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What the Malort!?

What the Malort!?
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  • Post #91 - April 22nd, 2013, 1:02 pm
    Post #91 - April 22nd, 2013, 1:02 pm Post #91 - April 22nd, 2013, 1:02 pm
    Three Aces had a bacon-infused Malort at Baconfest that they were using in a drink that was an alcoholic Orange Julius. The drink was very good (maybe my favorite of baconfest) but the bacon malort itself was fantastic. Not just a hint of bacon but extremely bacon-y. Awesome stuff.
  • Post #92 - April 22nd, 2013, 4:05 pm
    Post #92 - April 22nd, 2013, 4:05 pm Post #92 - April 22nd, 2013, 4:05 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    Roger Ramjet wrote:Isn't "Malort" a brand name? Isn't that like selling "R. Ramjet's Original Recipe Tanqueray"?


    Malört is the Swedish word for wormwood.


    Yes, I know. But "Malort" as a beverage means Jeppson's Malort. And "Jeppson's Malort" is not a type of malort, the way "Busch Beer" is a type of beer*. Jeppson's Malort is a type of bask, a Swedish beverage flavored with wormwood. "Malort" is not a generic term for that type of liquor.

    Whatever commercial value the word "Malort" has is 100% due to the Jeppson's Malort brand of bask. Violet Hour is capitalizing on that brand's reputation.


    *Allegedly.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #93 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Post #93 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:23 pm Post #93 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Roger Ramjet wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:
    Roger Ramjet wrote:Isn't "Malort" a brand name? Isn't that like selling "R. Ramjet's Original Recipe Tanqueray"?


    Malört is the Swedish word for wormwood.


    Yes, I know. But "Malort" as a beverage means Jeppson's Malort. And "Jeppson's Malort" is not a type of malort, the way "Busch Beer" is a type of beer*. Jeppson's Malort is a type of bask, a Swedish beverage flavored with wormwood. "Malort" is not a generic term for that type of liquor.


    I don't disagree. You asked if Malort is a brand name. It isn't. (However, Jeppson's has applied for a trademark for the word. We'll see if they acquire it.)
  • Post #94 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:47 pm
    Post #94 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:47 pm Post #94 - April 22nd, 2013, 5:47 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    I don't disagree. You asked if Malort is a brand name. It isn't. (However, Jeppson's has applied for a trademark for the word. We'll see if they acquire it.)


    Keeping this brief to avoid OT drift: A brand name does not require a trademark. "Malort" has been used by Jeppson's in commerce to identify a specific unique product for seventy years or so. I think it is a brand name and should not be used generically. Dissenting opinions may be correct. I will eschew further comment relating to this specific aspect of Chicago's favorite proprietary wormwood liqueur.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #95 - April 24th, 2013, 7:41 am
    Post #95 - April 24th, 2013, 7:41 am Post #95 - April 24th, 2013, 7:41 am
    Sweetbread wrote:
    Binko wrote:
    Oh, and this may be a good place to share the Wall Street Journal article that came out over the week of Thanksgiving this year about Malort, and its newfound popularity (in relative terms).

    Ms. Gabelick, who inherited the company from her boss, says sales climbed last year by more than 80% from just a few years ago to 23,500 bottles, with annual revenue of more than $170,000. The company raised its price this year for the first time since 2004.


    Let's just hope Quencher's doesn't raise their price of a Malort shot. It is currently $1.


    Quencher's Malort is now $3.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #96 - May 9th, 2013, 12:06 pm
    Post #96 - May 9th, 2013, 12:06 pm Post #96 - May 9th, 2013, 12:06 pm
    Roger Ramjet wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:
    I don't disagree. You asked if Malort is a brand name. It isn't. (However, Jeppson's has applied for a trademark for the word. We'll see if they acquire it.)


    Keeping this brief to avoid OT drift: A brand name does not require a trademark. "Malort" has been used by Jeppson's in commerce to identify a specific unique product for seventy years or so. I think it is a brand name and should not be used generically. Dissenting opinions may be correct. I will eschew further comment relating to this specific aspect of Chicago's favorite proprietary wormwood liqueur.



    I've been following the case on the USPTO site for awhile because I was writing an article about it
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?ca ... 0506132619

    "The term MALORT is Swedish for “wormwood,” which describes an ingredient of the applicant’s goods. See attached evidence showing that the applicant’s goods contain wormwood. A term that describes an ingredient of the goods is merely descriptive. TMEP §1209.01(b); see In re Keebler Co., 479 F.2d 1405, 178 USPQ 155 (C.C.P.A. 1973) (holding RICH ‘N CHIPS merely descriptive of chocolate chip cookies); In re Andes Candies Inc., 478 F.2d 1264, 178 USPQ 156 (C.C.P.A. 1973) (holding CREME DE MENTHE merely descriptive of candy); In re Entenmann’s, Inc., 15 USPQ2d 1750 (TTAB 1990) (holding OATNUT merely descriptive of bread containing oats and hazelnuts), aff’d per curiam, 928 F.2d 411 (Fed. Cir. 1991); Flowers Indus., Inc. v. Interstate Brands Corp., 5 USPQ 2d 1580 (TTAB 1987) (holding HONEY WHEAT merely descriptive of bread containing honey and wheat); In re Int’l Salt Co., 171 USPQ 832 (TTAB 1971) (holding CHUNKY CHEESE merely descriptive of cheese flavored salad dressing)."

    The trademark has been denied, though they can appeal it of course.
  • Post #97 - May 9th, 2013, 6:26 pm
    Post #97 - May 9th, 2013, 6:26 pm Post #97 - May 9th, 2013, 6:26 pm
    After reading that, I was wondering about the status of Żubrówka , a Polish vodka infused with bison grass. I had thought that was a brand name in the US (and it is in Poland, so far as I know), but the words simply mean something like an infusion of bison grass (żubr) in vodka. There are many liqueurs and infusions in Poland formed by adding "-ówka" to the main ingredient. Sure enough, the US Patent and Trademark Office denied that one, too, so it seems to me that the results of the Malort case are consistent with this, or perhaps it would be better to phrase that if Żubrówka were granted a trademark, then the trademark office would have to explain the inconsistency with the Malort case.
  • Post #98 - May 9th, 2013, 11:13 pm
    Post #98 - May 9th, 2013, 11:13 pm Post #98 - May 9th, 2013, 11:13 pm
    If I were their lawyer I would argue that Jeppson's has been, at least for a long time, the only drink referred to just as malort in the whole world. In Sweden the ancestral version of Jeppson's malort is called besk, bask, beskbrannvin, and sometimes malortbrannvin. Is it not just called "malort" although people will usually figure out what you are referring to eventually.

    But historically there have been other similar spirits called malorts in the US, up until 1910 or so. So who knows.

    I tried the Bäska Snaps Med Malort at Bar Deville and it was pretty brutal in comparison to Jeppson's. It's more sweet than anything I had in Sweden, and also has too many other flavors.
  • Post #99 - May 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm
    Post #99 - May 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm Post #99 - May 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm
    Jeppson might consider applying for the entire label, including the colors, design, and words "Jeppson's" and "Malort" as they appear on the label. In a close parallel, Stoli has registered their mark for Stoli "OHRANJ," but disclaimed any specific protection for the word "orange" or its, I suppose, non-Cyrillic Russian spelling.

    Not all vodka is orange flavored, and it's possible that Stoli's was the first. It seems even more possible that this exotic spelling is a marketing concoction unique to Stoli orange (no idea, but why not just use the normal English spelling, which I am assuming is pronounced identically), which one might guess could be entitled to some protection as a fanciful new term. If Stoli's lawyers thought they could protect "OHRANJ" they wold have, and maybe they tried.

    The bottom line is that descriptions of flavors or ingredients are not protectable, even when the thing being described is an obscure ingredient translated into a similarly obscure language.

    http://www.inewidea.com/db/78597869.html
  • Post #100 - May 10th, 2013, 4:10 pm
    Post #100 - May 10th, 2013, 4:10 pm Post #100 - May 10th, 2013, 4:10 pm
    An article I wrote for NPR's The Salt is out today

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/0 ... tter-drink

    I wanted to write about the rivalry between Jeppson's and the R. Franklin's folks, but they didn't want that. Maybe another time.
  • Post #101 - May 16th, 2013, 9:51 pm
    Post #101 - May 16th, 2013, 9:51 pm Post #101 - May 16th, 2013, 9:51 pm
    Possibly of interest to those who read this thread -- information just received in an email/PR . . .

    On Monday May 20, Letherbee Distillers is officially launching their Vernal Gin (an intensely floral springtime gin infused with cornflower, rose hip and chamomile) and R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört (traditional wormwood flavors combined with complimentary flavors like grapefruit peel, juniper berry, elderflower and star anise) at Scofflaw. Danny Shapiro has created a special cocktail, Chef Mickey Neely a special dish, and, for one night only, the Malört tap will switch from Jeppson’s to R. Franklin’s Original Recipe.

    All the details you need to know (hopefully...but please let us know if you’d like more!)
    Letherbee Vernal Gin & R. Franklin Original Recipe Malört Release Party
    Day: Monday, May 20th
    Place: Scofflaw (3201 W. Armitage at Kedzie)
    Time: 6pm-9pm
    Drinks: Vernal Negroni (Letherbee Vernal Gin, Dolin Rouge, Campari), $6; Letherbee's R. Franklin Malort on tap, $3
    Eats: Letherbee Vernal Gin-poached shrimp, asparagus tips, asparagus-lime posset, shaved pecan, micro greens.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #102 - August 17th, 2013, 6:57 pm
    Post #102 - August 17th, 2013, 6:57 pm Post #102 - August 17th, 2013, 6:57 pm
    I bough a bottle of Jeppson's Malort to send to an acquaintance as a joking example of something specifically "Chicago".
    Turns out you can't ship booze to Mississippi so I ended up keeping it.

    Dear Lord this stuff is VILE! It's like drinking Old Spice but without the subtlety.
  • Post #103 - October 8th, 2013, 1:15 pm
    Post #103 - October 8th, 2013, 1:15 pm Post #103 - October 8th, 2013, 1:15 pm
    Melissa,
    Since your article, Jeppson's has applied again, and this time it is going into publication for objection in the registry. Strangely, your article actually has a reference that would be part of the basis for a denial of trademarking the word malört! You show a 1903 reference to a labeled filed with the USPTO by Chicago's Lindkvist for a "Svensk Malort Branvin". This strongly suggests there were other "Malorts" available in the Swedish community prior to prohibition, and therefore the term was generic in the US as it was and still is in Sweden today. The term malört brannvin, and colloquially malört, has been used in Sweden since the 18th century. I suspect one might even find advertisements for malört in the early 20th century Swedish communities papers? Did you ever research that?
  • Post #104 - October 8th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    Post #104 - October 8th, 2013, 1:46 pm Post #104 - October 8th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    bluestar wrote:The term malört brannvin, and colloquially malört, has been used in Sweden since the 18th century.


    I think the "colloquial" term you are looking for is "bäsk" (or "besk"), meaning "bitter"/"bitters".

    These days, if you simply mention or say "malört", the majority of people would assume you are referring to the plant or herb.
  • Post #105 - October 8th, 2013, 3:20 pm
    Post #105 - October 8th, 2013, 3:20 pm Post #105 - October 8th, 2013, 3:20 pm
    I never could find any record of malört being used as a word for bäsk in Sweden. In Sweden it's the name of the wormwood plant, not the drink. Malört as a name for bäsk shows up in some newspapers in the US around the turn of the 19th century.
  • Post #106 - October 30th, 2013, 8:51 am
    Post #106 - October 30th, 2013, 8:51 am Post #106 - October 30th, 2013, 8:51 am
    I tried to pick up a bottle of Malort at my local liquor store and there was no Malort to be found. I was told that the distributor dropped Malort and they were looking for another distributor. Can anyone confirm this? The Jeppson's site says Wirtz is their distributor. I want to rally other Malort-niks in support of Malort but I want to direct it in the right direction. Did Wirtz drop Jeppson's Malort? Who else could be encouraged to distribute this amazing liquid?
  • Post #107 - January 17th, 2014, 11:30 pm
    Post #107 - January 17th, 2014, 11:30 pm Post #107 - January 17th, 2014, 11:30 pm
    Interesting, suspicion-confirming article on the new old Malort from the Trib.
  • Post #108 - March 12th, 2014, 3:34 pm
    Post #108 - March 12th, 2014, 3:34 pm Post #108 - March 12th, 2014, 3:34 pm
    This is truly outstanding:

    Jeppson's Malort Unaired Commercial
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #109 - March 12th, 2014, 3:39 pm
    Post #109 - March 12th, 2014, 3:39 pm Post #109 - March 12th, 2014, 3:39 pm
    Very funny. I'll have another!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #110 - March 12th, 2014, 5:50 pm
    Post #110 - March 12th, 2014, 5:50 pm Post #110 - March 12th, 2014, 5:50 pm
    I have a friend who used to work at a Binny's. Back before Malört enjoyed its recent renaissance, he would traditionally bring a couple of bottles to every New Year's Party. His theory was that by the end of the night, after all the other booze was consumed and all the liquor stores were closed, people would get desperate enough for alcohol that they would finally break down and drink the Malört. He was right, but not until the Sterno had disappeared from under the fondue and the Listerine was missing from the medicine cabinet.
    Nothing says happy New Year like waking up with a wicked hangover and the taste of that "sweetish Swedish liqueur" on your breath. I rather be buried in Dört.
  • Post #111 - March 12th, 2014, 7:12 pm
    Post #111 - March 12th, 2014, 7:12 pm Post #111 - March 12th, 2014, 7:12 pm
    Quick Question, as I see it was spoken about before in this thread, but does anyone know if Unicum is still unavailable for purchase in the states? Thank you!
  • Post #112 - March 18th, 2014, 5:24 pm
    Post #112 - March 18th, 2014, 5:24 pm Post #112 - March 18th, 2014, 5:24 pm
    And now a brief tribute to the great Jeff Foxworthy.

    "If you carry around a half-pint flask of Letherbee's R. Franklin's Original Recipe Malort* ... you just might be a hipster."



    *As spotted today in the Whole Foods liquor dept. Actually only 200ml, though. And some might cavil at the use of the word "Original". But you know, quibbles & comedy don't mix.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #113 - March 19th, 2014, 6:06 am
    Post #113 - March 19th, 2014, 6:06 am Post #113 - March 19th, 2014, 6:06 am
    CVittorio wrote:Quick Question, as I see it was spoken about before in this thread, but does anyone know if Unicum is still unavailable for purchase in the states? Thank you!


    I'd have to say no to that:

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/unicum/1/usa
    Last edited by deesher on March 19th, 2014, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #114 - March 19th, 2014, 12:50 pm
    Post #114 - March 19th, 2014, 12:50 pm Post #114 - March 19th, 2014, 12:50 pm
    A couple of my in-the-know bartender friends tell me that Jeppson's has threatened legal action against Letherbee for their use of the name Malort, claiming that the name belongs to Jeppson's. My understanding is that Letherbee has backed down and will change the name.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #115 - March 19th, 2014, 2:46 pm
    Post #115 - March 19th, 2014, 2:46 pm Post #115 - March 19th, 2014, 2:46 pm
    And sure enough, Letherbee's website is now selling "R. Franklin's Besk"
    Dearest Chicago on Web
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  • Post #116 - October 5th, 2018, 3:24 pm
    Post #116 - October 5th, 2018, 3:24 pm Post #116 - October 5th, 2018, 3:24 pm
    Pilsen distillery acquires Malort, aims to bring production of the bitter liquor back to Chicago

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... l#nws=true
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin

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