Bacardi Canada has recalled thousands of bottles of Bombay Sapphire gin after an error in the bottling process left the liquor nearly twice as potent as it was supposed to be.
The London Dry Gin was labeled as 40 percent alcohol by volume, or 80 proof. But this batch wasn’t properly diluted. It was at 77 percent — a whopping 154 proof.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says it discovered the “deviation” during a quality assurance investigation.
A single “unsatisfied customer” tipped them off, returning a bottle because it did not “meet expectations,” Canada’s National Post reports.
The recall covers a single batch of 1.14-liter bottles — lot code “L16304 W,” if you’re curious — all destined to be sold in Canada.
“Despite a nationwide effort to destroy the bottles, more than 1,000 remained unaccounted for in Ontario alone, according to estimates released Wednesday evening,” the National Post reports.
But while already-purchased bottles may be circulating in the wild, liquor store shelves have been cleared of the offending product, the CBC reports.
Here’s more from the broadcaster:
“The mistake happened when some bottles ‘inadvertently entered the bottling line during a short period of time (max 45 minutes) when they were switching from one bottling tank to another bottling tank,’ Bacardi said. …
“It’s the second time in recent weeks such an error has been discovered. The province’s liquor board recalled Georgian Bay brand vodka in March because several hundred bottles had not been properly diluted.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says anyone who bought a bottle should resist the urge to mix up a superstrength martini or gin and tonic.
“Consumers should not consume the recalled project,” the agency advised, saying bottles “should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.”
The Ontario liquor board also emphasizes that the bottle is “not safe for consumption,” warning that drinking “a product with an alcohol content of 77% could cause serious illness.”
At 154 proof, a bottle of this Bombay would be even more potent than a navy-strength gin. It just barely edges out Bacardi’s famous superstrength rum, 151.
But there are stronger liquors on the market — including 190-proof Everclear, which is banned from liquor stores in many states in the U.S.