Idaho bans Five Wives Vodka as label deemed offensive to Mormons - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Idaho bans Five Wives Vodka as label deemed offensive to Mormons

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Ogden's Own Distillery's Five Wives Vodka ( Ogden's Own Distillery's Five Wives Vodka (
BOISE, Idaho -

Idaho's liquor authority refused to allow the sale of Ogden's Own Distillery's Five Wives Vodka, deeming its label to be offensive to women and Mormons.

The label depicts five women dressed in 19th century garb hoisting up their petticoats to below their waist with kittens peeking out, which some claim is spoofing the Mormon church's polygamy past.

Idaho State Liquor Division Director Jeff Anderson told FOX affiliate KSTU on Tuesday that the image was "in poor taste and offensive to women and Mormons."

Anderson also said the $21.95 product was not different enough to compete in an already crowded market.

Though Wasatch Brews' Polygamy Porter ale is sold in Idaho, Anderson explained that the sale of beer and wine is not state controlled.

The owner of Ogden's Own, Tim Smith, has claimed the name "Fives Wives" does not allude to polygamy. He said it was inspired by an event that occurred before the arrival of Mormon pioneers -- the 1841 Bartleson–Bidwell wagon that included 66 men and five women, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Smith said, "We're not trying to offend anyone. It's just a cute historical photograph we found on the internet."

On its website, the distillery said it is readying for a "First Amendment fight over our right to sell our product to customers who have requested it."

To raise awareness and funds, the Ogden, Utah-based firm is selling "Free the Five Wives" T-shirts and shot glasses. One T-shirt shows the five women behind bars, while the other has "Banned in Idaho!" emblazoned across it.

Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has no such problem with the vodka, and passed it for sale in state-controlled liquor stores.

According to Steve Conlin from Ogden's Own, the majority of the product's $85,000 annual sales occur in Utah -- the center of Mormon cultural influence.

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