FijiSpirits Posted December 29, 2020 Share Posted December 29, 2020 TTB did a rule change recently that removed the requirement for vodka to be without distinctive character, aroma taste or color and amending the rules. why isn’t this all over the news and why have I not seen this discussed anywhere other than artisan spirits magazine summer 2020? are we on the cusp of full flavored vodkas? What does that mean for labeling? here is the full text of the pertinent part of the federal register https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-04-02/pdf/2020-05939.pdf 10. Standard of Identity for Vodka In Notice No. 176, TTB proposed to amend the standard of identity for vodka, a type of neutral spirit, to codify the holdings in several past rulings: Revenue Ruling 55–552 and Revenue Ruling 55–740 (vodka may not be stored in wood); ATF Ruling 76–3 (vodka treated with charcoal or activated carbon may be labeled as ‘‘charcoal filtered’’ under certain parameters); and Revenue Ruling 56–98 and ATF Ruling 97–1 (allowing treatment with up to 2 grams per liter of sugar and trace amounts (1 gram per liter) of citric acid). In addition, TTB specifically sought comment on whether the current requirement that vodka be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color should be retained and, if this requirement is no longer appropriate, what the appropriate standards should be for distinguishing vodka from other neutral spirits. TTB received twelve comments in response to the proposed changes to the standard of identity for vodka. TTB did not receive any comments relating to the proposal to incorporate several past rulings related to treatment of vodka with sugar, citric acid, and charcoal. TTB requested comments on whether the requirement that vodka be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color should be retained and, if this requirement is no longer appropriate, what the standards should be for distinguishing vodka from other neutral spirits. Ten commenters suggested that the requirement should be eliminated. For example, Altitude Spirits stated that ‘‘[t]he requirement that vodka be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color should NOT be retained and is no longer appropriate given the variety in base ingredients, flavors, and flavor profiles found in the diverse vodka category.’’ Within this group of comments, two commenters stated that they believe that TTB should reverse its longstanding policy and allow vodka to be aged in wood. Two individual commenters recommended—without explanation— that the standard be kept unchanged. TTB Response Based on its review of the comments, TTB agrees that the requirement that vodka be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color no longer reflects consumer expectations and should be eliminated. Vodka will continue to be distinguished by its specific production standards: Vodka may not be labeled as aged, and unlike other neutral spirits, it may contain limited amounts of sugar and citric acid. Accordingly, TTB is amending the existing regulations at § 5.22(a)(1) to remove the requirement that vodka be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color, and to incorporate in the regulations the standards set forth in the rulings discussed above, obviating the need for those rulings which will be canceled. TTB will also make a conforming change to existing § 5.23(a)(3)(iii), which discusses the addition of harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials to neutral spirits, to reflect the allowed additions to vodka in amended § 5.22(a)(1). 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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