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Archive for February, 2010

California Rum

Most of the world’s rum is produced in the Caribbean. Not a lot has been made in the US.

But lately there are signs of incipient production in California. Here are two:  Agua Libre and Eurydice. Both are made by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California. A Swedish blog explains:

Eurydice starts with the fresh-pressed cane juice of 100% California-grown sugar cane. The cane, grown in Southern California, is harvested and crushed at St George Spirits’ Alameda facility where it is fermented with two strains of wine yeast designed to accent the fruit and floral notes of the cane.

It is good to see that TTB is not asserting that an appellation may not be indicated. On some occasions TTB has asserted that vintage-, varietal-, and appellation-type claims should not be made on distilled spirits products because these subtle characteristics are not discernible after distillation.

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Taurine

Taurine has been widely used in alcohol beverages for about ten years. One of the early approvals is Hard E Malt Beverage with Taurine, as above. Another early example is Sparks with Caffeine, Taurine, Guarana and Ginseng, from a few months later.

Taurine showed up in TTB/ATF products around 2001, a few years after Red Bull hit the US. Red Bull famously contains taurine as well as caffeine and B vitamins. Some, like CSPI, have said taurine is of dubious legitimacy in food, but this article points out that Red Bull sells the beverage, with taurine, in well over 130 countries. The US of course is among those countries and there is no big sign of FDA concern. France had banned Red Bull with taurine for many years but began allowing it in April of 2008. On this occasion, the company said:

Last year alone, over three and a half billion cans and bottles of Red Bull energy drink were consumed in over 143 countries across the world and no one anywhere has ever shown any link between [the product] and harmful effects. Red Bull could only have such global sales because health authorities across the world have concluded that [it] is safe to consume.

The term is derived from “taurus,” Latin for bull, because it was initially found in ox bile. It occurs naturally and widely in meat and seafood. There is not much evidence that it’s good for you or bad (for example, it has little to no stimulant effects).

Hard E is also a rare example of a malt beverage with vodka on the label.

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flavored malt beverage


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A Natural Pair

Hooters and Bud.

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malt beverage


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Ethyl

Here it is. What all the controversy is about. EtOH. It is quite possibly the most popular psychoactive substance in the world, running neck and neck with caffeine, at least among substances that don’t require a prescription or jail time.

EtOH is otherwise known as ethanol or alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Ethanol is a contraction for ethyl alcohol and ethyl derives from “ether.” This particular EtOH is bottled by Ballast Point Spirits of San Diego, California.

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alcohol beverages generally, vodka


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Beer with Garlic

Here is Jessenhofke beer “brewed with garlic.”

It is not the only one. Here is another. The Belgian label is also noteworthy because it has a detailed ingredient list.

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flavored malt beverage


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