Jump to content
DBlakely

Formula for Aged Rum

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have attempted several times to get confirmation from the TTB to no avail so I am hoping you can assist.  I have started a rum distillery.  We are not ready to bottle so thought we would put in new and/or used oak barrels; however, I don't know if we need to get formula approval.  The rules state formula approval is required before production.  The rules state Formulas for rum are only required if harmless coloring doesn't exceed a total of 2 1/2 percent by volume of the finished product.  How will I know if it exceeds if I can't put in the barrel first.

Your insights would be greatly appreciated!

D

Formula question.JPG

Edited by DBlakely
Added photo of TTB information

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Naked Spirits Distillery said:

You will not need a formula. The 2 1/2% is flavor added. If you are aging rum and not adding flavoring to it, no formula is needed.

Thanks!  I understood the flavor added but not the harmless coloring.  I know the barrel will color the rum but have no idea what %.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, DBlakely said:

Thanks!  I understood the flavor added but not the harmless coloring.  I know the barrel will color the rum but have no idea what %.

What the barrel adds is not a concern to the TTB, the regulation is referring to actually adding a dye to your spirit such as caramel coloring.  

 

Edited by Thatch
Corrected information

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I beleive that is the page from the labeling BAM. It is just advising you on how to label your product, and whether or not you will need to have a formula approval for the label, once you bring it to market. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DBlakely said:

How will I know if it exceeds if I can't put in the barrel first.

What @Naked Spirits Distillerysaid above is right on.

 

6 hours ago, Naked Spirits Distillery said:

No worries. The guidelines do not count for barrel color or flavor that comes from the wood. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally received a response from the TTB.  I am not sure why a formula is required for rum when it isn't required for whiskey/bourbon.

 

Currently a formula is required and the product reclassed.  Please submit a formula.
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like you aren't making rum.  What are you trying to ferment? What products besides yeast are going into the fermenter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, DrDistillation said:

That sounds like you aren't making rum.  What are you trying to ferment? What products besides yeast are going into the fermenter?

It is purely rum.  Sugar, molasses, water and yeast.  The question I asked the TTB was: Does aging rum in a new and/or used oak barrel require a formula? The information provided isn't specific. How will I know if the coloring from the barrel exceeds a total of 2.5 percent by volume of the finished product if I am to get approval first?

Their reply: Currently a formula is required and the product reclassed.  Please submit a formula.

The latest ruling I could find was from 9/16: 

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is approving general-use formulas for certain distilled spirits products subject to the formula requirements in 27 CFR 5.26, 5.27, and 19.348. Proprietors of distilled spirits plants producing vodka, whisky, brandy or rum with the harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials specified in this ruling, in accordance with these general-use formulas, do not need to submit a formula to TTB for approval.

It is my understanding that harmless coloring, flavoring from a new and/or used oak barrel doesn't need a formula but I wanted to be safe so I sent a message to TTB.  I am confused.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rum is:

"Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)"

You are using other ingredients than what is considered rum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, DrDistillation said:

Rum is:

"Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)"

You are using other ingredients than what is considered rum.

Because we are using yeast?  When we applied for permit, the recipe we reported had listed yeast as an ingredient and our permit was issued.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, DrDistillation said:

When you said "sugar" above, you were referring to "sugar cane" correct?

 

My apologies.  Yes. We use pure cane sugar and/or panela, molasses, yeast, water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, DrDistillation said:

And so you have your answer.

Which is????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming your referring to "pure cane sugar" like people use cooking or in coffee.

pure cane sugar is not the fermented juice of sugar cane

pure cane sugar is not sugar cane syrup

pure cane sugar is not sugar cane molasses

pure cane sugar is not a cane by-product (it is the product)

You either need the fresh pressed juice from sugar cane (plant itself) or the molasses (by product of making pure cane sugar) combined with water and yeast.  Not "pure cane sugar"  where all the molasses has been removed.

"Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point, are you attempting to distill and barrel rum  (not that rum need to be aged) or are you attempting to obtain a COLA for a product you have already produced ? 

Beyond that, you do realize that if you add a flavoring , as defined in your attachment above or otherwise, that is typically done after you have removed the product from the barrel (not that it needs to ever go in the barrel). I.e. You could make a white rum and add for example 2% molasses and not require a formula. If you added 3% you would require a formula, etc...

BAM (Bible) for production  :https://www.ttb.gov/images/pdfs/spirits_bam/chapter4.pdf

As a side issue I do not believe your problem lies with some interpretation of what constitutes "sugar by products or purity" . I understand that sugar from cane can be used in any and all forms, as any derivation therein is merely process. 

Prost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Roger said:

At this point, are you attempting to distill and barrel rum  (not that rum need to be aged) or are you attempting to obtain a COLA for a product you have already produced ? 

Beyond that, you do realize that if you add a flavoring , as defined in your attachment above or otherwise, that is typically done after you have removed the product from the barrel (not that it needs to ever go in the barrel). I.e. You could make a white rum and add for example 2% molasses and not require a formula. If you added 3% you would require a formula, etc...

BAM (Bible) for production  :https://www.ttb.gov/images/pdfs/spirits_bam/chapter4.pdf

As a side issue I do not believe your problem lies with some interpretation of what constitutes "sugar by products or purity" . I understand that sugar from cane can be used in any and all forms, as any derivation therein is merely process. 

Prost

Thanks Roger!  We are currently working on our marketing so we aren't ready to obtain COLA.  What has been produced has been put in a stainless steel barrel.  As we wait, I wanted to add the silver/white rum to a new and/or used oak barrel and then sell as Aged Rum.  I understand this will require a different COLA than the silver rum.  My challenge is I am looking for confirmation if the aged rum needs a formula.  We will not be adding any coloring (although I appreciate your idea about adding a little before bottling.  I have heard of that before).  The only alteration to the silver rum will be the harmless coloring from the new and/or used oak barrels.  

From everything I can find, spirits aged in new and/or used oak barrels do not need a formula but when I asked the TTB they stated a formula was required.  I have no problem submitting one but other than stating I am adding harmless coloring from the barrel, I am not altering the product.  Make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please do not take my comment in the wrong fashion, but I think the issue in your question comes from your understanding of what is added to your rum and what is not added to your rum. You are assuming the color and tasting notes derived from wood is something added to your rum. It is not. You are not introducing another product/ingredient in the distillate. Attempting to simplify the answer, think of "blending" an additional product into the rum after you take it our of the barrel. OR, think of adding something to color your rum without using a barrel. 

Imagine taking white rum and adding artificial oak flavoring and food coloring to mimic an aged rum-now you need a formula. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Naked Spirits Distillery said:

Please do not take my comment in the wrong fashion, but I think the issue in your question comes from your understanding of what is added to your rum and what is not added to your rum. You are assuming the color and tasting notes derived from wood is something added to your rum. It is not. You are not introducing another product/ingredient in the distillate. Attempting to simplify the answer, think of "blending" an additional product into the rum after you take it our of the barrel. OR, think of adding something to color your rum without using a barrel. 

Imagine taking white rum and adding artificial oak flavoring and food coloring to mimic an aged rum-now you need a formula. 

No worries!  I completely understand what you are saying.  I am new to the industry and don't want to do anything from ignorance.  It was my understanding exactly what you stated, then I signed up for Whiskey Systems and the trainer (who has been in the compliance portion of our industry for many years) stated if we aged our rum, we would need a formula.  I was confused so I was on the hunt for approval by the TTB since its their rules.  I submitted the question to the TTB and they replied I would need a formula; however, I can't find anything supporting the response so I thought I would bring it to ADI for guidance.  The last thing we need is some kind of fine because we didn't play by the rules.  Can you see my frustration?  What will happen if I don't get a formula and later it is determined I was to submit a formula?  I am currently asking for permission rather than forgiveness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way you can work through the process is to just come up with your brand name, then do a simple piece of art, and submit a COLA. As you add verbiage of "puffery" the COLA dept will let you know where you went wrong, if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Roger said:

One way you can work through the process is to just come up with your brand name, then do a simple piece of art, and submit a COLA. As you add verbiage of "puffery" the COLA dept will let you know where you went wrong, if at all.

Thanks Roger!  Sounds like a plan.  Doesn't simple piece of art actually be my final logo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many FAQ's on the ttb site that will answer many of these questions including allowable changes to COLA's 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...