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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 29, 2014

Title 27Chapter ISubchapter APart 5 → Subpart C


Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
PART 5—LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF DISTILLED SPIRITS


Subpart C—Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits


Contents
§5.21   Application of standards.
§5.22   The standards of identity.
§5.23   Alteration of class and type.

§5.21   Application of standards.

The standards of identity for the several classes and types of distilled spirits set forth in this part shall be applicable only to distilled spirits for beverage or other nonindustrial purposes.

§5.22   The standards of identity.

Standards of identity for the several classes and types of distilled spirits set forth in this section shall be as follows (see also §5.35, class and type):

(a) Class 1; neutral spirits or alcohol. “Neutral spirits” or “alcohol” are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190° proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80° proof.

(1) “Vodka” is neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.

(2) “Grain spirits” are neutral spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain and stored in oak containers.

(b) Class 2; whisky. “Whisky” is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.

(1)(i) “Bourbon whisky”, “rye whisky”, “wheat whisky”, “malt whisky”, or “rye malt whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125° proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type.

(ii) “Corn whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125° proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.

(iii) Whiskies conforming to the standards prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, which have been stored in the type of oak containers prescribed, for a period of 2 years or more shall be further designated as “straight”; for example, “straight bourbon whisky”, “straight corn whisky”, and whisky conforming to the standards prescribed in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, except that it was produced from a fermented mash of less than 51 percent of any one type of grain, and stored for a period of 2 years or more in charred new oak containers shall be designated merely as “straight whisky”. No other whiskies may be designated “straight”. “Straight whisky” includes mixtures of straight whiskies of the same type produced in the same State.

(2) “Whisky distilled from bourbon (rye, wheat, malt, or rye malt) mash” is whisky produced in the United States at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored in used oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. Whisky conforming to the standard of identity for corn whisky must be designated corn whisky.

(3) “Light whisky” is whisky produced in the United States at more than 160° proof, on or after January 26, 1968, and stored in used or uncharred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies. If “light whisky” is mixed with less than 20 percent of straight whisky on a proof gallon basis, the mixture shall be designated “blended light whisky” (light whisky—a blend).

(4) “Blended whisky” (whisky—a blend) is a mixture which contains straight whisky or a blend of straight whiskies at not less than 20 percent on a proof gallon basis, excluding alcohol derived from added harmless coloring, flavoring or blending materials, and, separately, or in combination, whisky or neutral spirits. A blended whisky containing not less than 51 percent on a proof gallon basis of one of the types of straight whisky shall be further designated by that specific type of straight whisky; for example, “blended rye whisky” (rye whisky—a blend).

(5)(i) “A blend of straight whiskies” (blended straight whiskies) is a mixture of straight whiskies which does not conform to the standard of identify for “straight whisky.” Products so designated may contain harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as set forth in 27 CFR 5.23(a).

(ii) “A blend of straight whiskies” (blended straight whiskies) consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky, and not conforming to the standard for straight whisky, shall be further designated by that specific type of straight whisky; for example, “a blend of straight rye whiskies” (blended straight rye whiskies). “A blend of straight whiskies” consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky shall include straight whisky of the same type which was produced in the same State or by the same proprietor within the same State, provided that such whisky contains harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as stated in 27 CFR 5.23(a).

(iii) The harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials allowed under this section shall not include neutral spirits or alcohol in their original state. Neutral spirits or alcohol may only appear in a “blend of straight whiskies” or in a “blend of straight whiskies consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky” as a vehicle for recognized flavoring of blending material.

(6) “Spirit whisky” is a mixture of neutral spirits and not less than 5 percent on a proof gallon basis of whisky, or straight whisky, or straight whisky and whisky, if the straight whisky component is less than 20 percent on a proof gallon basis.

(7) “Scotch whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Scotland, manufactured in Scotland in compliance with the laws of the United Kingdom regulating the manufacture of Scotch whisky for consumption in the United Kingdom: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Scotch whisky” (Scotch whisky—a blend).

(8) “Irish whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Ireland, manufactured either in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland, in compliance with their laws regulating the manufacture of Irish whisky for home consumption: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Irish whisky” (Irish whisky—a blend).

(9) “Canadian whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Canada, manufactured in Canada in compliance with the laws of Canada regulating the manufacture of Canadian whisky for consumption in Canada: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Canadian whisky” (Canadian whisky—a blend).

(c) Class 3; gin. “Gin” is a product obtained by original distillation from mash, or by redistillation of distilled spirits, or by mixing neutral spirits, with or over juniper berries and other aromatics, or with or over extracts derived from infusions, percolations, or maceration of such materials, and includes mixtures of gin and neutral spirits. It shall derive its main characteristic flavor from juniper berries and be bottled at not less than 80° proof. Gin produced exclusively by original distillation or by redistillation may be further designated as “distilled”. “Dry gin” (London dry gin), “Geneva gin” (Hollands gin), and “Old Tom gin” (Tom gin) are types of gin known under such designations.

(d) Class 4; brandy. “Brandy” is an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice, mash, or wine of fruit, or from the residue thereof, produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to the product, and bottled at not less than 80° proof. Brandy, or mixtures thereof, not conforming to any of the standards in paragraphs (d) (1) through (9) of this section shall be designated as “brandy”, and such designation shall be immediately followed by a truthful and adequate statement of composition.

(1) “Fruit brandy” is brandy distilled solely from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe fruit, or from standard grape, citrus, or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both (calculated prior to the addition of water to facilitate fermentation or distillation). Fruit brandy shall include mixtures of such brandy with not more than 30 percent (calculated on a proof gallon basis) of lees brandy. Fruit brandy, derived from grapes, shall be designated as “grape brandy” or “brandy”, except that in the case of brandy (other than neutral brandy, pomace brandy, marc brandy, grappa brandy, Pisco, Pisco Perú, or Pisco Chileno) distilled from the fermented juice, mash, or wine of grapes, or the residue thereof, which has been stored in oak containers for less than 2 years, the statement of class and type shall be immediately preceded, in the same size and kind of type, by the word “immature”. Fruit brandy, other than grape brandy, derived from one variety of fruit, shall be designated by the word “brandy” qualified by the name of such fruit (for example, “peach brandy”), except that “apple brandy” may be designated “applejack”. Fruit brandy derived from more than one variety of fruit shall be designated as “fruit brandy” qualified by a truthful and adequate statement of composition.

(2) “Cognac”, or “Cognac (grape) brandy”, is grape brandy distilled in the Cognac region of France, which is entitled to be so designated by the laws and regulations of the French Government.

(3) “Dried fruit brandy” is brandy that conforms to the standard for fruit brandy except that it has been derived from sound, dried fruit, or from the standard wine of such fruit. Brandy derived from raisins, or from raisin wine, shall be designated as “raisin brandy”. Other brandies shall be designated in the same manner as fruit brandy from the corresponding variety or varieties of fruit except that the name of the fruit shall be qualified by the word “dried”.

(4) “Lees brandy” is brandy distilled from the lees of standard grape, citrus, or other fruit wine, and shall be designated as “lees brandy”, qualified by the name of the fruit from which such lees are derived.

(5) “Pomace brandy”, or “marc brandy”, is brandy distilled from the skin and pulp of sound, ripe grapes, citrus or other fruit, after the withdrawal of the juice or wine therefrom, and shall be designated as “pomace brandy”, or “marc brandy”, qualified by the name of the fruit from which derived. Grape pomace brandy may be designated as “grappa” or “grappa brandy”.

(6) “Residue brandy” is brandy distilled wholly or in part from the fermented residue of fruit or wine, and shall be designated as “residue brandy” qualified by the name of the fruit from which derived. Brandy distilled wholly or in part from residue materials which conforms to any of the standards set forth in paragraphs (d) (1), (3), (4), and (5) of this section may, regardless of such fact, be designated “residue brandy”, but the use of such designation shall be conclusive, precluding any later change of designation.

(7) “Neutral brandy” is brandy produced at more than 170° proof and shall be designated in accordance with the standards in this paragraph, except that the designation shall be qualified by the word “neutral”; for example, “neutral citrus residue brandy”.

(8) “Substandard brandy” shall bear as a part of its designation the word “substandard”, and shall include:

(i) Any brandy distilled from fermented juice, mash, or wine having a volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, in excess of 0.20 gram per 100 cubic centimeters (20 °C.); measurements of volatile acidity shall be calculated exclusive of water added to facilitate distillation.

(ii) Any brandy which has been distilled from unsound, moldy, diseased, or decomposed juice, mash, wine, lees, pomace, or residue, or which shows in the finished product any taste, aroma, or characteristic associated with products distilled from such material.

(9) “Pisco” is grape brandy manufactured in Peru or Chile in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country of manufacture governing the manufacture of Pisco for consumption in the country of manufacture.

(i) “Pisco Perú” (or “Pisco Peru”) is Pisco manufactured in Peru in accordance with the laws and regulations of Peru governing the manufacture of Pisco for consumption in that country.

(ii) “Pisco Chileno” (or “Chilean Pisco”) is Pisco manufactured in Chile in accordance with the laws and regulations of Chile governing the manufacture of Pisco for consumption in that country.

(e) Class 5; blended applejack. “Blended applejack” (applejack—a blend) is a mixture which contains at least 20 percent of apple brandy (applejack) on a proof gallon basis, stored in oak containers for not less than 2 years, and not more than 80 percent of neutral spirits on a proof gallon basis if such mixture at the time of bottling is not less than 80° proof.

(f) Class 6; rum. “Rum” is an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to rum, and bottled at not less than 80° proof; and also includes mixtures solely of such distillates.

(1) “Cachaça” is rum that is a distinctive product of Brazil, manufactured in Brazil in compliance with the laws of Brazil regulating the manufacture of Cachaça for consumption in that country. The word “Cachaça” may be spelled with or without the diacritic mark (i.e., “Cachaça” or “Cachaca”).

(2) [Reserved]

(g) Class 7; Tequila. “Tequila” is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash derived principally from the Agave Tequilana Weber (“blue” variety), with or without additional fermentable substances, distilled in such a manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to Tequila and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures solely of such distillates. Tequila is a distinctive product of Mexico, manufactured in Mexico in compliance with the laws of Mexico regulating the manufacture of Tequila for consumption in that country.

(h) Class 8; cordials and liqueurs. Cordials and liqueurs are products obtained by mixing or redistilling distilled spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants, or pure juices therefrom, or other natural flavoring materials, or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation, or maceration of such materials, and containing sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, in an amount not less than 212 percent by weight of the finished product.

(1) “Sloe gin” is a cordial or liqueur with the main characteristic flavor derived from sloe berries.

(2) “Rye liqueur”, “bourbon liqueur” (rye, bourbon cordial) are liqueurs, bottled at not less than 60° proof, in which not less than 51 percent, on a proof gallon basis, of the distilled spirits used are, respectively, rye or bourbon whisky, straight rye or straight bourbon whisky, or whisky distilled from a rye or bourbon mash, and which possess a predominant characteristic rye or bourbon flavor derived from such whisky. Wine, if used, must be within the 212 percent limitation provided in §5.23 for coloring, flavoring, and blending materials.

(3) “Rock and rye”, “rock and bourbon”, “rock and brandy”, “rock and rum” are liqueurs, bottled at not less than 48° proof, in which, in the case of rock and rye and rock and bourbon, not less than 51 percent, on a proof gallon basis, of the distilled spirits used are, respectively, rye or bourbon whisky, straight rye or straight bourbon whisky, or whisky distilled from a rye or bourbon mash, and, in the case of rock and brandy and rock and rum, the distilled spirits used are all grape brandy or rum, respectively; containing rock candy or sugar syrup, with or without the addition of fruit, fruit juices, or other natural flavoring materials, and possessing, respectively, a predominant characteristic rye, bourbon, brandy, or rum flavor derived from the distilled spirits used. Wine, if used, must be within the 212 percent limitation provided in §5.23 for harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials.

(4) “Rum liqueur,” “gin liqueur,” “brandy liqueur,” are liqueurs, bottled at not less than 60 proof, in which the distilled spirits used are entirely rum, gin, or brandy, respectively, and which possess, respectively, a predominant characteristic rum, gin, or brandy flavor derived from the distilled spirits used. In the case of brandy liqueur, the type of brandy must be stated in accordance with §5.22(d), except that liqueurs made entirely with grape brandy may be designated simply as “brandy liqueur.” Wine, if used, must be within the 212 percent limitation provided for in §5.23 for harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials.

(5) The designation of a cordial or liqueur may include the word “dry” if the sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, are less than 10 percent by weight of the finished product.

(6) Cordials and liqueurs shall not be designated as “distilled” or “compound”.

(i) Class 9; flavored brandy, flavored gin, flavored rum, flavored vodka, and flavored whisky. “Flavored brandy, “flavored gin,” “flavored rum,” “flavored vodka,” and “flavored whisky,” are brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and whisky, respectively, to which have been added natural flavoring materials, with or without the addition of sugar, and bottled at not less than 60° proof. The name of the predominant flavor shall appear as a part of the designation. If the finished product contains more than 212 percent by volume of wine, the kinds and precentages by volume of wine must be stated as a part of the designation, except that a flavored brandy may contain an additional 1212 percent by volume of wine, without label disclosure, if the additional wine is derived from the particular fruit corresponding to the labeled flavor of the product.

(j) Class 10; imitations. Imitations shall bear, as a part of the designation thereof, the word “imitation” and shall include the following:

(1) Any class or type of distilled spirits to which has been added coloring or flavoring material of such nature as to cause the resultant product to simulate any other class or type of distilled spirits;

(2) Any class or type of distilled spirits (other than distilled spirits required under §5.35 to bear a distinctive or fanciful name and a truthful and adequate statement of composition) to which has been added flavors considered to be artificial or imitation. In determining whether a flavor is artificial or imitation, recognition will be given to what is considered to be “good commercial practice” in the flavor manufacturing industry;

(3) Any class of type of distilled spirits (except cordials, liqueurs and specialties marketed under labels which do not indicate or imply, that a particular class or type of distilled spirits was used in the manufacture thereof) to which has been added any whisky essense, brandy essence, rum essence, or similar essence or extract which simulates or enhances, or is used by the trade or in the particular product to simulate or enhance, the characteristics of any class or type of distilled spirits;

(4) Any type of whisky to which beading oil has been added;

(5) Any rum to which neutral spirits or distilled spirits other than rum have been added;

(6) Any brandy made from distilling material to which has been added any amount of sugar other than the kind and amount of sugar expressly authorized in the production of standard wine; and

(7) Any brandy to which neutral spirits or distilled spirits other than brandy have been added, except that this provision shall not apply to any product conforming to the standard of identity for blended applejack.

(k) Class 11; geographical designations. (1) Geographical names for distinctive types of distilled spirits (other than names found by the appropriate TTB officer under paragraph (k)(2) of this section to have become generic) shall not be applied to distilled spirits produced in any other place than the particular region indicated by the name, unless (i) in direct conjunction with the name there appears the word “type” or the word “American” or some other adjective indicating the true place of production, in lettering substantially as conspicuous as such name, and (ii) the distilled spirits to which the name is applied conform to the distilled spirits of that particular region. The following are examples of distinctive types of distilled spirits with geographical names that have not become generic: Eau de Vie de Dantzig (Danziger Goldwasser), Ojen, Swedish punch. Geographical names for distinctive types of distilled spirits shall be used to designate only distilled spirits conforming to the standard of identity, if any, for such type specified in this section, or if no such standard is so specified, then in accordance with the trade understanding of that distinctive type.

(2) Only such geographical names for distilled spirits as the appropriate TTB officer finds have by usage and common knowledge lost their geographical significance to such extent that they have become generic shall be deemed to have become generic. Examples at London dry gin, Geneva (Hollands) gin.

(3) Geographical names that are not names for distinctive types of distilled spirits, and that have not become generic, shall not be applied to distilled spirits produced in any other place than the particular place or region indicated in the name. Examples are Armagnac, Greek brandy, , Jamaica rum, Puerto Rico rum, Demerara rum.

(4) The words “Scotch”, “Scots” “Highland”, or “Highlands” and similar words connoting, indicating, or commonly associated with Scotland, shall not be used to designate any product not wholly produced in Scotland.

(l) Class 12; products without geographical designations but distinctive of a particular place. (1) The whiskies of the types specified in paragraphs (b) (1), (4), (5), and (6) of this section are distinctive products of the United States and if produced in a foreign country shall be designated by the applicable designation prescribed in such paragraphs, together with the words “American type” or the words “produced (distilled, blended) in __”, the blank to be filled in with the name of the foreign country: Provided, That the word “bourbon” shall not be used to describe any whisky or whisky-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States. If whisky of any of these types is composed in part of whisky or whiskies produced in a foreign country there shall be stated, on the brand label, the percentage of such whisky and the country of origin thereof.

(2) The name for other distilled spirits which are distinctive products of a particular place or country, an example is Habanero, shall not be given to the product of any other place or country unless the designation for such product includes the word “type” or an adjective such as “American”, or the like, clearly indicating the true place of production. The provision for place of production shall not apply to designations which by usage and common knowledge have lost their geographical significance to such an extent that the appropriate TTB officer finds they have become generic. Examples are Slivovitz, Zubrovka, Aquavit, Arrack, and Kirschwasser.

[T.D. 7020, 34 FR 20337, Dec. 30, 1969]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §5.22, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

§5.23   Alteration of class and type.

(a) Additions. (1) The addition of any coloring, flavoring, or blending materials to any class and type of distilled spirits, except as otherwise provided in this section, alters the class and type thereof and the product shall be appropriately redesignated.

(2) There may be added to any class or type of distilled spirits, without changing the class or type thereof, (i) such harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as are an essential component part of the particular class or type of distilled spirits to which added, and (ii) harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials such as caramel, straight malt or straight rye malt whiskies, fruit juices, sugar, infusion of oak chips when approved by the Administrator, or wine, which are not an essential component part of the particular distilled spirits to which added, but which are customarily employed therein in accordance with established trade usage, if such coloring, flavoring, or blending materials do not total more than 212 percent by volume of the finished product.

(3) “Harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials” shall not include (i) any material which would render the product to which it is added an imitation, or (ii) any material, other than caramel, infusion of oak chips, and sugar, in the case of Cognac brandy; or (iii) any material whatsoever in the case of neutral spirits or straight whiskey, except that vodka may be treated with sugar in an amount not to exceed 2 grams per liter and a trace amount of citric acid.

(b) Extractions. The removal from any distilled spirits of any constituents to such an extent that the product does not possess the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to that class or type of distilled spirits alters the class and type thereof, and the product shall be appropriately redesignated. In addition, in the case of straight whisky the removal of more than 15 percent of the fixed acids, or volatile acids, or esters, or soluble solids, or higher alcohols, or more than 25 percent of the soluble color, shall be deemed to alter the class or type thereof.

(c) Exceptions. (1) This section shall not be construed as in any manner modifying the standards of identity for cordials and liqueurs, flavored brandy, flavored gin, flavored rum, flavored vodka, and flavored whisky or as authorizing any product which is defined in §5.22(j), Class 10, as an imitation to be otherwise designated.

(2) [Reserved]

[T.D. 7020, 34 FR 20337, Dec. 30. 1969, as amended by T.D. ATF-360, 59 FR 67222, 67223, Dec. 29, 1994; T.D. ATF-369, 61 FR 67327, Dec. 29, 1995]



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