Coalition Urges Action On American Single Malt Whiskey Category


WASHINGTON — A coalition representing nearly 100 large and small distillers across the United States recently urged the Treasury Department’s Tax and Trade Bureau to move forward with its proposed rulemaking to establish a standard of identity for American single malt whiskey.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission submitted official comments to TTB in June 2019 in support of establishing a standard of identity for American single malt whiskey as part of the bureau’s 2018 rulemaking to modernize the labeling and advertising regulations for distilled spirits, wine and malt beverages. Following that submission, TTB placed a rulemaking regarding an American single malt whiskey standard of identity on its semi-annual regulatory agenda in 2021, but it has yet to issue the notice of proposed rulemaking.

The coalition noted that consumers will benefit greatly from a clear definition of what constitutes a single malt whiskey produced in the United States.

“This new standard will establish trust in the category, clarify label declarations and equip consumers with the necessary information to make informed purchasing decisions,” the coalition stated. “The formal establishment of this category would also signal to the world that not only do we believe in and support our own distilleries, but we also recognize that American single malt whiskey is as unique as other American staples, such as bourbon, and deserves to be similarly defined and protected.”

The coalition pointed out that regulations protecting the standard of identity for Scotch whisky have been in place for generations and that similar regulations are necessary to protect the developing American single malt whiskey category.