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USA’s Single Malts can be legally defined soon by the law

With the growing demand for American single malt in the beverage industry, the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC) has proposed a new rule for legally defining the American Single malt whiskies.

Many beverage producers have been using “American Single Malt whiskey” in their label but there has been no fixed legal definition for it. The American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC) has been formed to establish, promote and protect the category of American Single Malt whiskey. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is the US government organization in charge of alcohol labelling laws.

The TTB is “poised to publish a new rule this December that formally defines American single malt whiskey”.

We have been in regular contact with [the TTB] and are (a) very optimistic that our proposed definition will be reflected in the rule that they ultimately publish and (b) remain hopeful that they will meet the suggested timeline. This means American single malt could be enshrined into law by spring of next year.

According to a newsletter released on Friday 24 September, ASMWC announced

The proposal for the set of rules as presented by the ASMWC as guidelines are as follows:

American single malt must: 
Consist of 100% malted barley
Completely distilled in a single distillery
The entire process from mashing to maturation must be done in the USA
It must have matured in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 700 liters
It may be burned to a maximum of 80%
And must be at least 40% vol. be bottled

ASMWC also commented in their newsletter that there will be “A Public Comment Period” after TTB has proposed its rule change. During this period, people can comment for or against the rule change by the TTB, before it becomes a legal whiskey rule of the industry.

ust as in other countries (in Scotland for example by the SWA, the Scotch Whiskey Association) a legal framework for a category is specified, which was then also regulated by law, so in December the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB ) present such a definition at the suggestion of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC), which can then be discussed publicly before it becomes binding – which could be the case in spring 2022.

According to Whiskey Experts

The purpose behind legally defining ASMW ( American Single Malt whiskey)

Ultimately, we desire to see the growth of ASMW, both within the United States and abroad. By defining the basic tenets of the category for consumers and the trade, our educational focus can in time shift from an acknowledgement of the category’s existence to a dialogue about how ASMW relates to the rest of the whiskey world. Our work will illustrate what we have in common with other regions, but also provide a baseline from which we can distinguish our category. In the end, the goal is to better compete with other regional single malt brands and categories around the globe based on the merits of our product instead of competing against a lack of knowledge.

The effort being put into this movement is aided by the natural momentum building behind this category. Recognition of ASMW is now at an all-time high, with producers winning awards and competitions outright at the national and global levels. To formally establish this category now signals to the world that not only do we believe in our distilleries, but we also believe that this country can produce single malt whiskey that is respected and enjoyed around the world.”

announced in the official American single malt whiskey website.

More updates regarding the rule change can be updated around December of this year.

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