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?

BCB names France as 2017 Country of Honour

France will be the country of honour at Bar Convent Berlin 2017, with the trade more...

Lindores Abbey Distillery launches members' club

Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife has opened sales for its Preservation more...

Judge dismisses Empire/Breakthru fraud case

A US judge has dismissed a fraud case brought by Empire Merchants against more...

Last Drop releases 1972 Lochside single grain

Rare whisky bottler The Last Drop Distillers has launched a 1972 single grain more...

Southern Glazer’s hires Redell for Campari brands

US drinks distribution company Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed more...

Unmissable spirits exhibitors at ProWein 2017

This year ProWein is shining a light on spirits and other drinks favoured by more...

Top 10 coffee-flavoured spirits

Coffee in hand, The Spirits Business explores the growing world of the more...

Whisky workers seek 'honest answers' over Brexit impact

GMB Scotland members from the whisky industry will today meet with more...

Crystal Head Vodka revives 'knock-off' lawsuit

Globefill Inc has returned to court in a trade dress infringement case against more...

Distilled Spirits Council slams ‘tampon tax’ reform

The Distilled Spirits Council has urged California lawmakers to reject a bill more...

The Benevolent Ball raises over £42,000

UK drinks industry charity The Benevolent raised more than £42,000 (US$52,000) more...

SB Voices: A new age of gastronomic spirits?

As the 'molecular mixology' trend gains traction, are we about to see more...

Top 10 tea-flavoured spirits

Tea-based spirits have come to the fore in recent years, providing bartenders more...

Diageo unveils 'industry first' e-learning tool

Diageo has launched a new e-learning tool on its responsible drinking website more...

Tristan Stephenson joins Lidl's spirits team

Famed bartender and author Tristan Stephenson, co-founder of London’s Worship more...

Spirits industry hails self-regulatory labelling proposal

The European Commission has published a report inviting the drinks industry to more...

New gin made with collagen to launch

Another product that claims to merge the worlds of beauty and spirits is poised more...

Foxhole releases second grape-based gin

Following the release of its introductory English gin in 2016, Foxhole Spirits more...

HSBC bullish on spirits stock investments

Vodka has edged whisky as the preferred spirit among Britons, according to a more...

Fever-Tree celebrates 'exceptional' FY results

Premium tonic and mixer brand Fever-Tree has hailed an "exceptional year of more...