Dickel: Tenn whiskey storage law threatened plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Global liquor giant Diageo is arguing in federal court that its George Dickel distillery could have faced shutdown because of a Tennessee law requiring locally made whiskey to be stored in the state.

Dickel is suing to halt the Tennessee storage statute, claiming it violates interstate commerce protections.

In March, the state's chief alcohol regulator raised concerns that Dickel had shipped unaged bourbon and wheat whiskey to Kentucky.

Dickel master distiller John Lunn testified Tuesday that Dickel had sent 16,000 barrels of whiskey to Kentucky between 2009 and 2013 because its warehouse was full. Lunn said the company may have been forced to idle the distillery and lay off up to 25 workers if it hadn't shipped the whiskey.

Dickel later built an additional warehouse.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.