Credit where it's due: the PLCB has done A Good Thing. PhillyMag food columnist and research editor Victor Fiorillo reported a few months ago that he'd been served what he thought was bogus Maker's Mark at Oscar's, a popular Center City dive-ish bar. He ordered another, surreptitiously poured it into a container, and left the bar with it. He sent it to the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and filed a complaint. Two weeks later, the BLCE sent an agent to Oscar's, who checked the whole place -- the Maker's, the other booze, and the taplines (they weren't being cleaned properly) -- and took samples for analysis: six bottles of confiscated liquor.
The results are in: Oscar's put shite whiskey in a Maker's bottle. The BLCE found that the sample from Oscar's did not match a true sample; they found the same with a bottle of Ketel One. What's gonna happen? Fiorillo sez, "According to [the officer], her office’s legal department will now determine whether to issue a citation, after which a fine, suspension, or other penalty could be imposed." Excellent!
So. I slagged the PLCB last year for not giving a damn about consumer protection. God knows I've slagged PhillyMag for their booze coverage. I say thank you for a job well done to both today. This is exactly the kind of thing a state booze bureaucracy should be doing: protecting me from bad, mislabeled, fraudulent booze. I realize they're probably doing it because of taxes, but you know, it all works out. Cheers to Fiorillo for following through on this. And damn Oscar's for pulling the old switcheroo: that's about the worst crap a bar can pull. Don't know what the PLCB is going to do, but I'm dropping Oscar's from PA Breweries 4th Edition. It ain't much, but it's what I can do.