SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CBS/KUTV) -- "Five Wives Vodka" has been banned in Idaho because its name might be offensive to non-drinking non-polygamist Mormons.
Idaho's state liquor division is slamming the door on a Utah distillery. Five Wives Vodka won't be stocked there because according to state regulators it could be offensive to residents.
Interestingly enough five wives is sold at every single state run liquor store in Utah. But in Idaho you'll have to toss one back with your own wife, not the five you can get here in Utah. Steve Conlin with Five Wives Vodka says, "We feel Five Wives Vodka concept is offensive to a prominent segment of our population and will not be carried. Sincerely Howard Wasserstein, deputy director."
That's the letter elite spirits of Ogden received from the state of Idaho and they're not happy. Conlin says, "To just ban us based on a chance we are offensive to somebody violates the first amendment at an egregious level in my opinion."
The Utah distillers say they're not trying to offend anyone. They're trying to sell vodka in a crowded market. Conlin says, "If you find our label offensive it probably says more about you than us."
The state of Idaho denied the sale of Five Wives because it is in quote "poor taste" and yet you can buy Polygamy Porter. Polygamy Porter faced its own issues with marketing in Utah 10 years ago. But it was never banned.
In Idaho it can't be banned like Five Wives because the state doesn't regulate beer sales like it does liquor. Conlin says, "We wanted to have a brand that tied back, historically, to the American West."
The history is true to Utah and Idaho where polygamy was once practiced by members of the LDS Church though it was banned in 1890. Conlin says, "It's my understanding LDS members don't practice polygamy so why would they be offended?"
The Five Wives distillers say it's just business. Conlin says, "I don't have any animosity towards Mormons."
The controversy in Idaho may just be helping Five Wives Vodka not hurting them. The Ogden company is using their rejection as a marketing campaign with "Free The Five Wives" t-shirts hot off the press.
The t-shirt will set you back $14 and a bottle of vodka, about $20. As the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad press.
In the mean time, the makers of fives wives say they plan to put up a fight.