want to know that they are getting what they paid for.

"Kentucky relies on bourbon so much. It's such a huge industry for us, the last thing we would want is somebody or somebody outside of Kentucky to feel like they're not getting what they purchased,” says Kratzenberg.

In a statement, the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet says that as a part of that investigation, several bottles of bourbon and some other items were taken and suspected of improper sale and purchase.

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The PPC says that while investigations continue, both locations' alcohol licenses will stay active. Justins' House of Bourbon made a statement on Facebook:

Although it's not completely clear why the House of Bourbon was inspected, Kratzenberg says buyers should always be cautious.

He says, "Use the information that's out there. Right now, with all the bourbon websites that are out there, you can go to the thebourbonflight.com, we have it on there too — how to check your Bourbon to make sure. And just, I guess, just be wary. That's the biggest thing is be wary of what you're purchasing. Validate everything."

Kentucky ABC says they regularly inspect licensees to make sure they're compliant with industry statutes and regulations.