- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A white whiskey named after a legendary Tennessee moonshiner is introducing a new bottle after a legal dispute over similarities to Jack Daniel’s shape and design.

The Popcorn Sutton brand, which began production after the death of its namesake, ran into the legal troubles in 2013 when it starting shipping the spirit in bottles instead of in Mason jars.

A subsidiary of Brown-Forman Corp. of Louisville, Kentucky, filed a federal lawsuit in 2013 claiming that the Popcorn Sutton bottling and labelling were “confusingly similar” and gave the impression that the moonshine was part of the Jack Daniel’s line made in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

The lawsuit noted that both bottles were square shaped with angled shoulders and beveled corners, with white-on-black labeling color schemes. Even the font style of the Popcorn Sutton labeling was reminiscent of the Jack Daniel’s label, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was settled last year, and Popcorn Sutton had gone back to being sold in Mason jars. The new bottles are rounded and clear - and no longer call the product “Tennessee white whiskey.”

“We believe the name, legacy and quality of Popcorn Sutton transcends a classification as moonshine,” Peter Gyimesi, the Newport, Tennessee-based company’s marketing director said in a news release.

The spirit is named after Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, who committed suicide in 2009 as he was scheduled to begin an 18-month prison sentence.

Sutton had pleaded guilty to federal charges of illegally producing distilled spirits and being a felon in possession of a handgun. Known for his long gray beard and faded overalls, Sutton was the author the autobiographical book “Me and My Likker,” and recorded videos on how to make moonshine.

Popcorn Sutton Distilling earlier this year announced it had hired Master Distiller John Lunn away from George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, which is owned by British liquor conglomerate Diageo PLC.

The Jack Daniel’s lawsuit had said that Popcorn Sutton officials cited the Sutton’s wishes to sell his sprits in eye-catching packaging once he could afford to do so.

According to the lawsuit, the old moonshiner was known to say: “My whiskey is too good to be in a damn jar.”

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