HomeSipWhiskeyKentucky ABC Raids Popular Vintage Whiskey Stores: Justins’ House of Bourbon

Kentucky ABC Raids Popular Vintage Whiskey Stores: Justins’ House of Bourbon

by Jim Casey
KY ABC Raids Vintage Whiskey Stores: Justins' House of Bourbon
photo by Outsider

Kentucky’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted inspections at two Justins’ House of Bourbon locations on Jan. 17. Justins’ retail locations in Louisville and Lexington, which are well-known in the bourbon-sphere for legally re-selling rare and vintage bottles, were inspected after the ABC “received complaints alleging several violations associated with Justin’s House of Bourbon for the improper acquisition, possession, transport, and sale of bourbon, including Vintage Distilled Spirits,” according to a statement Outsider received from the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet.

During the inspections, “numerous bottles of bourbon and other items of evidence were seized associated with suspected improper purchasing and sale of these products.”

Industry expert Fred Minnick initially broke the story.

Kentucky House Bill 100

The raids have generated plenty of interest, both on the state and national level—not to mention “bourbon” level. It’s believed this is the first major enforcement action under Kentucky’s 2017 House Bill 100.

Essentially, the Bill made it legal for a licensed business to re-sell vintage distilled spirits purchased from a non-licensed person. Of course, there were a number of caveats to the Bill, including a cap on how many bottles (24) a non-licensed person could sell in a year, and requiring the name/address/phone number of both the licensed business and non-licensed individual. The licensed business was also responsible for notifying the Kentucky ABC about the purchase.

photo by Outsider

The secondary bourbon market is big business—both legally and illegally. On the illegal front, it’s why you can’t legally sell alcohol on eBay or Facebook. However, the gist of House Bill 100 made it legal in Kentucky for an individual to sell an unopened collectible/vintage bottle to a licensed store, which could then legally sell it to the general public.

While the investigation continues, all alcohol licenses issued to both locations of Justin’s House of Bourbon remain active.

Full Statement: KY Public Protection Cabinet

On Tuesday, January 17, the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted inspections at two retail locations of Justin’s House of Bourbon. One located at 101 West Market Street, Louisville, KY. And the other located at 601 West Main Street, Lexington, KY.  ABC received complaints alleging several violations associated with Justin’s House of Bourbon. For the improper acquisition, possession, transport, and sale of bourbon, including Vintage Distilled Spirits. 

Under KRS 241.090, Kentucky ABC may inspect any premises where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, sold, stored, or otherwise trafficked in, without first obtaining a search warrant and may confiscate any contraband property. We routinely conduct inspections of our licensees to ensure their compliance with all statutes and regulations governing the alcohol industry. 

As result of Tuesday’s inspections, numerous bottles of bourbon and other items of evidence were seized associated. With suspected improper purchasing and sale of these products. While investigations are ongoing, all alcohol licenses issued to both locations of Justin’s House of Bourbon remain active.

Outsider.com