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California 25175 Question on Whiskey Labeling?

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Wet    2

Can anyone help clarify California 25175, which seems to indicate anything labeled whiskey needs a portion of product aged at least three years? Is there a way around this with labeling, such as an age statement that California finds acceptable??

25175: Any person who sells at retail any potable spirituous liquor product labeled as whiskey, including blended whiskey and blends of straight whiskeys, except products containing 20 or more percent of straight whiskey or whiskeys which have been aged in charred oak containers for three or more years after distillation and before bottling is guilty of a misdemeanor, except that this section does not prohibit the sale at retail of unaged corn whiskey, when so labeled, or the sale at retail of gins, brandies, rums, cordials, liqueurs, bitters, or other distilled liquor products, or products compounded of distilled spirits and other materials, when in no wise labeled as whiskey or blended whiskey or blends of straight whiskeys, or the sale at retail of Scotch whiskeys, or spirit whiskeys containing not less than 5 percent straight whiskey, three years old or older.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 921, Sec. 1.)

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Scrounge    9

I haven't read everything for a while but I thought it was 2 years in a barrel to call it whiskey in Ca. Or blending with 20% or more of 3 year or older if u want to use some younger stuff. That was my understanding.

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Wet    2

Very interesting link bierling! Anyone in California care to share how they are getting around this with labeling? Or just ignoring it all together?

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bluestar    42

The phrase "except products containing 20 or more percent of straight whiskeys" suggests you can sell a US-defined straight whiskey or a whiskey that has at least 20% US-defined straight whiskey in it as whiskey. That could mean you CAN sell a whiskey that is younger than 3 yo, even younger than 2 yo, provided 20% of the whiskey is 2 yo and thus otherwise constitutes a straight whiskey. Or another way to read it: your whiskey is either 3 yo in charred oak, OR it has 20% or more of straight whiskey (2 yo, no flavoring added) in it. At least that is my reading. Any California liquor lawyers out there?

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CADG    2

The CADG is in discussion with California ABC and legislators to address this issue. Many whiskeys on California retail shelves do not meet this requirement. Current law follows the discussion outlined above. There is a risk in putting bottles in distribution that do not meet the current requirements. Craig Rashkis in Los Gatos is a great liquor law lawyer if you are looking at this in the near term.

cris

p.s. Notice that all the serious issues concerning the distilling industry are being undertaken by CADG (all volunteer organization that relies on member support).

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papazulu    0

Dear Cris,

My money must be no good, the CADG keeps sending it back. Robert.

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CADG    2

To All California Distillers,

The CADG is a non profit organization formed to better the industry on behalf of its members. All work is done by fellow distillers with the exception of our legislative team and our CPA. All dues are used to the further the organization, and are approved by the board of directors.

The process for joining involves a simple application form, accompanied by a dues check. There is also an ethics component. We do review all applications for membership. If there are questions, the board of directors are posted on the CADG website or the CADG office can be contacted. As the Executive Director, my office is always open. I am also a distiller and participate as a member of ADI and CADG. I also only have one profile on ADI, and never post under any other alias. This is a transparent organization that works for all its members since 2012.

This is a small and growing industry, and attracts many different kinds of people. The CADG has accomplished the two most significant pieces of California legislation in 3 short years. AB 933 was passed in 2013 and gained us the right to have paid tastings in our distillery tasting rooms. AB 1295 passed in 2015 now will allow us to sell up to 3 750 ml bottles to a consumer per day or equivalent bottle/volume, hold private events and have ownership in 3 restaurant operations if we choose. Only the membership of CADG moved this legislation, and while others are taking credit for it via social media, press and websites... only the members made this happen.

To date, all membership applications have been processed and all dues deposited. We review all financial transactions monthly and an appropriate audit trail is on file. Transparency and accountability are the hallmarks of any non profit organization. CADG strives to maintain its reputation within the business, legislative, regulatory and adult beverage industry. We work with the CCBA and the Family Winemakers of California as well as ADI, ACSA, DISCUS, NCSLA and all other guilds or associations in other states /countries.

We hope many existing and new DSP's will consider joining in 2016. But, we do have rules and a code of conduct that all members must follow. Some may not subscribe to the standards set out in our bylaws, most do and we welcome their participation.

cris

p.s. Now that we have cleared that up... we are about to start work with California Alcohol Beverage Control on some of the outdated, controversial and sometimes contradictory statutes that exist in California. Whiskey labels is one of the first things we will be discussing... as it comes along, I will update whenever possible. But, remember... members of CADG support this and non members do not. Consider being a member...

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papazulu    0

Dear Cris,

The CADG is not open to all California craft distillers. I hope many existing and new DSP's will consider joining a organization

that does not hold its executive staff to the rules and code of conduct. You know who I'm talking about.

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CADG    2

I am well aware of your stance, and the current situation "Papazulu". My actions on behalf of all distillers in California speak for themselves, the two legislative bills are not limited to CADG members and benefit all. Can you name another organization that has accomplished more on behalf of California DSP's than CADG? Since day one of the organization, all were invited to join... the only caveat is pay dues, give back to the industry and adhere to a code of conduct that befits membership.

The CADG does in fact hold all, including myself to a high standard. CADG is run by a board of directors that are statewide and elected. Any issue or problem can be brought to the board for discussion. We however do not use ADI or any other public forum to air grievances or take liberties with people's reputations. You have been invited to join, and you have chosen a path only you understand. California is a state with a vibrant economy and home to the original craft distillers in the USA.

No one person should control an organization, nor should one person tear it apart or condemn it. All things can be worked out among civil individuals, do you want a solution?

One last thing, read your post above and think about what you have done to my partner and I. How do you reconcile that?

Cris

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papazulu    0

Dear Cris,

I tried to donate money and it was returned. I emailed you to talk to you, you never returned my email. I tried to get CADG to look into Arthur actions.

If you need a reminder of what he said go to http://truthincraftdistilling.com/Truth_in_Craft_Distilling/Arthur_Hartunian.html. Look up the definition of hypocrisy. .

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