US spirits contain more alcohol than claimed

10th March, 2014 by Becky Paskin

US distillers are under-paying excise tax and putting consumers at risk by failing to correctly print the alcohol content of their products on their labels.

Spirits-bottles-shelf

Some spirits sold in the US have been found to contain more alcohol than stated on the label

While most distilled spirits sampled in a survey by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) complied with US labeling regulations, nearly 30% were found to contain at least one error.

The most common mistake found was that the spirit’s alcohol content did not match the proof listed on the label.

The TTB found 50 instances of products containing more alcohol than stated on the label, and above regulatory tolerances.

Not only do such products avoid paying higher rates of excise tax, they pose a threat to consumers who are unaware of how much alcohol they are drinking.

“The results of our sampling program over the past few years indicate that proofing and gauging of distilled spirits is a problem area for some industry members,” the TTB said.

“Because the excise tax for distilled spirits is based on alcohol content, proper gauging of distilled spirits is a vital factor in proper tax determination.”

In addition, the TTB found 15 instances of spirits containing less alcohol than claimed on the label.

The government body has now claimed it will raise awareness of the issue and develop educational tools to assist distillers “with their gauging skills”.

“We encourage industry members to review the gauging manual found in 27 CFR part 30 and the official methods used by our Scientific Services Division,” it said.

The TTB’s Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program (ABSP) is conducted at random every year using products available in the US market. The 2013 survey sampled 275 distilled spirits, 239 malt beverage, and 154 wines, a total of 668 products.

A total of 190 products across all categories were non-compliant, 80 of which were distilled spirits.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Craft Gin Club owner lands Dragons' Den investment

Craft Clubs has secured an investment of £75,000 on BBC television series more...

Over 65s are 'bigger drinkers' than young people

Over 65s are now the most likely age group to drink alcohol every day – and more...

Top 10 fastest-growing spirits brands

Relentless double-digit growth in the category meant 2015 was inarguably world more...

Pennsylvanian distillery offers 'seasonal' gin line

Brandywine Branch Distillers has launched The Revivalist Gins, a four-strong more...

Spirited Awards 2016 winners in pictures

Blended whisky brand Chivas Regal once again hosted some of this year’s more...

SMWS targets strong growth in US market

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has confirmed a long-term partnership more...

Devotion Vodka adds nutritional info to labels

Devotion Vodka, touted as the “first” American gluten-free and sugar-free more...

MoM discontinues glass closure whiskies

Master of Malt is to discontinue its line of single malt whiskies featuring more...

Minister to review UK airport alcohol sales

A crackdown on the sale of alcohol at British airports is being considered by more...

US ultra-premium Tequila growth hits 15.5%

The ultra-premium Tequila market continues its emphatic US growth, with sales more...

Hennessy Cognac hails double-digit gains

LVMH has celebrated an “excellent performance” among its wine and spirits more...

Alcohol e-commerce 'could hit $15bn' in US

The advent of on-demand alcohol delivery services in the US will contribute to more...

Halewood buys stake in West Cork Distillers

Halewood International has acquired a “significant stake” in Irish whiskey more...

Irish drinks industry calls for excise tax reduction

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland is urging the government to reduce excise more...

New study links alcohol to seven types of cancer

Alcohol is a "direct cause" of seven types of cancer, and even moderate more...

Diageo eyes leadership in zero alcohol drinks

Diageo is aiming to be at the “front end” of the non-alcoholic drinks trend more...

Hennessy and Breakthru renew US contracts

Moët Hennessy USA and Breakthru Beverage Group have renewed distribution more...

Captain Morgan asks for change in Constitution

In a bid to further align itself with millennial drinkers, Captain Morgan rum more...

Constellation Brands elects Tiffany exec to board

Constellation Brands has elected Frederic Cumenal, CEO at luxury jeweller more...

Illicit wine and spirits cost EU firms €1.3 billion

Counterfeit wine and spirits production is costing EU businesses €1.3 billion more...