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dhdunbar

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dhdunbar last won the day on November 6 2019

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    Retired from ATF and began consulting for DSP's in 2012. When I'm not working, I like to head outdoors. That can mean simply sitting on the deck reading. Regulation bores me. Helping others deal with it does not.

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  1. Still-Holler - TTB's requirement sounds like an answer that is correct by the book , but in the instant question they'd have to add sugar - spirits distilled from gain and sugar and distilled wit h hops." If you add a flavor, you get an even more convoluted statement, which makes for an even longer , more awkward, and uglier statement of composition. It almost makes you want to suggest that, for specialty items, TTB should adopt ingredient labeling in the format of the FDA. Maybe someone should suggest that? But if someone does, they they best think through the possible unintended consequences. Cowdery used to post on the forum. One piece of good advice he gave was "Writing regulations isn't for amateurs." I count myself among those we are amateurs.
  2. Under the existing regulations, adamOVD gets it right. The standard for flavored whiskey (§5.22(i)) is whiskey to which flavor is added. Adding anything other than grain as fermenting material means that the product should not be designated as whiskey when you make the production gauge(▌19.304) and place it into oak, since under §19.305, "Upon completion of the production gauge, the proprietor must identify containers of spirits as provided in subpart S of this part." Subpart S includes §19.484, which provides, " a proprietor must mark packages of spirits filled in production or storage with ...the kind of spirits." Then §19.487 provides "The designations of kind of spirits required for packages filled on bonded premises must be consistent with the classes and types of spirits set forth in part 5 of this chapter," subject to certain exceptions that are not relevant to the issue here." That is, you never have a spirit that you may call "whiskey." So, if you never have whiskey under the standards, then you don't add the flavors to whiskey, so you don't have flavored whiskey. Further, since you never had whiskey, you should not be able to include whiskey in your statement of composition. Logically, an ingredient you don't have can't be an ingredient in the product. Regulation formalizes that in §5.35, which provides "A product shall not bear a designation which indicates it contains a class or type of distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits therein conform to such class and type." That is the rigorous pathway to azdamOVD's conclusion. Here is how TTB described the situation in its recently rule making, to "modernize" the labeling laws. The TTB regulations currently list flavored brandy, flavored gin, flavored rum, flavored vodka, and flavored whisky as the class designations under Class 9. Other types or classes of distilled spirits that are flavored currently are treated as distilled spirits specialty products and the labels for such products must contain a statement of composition. While TTB allows for any spirit to appear as part of a truthful statement of composition, TTB does not believe that consumers perceive a distinction between, for example ‘‘Orange Flavored Tequila’’—which is how a flavored spirit would be designated under the proposed rule— and ‘‘Tequila with Orange Flavor’’— which is how the statement of composition would appear for a distilled spirits specialty product. TTB therefore believes it should allow any type of base spirit to be flavored in accordance with the flavored spirits standard instead of just brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and whisky, as permitted by the current regulations. Accordingly, proposed § 5.151 provides a class of flavored spirits that would allow any base spirit to be flavored when made in accordance with the standards of identity set forth in the regulation. [the emphjaisis is mine]. The changes have not been adopted yet, but when they are, the rules will change in some important ways of which you should be aware - for example, you will be able to declare an age on any product but neutral spirits (which includes vodka) that are not grain spirits. They do not provide for any change that would allow you to designate your product as flavored whiskey, because the addition of sugar to the grains in the "whiskey" product nixes any possibility of ever having whiskey and I think that is proper. Consumers, to the extent they care about such things (some do care and some others care when there is a potential for a class action law suit), think whiskey is made from grain. Add sugar and it is not whiskey. I think most whiskey producers would support that position, since they would not want to compete with whiskeys that were 50% sugar derived.. However, I've got a different feeling about flavors. It is irrelevant, but I have it anyway. Two products can have identical profiles, but one is flavored whiskey and one is a specialty item. Does that make sense? Well, in the case of gin, you can produce it by original distillation, or you can manufacture it by redistillation of an existing spirit in the processing account. Either satisfies the standard. That follows from the circumstances at the time that the standards were written. People made gin both ways then. Nobody outside of the hollows made a product by mixing grain and sugar and adding hops to the distilling material. The rationale behind TTB's proposed rule,. which is likely to be potted, that will allow you to designate products that meet the standards for both cordials and flavored products with either designation, is interesting. It proposed change, it says, because it "does not believe that consumers perceive a distinction between, for example ‘‘Orange Flavored Tequila’’—which is how a flavored spirit would be designated under the proposed rule— and ‘‘Tequila with Orange Flavor’’— which is how the statement of composition would appear for a distilled spirits specialty product." That rationale, that the consumer does not perceive a difference, provides an opening for other changes not yet made. Many of you, in the manner of brewers, seek to create new products. Wineries do to. New grape types are added regularly to the list of those which may be used as varietal designations. But when you have set standards for items like, vodka whiskey, rum and brandy, most "innovative" products are going to fall into the specialty category, that is, they will be products that don't conform to a standard in §5.22. So, if you want to cling to traditional standards of identity as the rule for label designations, and you also want also to have innovative products, then you need to turn your attention to the rules that apply to specialty items, specifically to the statements of composition. I'd not forget the "consumers do not perceive a difference rationale if you do that.
  3. I am not aware of any such class. I'm busy right now, but I will try to respond next week about why it would be a hard class to create.
  4. I'll try to distill what I tried to say without giving the reasoning behind it, quoting the regulations, or giving citations. You gotta start with vodka If you are going to make flavored vodka, you need to start with vodka, then add flavor to the existing vodka. If you start with something other than vodka as the base spirit, the final product cannot be flavored vodka. You can make vodka two ways You can make vodka by calling any neutral spirit vodka when you produce it. But if you don't call it vodka when you , it is not vodka. It is only neutral spirits. That is a weird provision. If a spirit is distilled at 190 or more, then it is either neutral spirits or it is vodka, depending only on call it when you transfer it from the production account into either the storage or processing account. So. if you first say it is neutral spirits, then you must do something more to change the designation from netural spirits (a class of spirits defined to be colorless, odorless and tasteless) to vodka (a type within the class that is somehow more colorless, doerless, and tasteless that something that already is colorless, odorless, or tasteless). That defies logic, but that is what the regulations say. To manufacture vodka from neutral spirits,, the something you can do is filter or redistill or otherwise treat the neutral spirits to make them more neutral. That is a game. But it is a game you must play to get vodka out of something you first said was neutral spirits. i That is the first part of the discussion. You start with vodka, what then? So, assume you have vodka, however you came to acquire it. If, before you redistill the vodka over the flavoring, you dilute the vodka to less than 40 abv, it is no longer vodka. It is diluted vodka ( here is a reference for that, because I did not cite it before - ATF Ruling 75-32). It is diluted vodka because it has too little alcohol by volume to be vodka. But oops, if you add flavor to diluted vodka (how you do that does not matter), you are not adding it to vodka, because diluted vodka and vodka are two different products. Therefore the product doesn't qualify as flavored vodka. Since it conforms to no standard of identity, it is a specialty. Wonky nonsense This is all wonky nonsense. What does it matter to the character of the product that ends up in the bottle? Nothing! Taking a product you could have called vodka, but called neutral spirits instead, then cutting that product to 30% abv instead of 40@prior to redistillation using vapor extraction to create a flavored product that you bottle at 30% abv or more as flavored vodka is not misleading to the consumer. So submit the formula and see what TTB says. .
  5. In a flavored spirit, you have two or more ingredients. The first is the spirit component (vodka, whiskey, brandy, gin, rum). The second (and third and fourth, etc) are the aromatics and botanical you put into the gin basket. If you produce a neutral spirit, 190 or more proof, and designate it neutral spirit when you make the production gauge (see 19.304 and 19.305), then it is not vodka unless you do something more to "purify" it in the processing account (see 5.22(a)(1) - "(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.. The something more could be filtration (under the general use formula) or it could be redistillation (Tito style, I believe). However, if you declare it vodka at the time you make the production gauge, then it is vodka and you do not need to do anything more to it in the processing account. Those distinctions are a silly naming game for which I have no explanation. But it is what the regulations say. Flavored vodka is vodka to o which has 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 (5.22(i)). Obviously, I say "obviously" with a smile, since you can label 80 proof spirits as vodka, the spirits that you redistill in the processing account do not have to be 190 or more when you redistill them. Musty they be 80 proof? Logic seems to say so. But what will TTB say? So, I think that they need to have been 190 or more when you completed the original distillation and, by reasson of logic, to meet the vodka standard, they may need to be 80 or more proof when you redistill them. To be clear, I'm arguing, from the regularization, that since 60 proof neutral spirit is not vodka, vodka does not go into the redisaitllation, so what comes out cannot be flavored vodka. If TTB holds to such rigorous standards, what comes out of the redistillation would;d be a specialty item, which you would label under 5.35 with a fanciful name and truthful and adequate statement of composition, i.e., neutral spirits with natural peach flavor, or maybe peach flavored neutral spirits, but not peach vodka. . The same is true, by the way, if you flavor neutral spirits that have not been declared vodka. In my opinion, this is all silly games. No consumer is being mislead in any way if you call the product peach flavored vodka. I suspect that when you submit your formula to TTB, TTB will not object on the grounds I've stated above. I've only followed the syllogistic logic to the conclusion that follows from an "if A then B" sort of rigor that yields worst case scenarios. So, I would submit a formula for TTB's approval, which includes a statement of process that shows that (1) you distill spirits to 190 or over, (2) cut the neutral spirits to 60 proof, (3) re-distill them over aromatics and/or botanical in a gin basket, (4) collect the flavored distillate, (5) bottle the flavored distillate at 60 proof or more, and (5) call it flavored vodka. Then I'd wait to see what TTB says. I think the designation Peach Vodka will fly.
  6. It is not necessarily a red tape nightmare. It may be; it may not be. But even if it does require jumping through hoops, control over imported plant materials can help to protect against importing invasive species that wreak havoc on the environment, diseases that can decimate domestic crops , and foods that can harm those who consume them. Some red tape is the cost of that protection.
  7. [[Page 457]] That could be. I just don't know. You got my curiosity up, so I went onto the internet. It appears that USDA may play a role in determining what you may and may not import. Probably Customs too. So you've got an alphabet soup - USDA - USCBP - FDA -TTB But to add more letters to the soup - GRAS is certainly an issue. If the plant material you have in mind isn't GRAS, whether you can import it is moot.
  8. I'm not sure what you are asking. Forage is not the issue. Whether you forage or purchase an ingredient does not matter. Whether it comes from Estonia or Brooklyn does not matter. What matters is the ingredient, botanical or not. What matters is whether TTB can document that FDA has determined that the ingredient is GRAS at the concentrations you propose. Not all botanicals are on the FDA list of ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in foods (alcoholic beverages are foods under FDA rules). Nightshade leaps to mind. There is no single FDA list of ingredients that FDA has determined to be GRAS. FDA gave up on making its own determinations years ago. They allow self-certification, but the conditions for self-certifying are stringent. The person who self-certifies must do so using the same sort of rigorous guidelines the FDA would use if it were still self-certifying. If you can't afford to hire an attorney to advise you about that, you can't afford to make the tests necessary. That is a kind, not mocking answer. It is the plain truth. That's been on the forum before, I think. So you are stuck with the lists that do exist. See: https://www.fda.gov/food/generally-recognized-safe-gras/fdas-approach-gras-provision-history-processes. I'm not competent to comment beyond that reference. Call the FDA for further guidance. You must disclose all botanicals on your TTB formula and TTB will check what it knows to be GRAS. If it does not know that what you propose to use is GRAS, then it should, by its rules, not approve the formula you submit. If you want to know if TTB can find your ingredient on an FDA list, call the formulations division. Leave a message. My experience is that they will call back in a day or two.
  9. No. You may not operate a wholesale business on someone else's DSP premises. You may not operate any business on someone else's DSP premises. The prohibition is not alcohol specific.
  10. Old discussion. But, I'll offer old knowledge in response. When I knew, and I have no reason to think things have changed much, the price to a liquor store, or to a chain, was usually lower than the price to a bar (assuming we are talking call items and not well) because the bar bought in limited amounts. Really big buyers, who could afford to centrally warehouse, got even better prices, because of quantity discounts no retailer who did not centrally warehouse could purchase. Plus, if they warehoused, they could take advantage of post offs to buy at the right time. Or in some states get direct delivery, going around the wholesaler tier completely., Price structure based on quantity meant that it was sometime (if not often) cheaper for a small purchaser (bar or neighborhood liquor store that stocked bottles, not cases) to buy from someone like Costco than to buy from the wholesaler. In fact, in at least one market with which I was familiar, the wholesalers, who really served as a merchandising service, not a sale organization, prefered that small retailers go to large retailers to buy and set prices designed to encourage just that. I'm answering this in the hope that someone who knows more about current conditions than I do can fill me in on the situation now, but I know that as recently as the Washington conversion from state monopoly to privatized distribution, given the quantity discount rules, central warehousing rules, and direct sales rules that Costco got into the bill, those persons who bought small liquor store licenses went broke fast. With the advent of distribution systems that allow just in time delivery, so that a chain can ship a case of whiskey in the nightly restocking of a store from a central warehouse, small became increasingly untenable. i'd like to hear comments on this from those who know more than I do.
  11. This thread began with a subject line "TTB stopped our production due to high proof." It dates 2016, so I’m going back a ways to discuss the issue of being told to stop. I think the issue of gauging has been covered by many of the persons who have commented. I’ll only add that TTB has a proposal, the new section 5.65(c), that will provide an over proof tolerance as well as the existing under proof tolerance. The final rule is due out in March. Now, I’ll turn to what I really want to talk about. I quote the opening to this thread in full. “Ok, so curious if any other small facilities have had this issue. QUICK BACKGROUND: We filed for a new permit since we wanted change owners, father to son(we've had this small distillery for 20 years). As ttb came out to do there investigation they took 2 bottles to sample. We were told both bottles were at 81 proof not 80. Although we sent samples to another TTB certified lab and they gave us a reading of 80.23. Our inventory was only about 15 cases. Again we're a small distillery and we only bottle 6 to 12 cases at a time. Basically bottle when we need to. So end result the TTB investigator told us to stop all operations until the new permit is complete which will take another 2 months at least because we were over proof and that didn't match our labels of 80 proof. We have one major account we can't afford to lose Again, that statement dates to 2016, so I’m more than a bit late in commenting, but the atmospherics of TTB’s recent public statements and behaviors tells me that what I have to say is relevant today. I will accept that this happened, but I can't imagine that the agency would have backed up the employee out of whose mouth it spewed. Or can I? No agent has the authority to tell you to stop operations. Period. They can advise you that what you are doing is in violation of the law and that any further violations - which they would then have to prove - may be considered willful, but no agent may demand, on their authority, that you stop. I will underline the word "no." No government agent - go as high in the hierarchy as you might like - has that authority to do so on their own say. If any government agent asserts that they have that authority, ask them in a polite way, to cite the source form which the authority flows. I'm not an attorney, so consult one if this ever happens to you, but my advice is that you ask the agent to please put the cease and desist order in writing so that you can show it to your attorney. If the agent has a lick of sense, that will put an end to the demand. Next, I never thought I would need to say this, but if such an officious (I've got to watch my choice of nouns here) personage happens to darken the halls of your DSP, politely tell the agent that you certainly want to comply with any lawful order, but that you want to talk to your attorney before making any further statements. Look to John Hinman's advice at https://www.beveragelaw.com/booze-rules/investigator-5fnb4564-2754l85-7g42123fd-zfg9e-pxewb-9fajj. He was addressing talking with TTB agents who are asking about trade practices, but when things get serious, like an instruction to shut down, I'd apply the same rules. Now, I'm not arguing that you thumb your nose at a demand that you stop, because a permit may have terminated by operation of law as a result of circumstances other than the allegation that the two bottles of spirits that TTB tested were over proof. If there is a change in proprietors, which may have been the case in the situation described, the old proprietors permit terminates at the time of the change. Unreported changes in actual or legal control can also result in the termination of a permit. If the permit has terminated - which is a finding that is subject to review through an established process in which TTB is given great deference - the provisions of law that apply to moonshining kick in. So, I'm not advocating a "screw you" TTB approach. But, if the permit has not terminated by operation of law, TTB may not tell you to stop operations until they go through the formal hoops necessary to suspend or revoke the permit. Again, suspension and revocation require formal action. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and part 71 of TTB's own regulations apply. They apply because congress sought to restrict employees and agencies from acting in arbitrary ways and throwing imagined weight around. " Formal action” - underline that too - formal action requires a formal order issued to you to show cause why your permit should not be suspended, revoked or annulled; an opportunity for hearing before an administrative law judge; the right to appeal the administrative law judge's decision to the Administrator of TTB, and the right to appeal the administrator's decision to federal court. Usually it also involves an opportunity for an informal conference seeking to resolve the matter before going down the hearing rabbit hole in a waste of time and money. In any case, that is one hell of a long way from some agent having authority to say "Cease and desist" all operations because our lab says you had two bottles over proof. Next, the lab results on the two bottles over proof are evidence only that the two bottles the agent took and submitted were over proof. No inference to more violations can be drawn. TTB would have to look at the records for the bottling of those two bottles to say anything more. If the record did not support the conclusion that more than two bottles were over proof, then TTB has no evidence that anything more than two bottles were over proof. The two bottle cap also applies to collecting excise taxes on the spirits on which you did not pay tax. They can assess for two bottles, nothing more. If you don't have the required gauge record, the required bottling tank record, and the required proof and fill check records, TTB can cite you with recordkeeping violations, which are grounds for possible action, but they still don't have any proof of more than two bottles being over proof. TTB has routinely ignored such findings in the past. If you doubt my word on that , look at TTB's failure to act on its market basket sampling program, where it repeatedly found over proof bottles and did nothing. Further, they may not - the difference between "may" and "can" sometimes becomes important because they can say whatever words spew out of their mouth, but - they may not tell you to cease operations because of recordkeeping violations unless (1) they first allege that you willfully violated the law and (2) that finding then is sustained throughout the formal, hearing, appeal process which is your due. TTB may not simply rip a permit off the wall, put it in their pocket, and walk away, until such time as they finally get around to taking formal action, whenever that may be. That is the effect of an oral demand of the sort you received. And that is why you have the protection of the Administrative Procedure Act. Many years ago, I was instructed by ATF’s senior management to tell a person, who was operating as a wine wholesaler without having applied for a permit, that he was “violating the law and that any further violations would be considered willful.” Now, he had paid federal occupational taxes, which are no longer collected, and had a state license, but he didn’t know he needed a permit. I told him I wanted to see him with his attorney. I then delivered the message as instructed. He asked, “Are you telling me I must stop.” I said, truthfully, “I do not have the authority to do that.” His attorney said, “He is telling you to stop.” I told the attorney, “That may be, but before you advise your client to stop, you call the manager who told me to deliver the message and have him tell you to tell your client to stop.” After I left, he made the call, and I heard not one word more. This I know; the miscreant continued to sell high end French wines to restaurants who had put it on their wine list only after a promise that he could deliver a continuing supply; the permit was nevertheless approved; and I heard no more about telling people that future violations would be considered willful." But those were saner times.
  12. How it is designated depends on when it acquires the flavor. I'll do a strippiong run myself. Bare bones without reasons. Production by original distillation - It is a speciality item if you do it by original distillation. It is not rum. That requires a statement of production procedure for the specialty item. You bottle it as a specialty item. You need to get a formula too - preCOLA evaluation - because TTB will require that before it will approve a label for the specialty item. Production by Redistillation in the Processing Account. If you first make rum. . You must have a statement of production procedure to make the rum. You include a rum statement of production procedure on your registration You make the original distillation according to the statement of production procedure. You get to decide when the original distillation is completed. If the stripping run makes a product that conforms to the standard as rum, you can designate it rum after the stripping run. You make the production gauge based on the quantity you have in the strippping run. You designate it rum. You then transfer the rum out of the production account and into the processing account. You redistill the stripping run rum, in the processing account, over the apple flavor. That changes the class and type. it is no longer rum. If it otherwise meets the standard for flavored products, it has become apple flavored rum. If for some reason it does not meet the standard, you have a specialty product. Since you change the class and type, you need a formula to do this. The formula satisfies the requirement for pre-COLA evaluation.. I'll add that if you make a specialty item, the required statement of composition could become a challenge. It is not rum with apple flavors (that is apple flavored rum under the standard). Statements like "Spirits distilled from sugar with added apple flavor" seem not to be too appealing on the label. I think I'd opt for a way to make apple flavored rum. The stripping run strategy you propose seems possible, as long as the stripping run yields something you can call rum. I think you'd just have to get it over 40 ABV and distill it from nothing but cane sugar..
  13. I'll add something to what HedgeBird says. What TTB requires depends on how you make the purchase. The rules for changes in proprietorship and changes in control, which control what you must do, are in §1.42-1.44. For example, assume that you buy, as a new LLC,, the assets of an existing entity that is conducting business as a DSP. Your LLC takes over the business. The old LLC is out the door. TTB will call this a change of proprietorship. Your LLC needs to make original application. The assets that you buy do not include the permit, because any sale, lease, or other transfer of a permit from one entity to another results in automatic termination, under law and without any need for further action by TTB, of the permit at the time of the sale, lease, or transfer. Sale, lease or transfer by or from one entity to another = Poof., The permit vanishes and the registration is no longer in effect... Those rules result in a simple proposition. The succeeding entity must start over, period. It cannot operate on the sellers permit. So your application goes into the new application pile along with all the other applications. Time saved until you can operate = 0. Lesson - if you go this route, apply well in advance of the sale or make the sale effective on TTB's approval. However, if you you buy the entity from its owners (which means you acquire both the assets and the liabilities, so talk to your attorney), say you purchase all the membership interest in an LLC from the members, then you must immediately give TTB notice of a change. If, within 30 days of the change, you file an amended application showing the change in control, you can continue operating on the approved permit until TTB approves the application for a change in control. The permit remains issued to the same entity with different principals on record with TTB. That is a seamless transition, but it comes at the cost of acquiring those perhaps bothersome liabilities. Now let's talk about moves. HedgeBird is right about changes of location. If you buy out the members' interest, and continue to operate as the same entity, you can't pick up and move the permit without first obtaining TTB's approval. The issue is not whether the move is to a different state. Yes,s if you move to a different state, you will need to file an original application, as HedgeBird says. I do not find this requirement in the regulations (§§ 1.41 and 19.118). It appears in the FAQ's and appears to be policy. But TTB gets to make the rules. Still, by provision of those sections of regulation, any move, even on from one room to another within the same building, requires that you apply to amend the registration and permit. I've not observed that TTB approves moves within a state any faster than it does new applications, but it could be they do. The sample size is so small, and the other variables carry so much weight, that I think one would be hard pressed to reach any conclusions about how long things will take either way. For planning purposes, I'd allow more time than TTB's average time to approval in either case (remember that an average says some take longer and some take less) and I'd be less concerned with how long one way takes when compared to the other than to how one way fits the business plan better or worse than the other.
  14. Your question has some learning points. If you are producing this product by original distillation over mash, you do not submit a formula to cover the production processes. Instead, you submit a statement of production procedure (§19.77). You do that by amending your DSP registration and you must wait for TTB approval of the amended registration before you distill the product (§19.121). So, let's say you make it by original distillation. You distill the wash over the flavoring. After the distillation is complete, you make the production gauge (§19.304) and identify the spirits by kind (§19.305 ). But what do you call it and where do you enter it on the production report? Part 19 is specific (§19.487); you determine the kind based on the standards of part 5. Let's say that you are using a sugar wash and you distill it at less than 190 proof. If the distillate were not flavored, you would designate it rum. But it is not rum because you've given it apple flavor. Rum does not have apple flavor. Rule out rum. So is it, instead, apple flavored rum? That seems logical, but it can't be apple flavored rum because the standard for flavored products requires that you add flavor to an existing spirit (§5.22(i). For the product to be apple flavored rum you would need to add apple flavor to rum,. But in this case, you have no existing rum to which you add flavor, not one drop. So, since what you have created does not conform to and standard of identity in §5.22, you are are left with but one choice; it is a specialty item (§5.35) and should be reported as such in column (k) of the production report. Now, if you add the apple flavor to an existing rum, you do so in the processing account according to an approved formula ( §5.27). You need the formula because you are changing class and type. You start with rum and end up with flavored rum. The specialty item and the flavored item may be organoleptically indistinguishable, but they would have different label designations. Situations like this challenge credulity. Who but those who create such complicated rules could care? Because of the way the law is written, the rules that govern designations are intended to prevent a bottler from deceiving a consumer. But I surmise, based on too many years of experience, that the government did not create the sort of rules I'm discussing here in the interest of the consumer. Does the consumer care if two products that taste the same must have different identities under some set of rules in which they consumer has no interest? That is a rhetorical question. So there are some learning points about statements, formulas,standards, and designations, but here is the learning point I'm really reaching for in all of this: I'd argue that Industry brings things like this on itself when members seek to gain a marketing perch. If you want simple rules that are easy to follow and so serve the interests of consumers who don't have the time to waste or inclination to engage in wonkish exercises like this,, be careful what you ask for. If you are not, the result can be head scratching complication worthy of a Philadelphia lawyer; the sort of things that leads to a "you've gotta be kidding" response. One final note. Even though you are not required by either part 5 or part 19 to have a formula for the product when you make it by original distillation, by policy, TTB requires that, for speciality items, as well as flavored product, you submit a formula before they will approve the label. They call that pre-COLA evaluation. So, even though I said that you conducted the original distillation under a statement of production procedure, unless TTB changes its policy, you will also need to file a formula before it will issue a label approval. You will need both the statement and the formula. That TTB will require a formula before granting label approval iis assured if they follow their own policy. That they will get excited about a lack of a statement of process is not assured. If you have a formula, the lack of a statement of production procedure, if they catch it, is likely the sort of thing they would tell you to correct, before moving on to things they deem more important than that.
  15. This is a technical question I'm not competent to answer. What I do know - the gauge required will only be affected by the total solids in what you are gauging. The regulations ignore flavors that are added by evaporation - consider, for example the gins that are produced by distillation over aromatics and botanicals - or the addition of eligible flavoring. You can find the limits on solids content in §30.31 of the gauging manual. TTB's website has a link to regulations at the bottom of the page.. I'll let others say what solids you might expect to be present in the spirits produced as you described.
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