Revolution bar in Coney Street fined for selling weakened alcohol

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , jennifer.bell@thepress.co.uk

THE owners of a York bar have been fined after admitting selling weakened alcohol.

York Magistrates heard that Trading Standards officials carried out a spot inspection at Revolution in Coney Street bar last summer and discovered seven bottles of whisky and vodka had lower alcohol levels than advertised on the bottles.

One, a bottle advertised as Canadian Club whisky of 40 per cent ABV, had alcohol levels of just 16.1 per cent when a sample was taken.

“That is less than half the alcohol it should be,” said Matt Boxall, prosecuting on behalf of the City of York Council .

Others tested were:

• A bottle of Jack Daniels, 40 per cent proof. When tested it was 37.7 per cent proof

• A bottle of Glenmorangie Highland single malt scotch whisky (40 per cent.) When tested it was 35.7 per cent proof.

• A bottle of Canadian Club whisky (40 percent). When tested it was just 37.41 per cent proof

• A bottle of St Pertersburg Vodka Russian Standards 40 per cent. When tested it was 37.3 per cent.

• A bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey (40 per cent). When tested it was 34.7 per cent.

• A bottle of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, (45 per cent). When tested it was 36.1 per cent.

Michelle Smart, of Inventive Leisure, the parent company behind Revolution, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to all seven counts of giving or displaying with food exposed for sale a label falsely describing the food.

Anthony Lyons, defending, told magistrates that there were 34 samples taking during the inspection on June 21 last year and seven samples had failed to make the mark.

He said the results were “deeply disappointing”, but said it was not the case of “watering down” the alcohol or swapping it with poorer products.

Instead, he claimed a number of factors, including water seeping into bottles during cleaning and heat from a lighted back bar which caused alcohol evaporation, had led to the lower alcohol content than advertised.

He said the company had since spent hundreds of thousands of pounds improving stock-taking and introducing new measures to prevent this happening again.

He said a “strongly worded letter” had also been issued to the then general manager at the Coney Street bar, after which she had resigned.

Magistrates gave Inventive Leisure a two-year conditional discharge and ordered them to pay a £4,035.16 fine.

It is the first time that Inventive Leisure, which owns 65 sites across the UK, has faced food standards charges.

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