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Hopped whiskey??

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If a hopped beer is distilled in the US then aged in new barrels etc. is it allowed to be called Whiskey?

There is a bit of a discussion on this subject in Australia at the moment.

Thanks for any comments

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There are plenty of these on the shelf in the states without a label disclosure that indicates they are flavored whiskeys.

You could easily make an argument that they should be called "Malt Whiskey Flavored with Hops" or similar.

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I assume there is a section in your rules to allow for flavoured whiskies. So are they breaking TTB rules by not disclosing hops?

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Indeed there is. Chapter 4, page 11, bottom entry. Flavored whiskies can be 60 proof instead of 80 and must have the predominant flavor in the designation. So they would need "hop flavored whiskey" unless another flavoring is stronger.

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On 4/19/2018 at 9:28 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

There are plenty of these on the shelf in the states w

Unfortunately.  Simply not a style of whiskey I care for.  But yes, the labeling is a mystery to me. Most I've seen carry no "statement" on the front label;  generally only a blurb on the back.

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If you are distilling a true finished beer that has been brewed and/or fermented with hops you will not be allowed to call it whiskey in the USA.  It will have to be approved as a Distilled Spirits Specialty and you will be required to put a statement on the bottle that says something along the lines of "spirits Distilled from Barley and Hops".  Of course there are examples of products made this way that call themselves whiskey, but they were either approved by the TTB in error or the producer is just not being truthful in their formula and COLA.  For it to be called Malt Whiskey Flavored with Hops or Hop Flavored Malt Whiskey it would have to meet the TTB definition for Whiskey first (mashed from grain only, distilled under 160p, aged in new charred oak at under 125p) before the hops are added.  Adding hops into the mash, ferment, still, or barrel (unless after it has already been aged for the desired period) will push it into DSS and require the appropriate class and type statement.

I know this because I have been through this multiple times.  It is frustrating but at least the TTB has started consistently applying the rules.

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@MikeR is correct, it will not be whiskey. It is a distilled spirits specialty, UNLESS you add enough of other ingredients to put it into another category. It is not hop flavored whiskey: you have to start with something that meets the whiskey category requirements then add flavor to be classified as a flavored whiskey.

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Thanks for the the information.

In Australia our regulations are not very specific and I was hoping that your regulations allowed for a product "Hopped Whisky" then I could use that as an argument to use that name for my product. I think if I clearly note on the front label I should still be able to use the name. 

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Those who state it is not whiskey, but a specialty item, are correct.   Speciality items are items for which no standard of identity exists.  No standard of identity (27 CFR 5.22) exists for a product distilled from a grain mash to which hops have been added.  

Specialty items must be labeled with a fanciful name, which you invent, say Hoppy-wisk, and yes I know that is bad, "followed by" a truthful and adequate statement of composition (5.35).  And what might a truthful and adequate statement of composition be for our  mythical "Hoppy-wisk?"  It can't be whiskey flavored with hops, but it gain be;

Joe's Distillery (Brand Name)

Hoppy-Wisk (Fanciful Name)

Spirits Distilled from Malt Mash and Hops 

Finished in Oak Barrels (Statement of Composition)

It must be finished, not aged, because you cannot make age statements on specialty items (5.40(d))

Peruse category 649 on the TTB's public COLA database for examples.  Use %hops% in the brand/fanciful name field.  

 

 

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We called our distilled beers " beer schnapps" because as previously stated calling it whiskey was not allowed, as the fermented product being distilled must consist of grains only.  Flavoring must occur after the whiskey is distilled and barreled  (it has to be a whiskey first before you can flavor it) to call it a flavored whiskey.

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4 hours ago, Dmonahan said:

..................must consist of grains only.  Flavoring must occur after the whiskey is distilled and barrelled...…………….

So could an officious TTB agent say you cannot make a peated whiskey because the grain is flavoured before fermentation? Or is that specifically allowed in the regs?

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Peat is not a flavoring,  it's a method of malt production. Peated whiskeys should be ok even with the most over zealous ttb official. 

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