Archive for the ‘whisky’ Category
The Malt Advocate blog had an interesting article about Single Malt Whisky from other than Scotland (specifically, Amrut Single Malt Whisky, made in India). The initial post, on September 7, 2009, tends to suggest that TTB would not allow “Single Malt” on whiskies produced outside of Scotland.
Do they? Should they?
Amrut’s apparent difficulty touched off a fairly strong torrent of comments. The Spirit of Islay site points out (comment 4), having done a recent tasting and review, that “It’s bloody good whisky.” Mark Gillespie explains (comment 3):
Amrut is sold in the UK with no objections from the [Scotch Whisky Association], since it’s clearly labeled as an Indian product. The SWA goes ballistic when someone in another country tries to pass off locally produced whisky as Scotch.
With admirable understatement, the distiller (Ashok Chokalingam) observes (comment 11): “This is a pain the neck for us.” He also explains that he cleared it with the SWA before the launch — in Glasgow, Scotland. Other commenters proceed to mention several good examples of already approved Single Malt Whiskies not from Scotland. Just two days later, Ashok reports (comment 23) “[At least for] now, the terminology issue is sorted out. This is half of the battle that got over.” At comment 27, TTB tends to say the regulations require a Malt Whisky label to indicate “Straight” if aged two years or more.
More than a month after Mr. Chokalingam said the issue is largely resolved, there is still no sign of a new label approval for this brand. Stranger still, the 2004 approval (for Amrut Single Malt Whisky) has been sitting in plain view the whole time.
Sin City seems to be alive and well in the hearts and minds of drinkers and marketers everywhere. Sin City Whiskey (above) is imported by Side Pocket Foods of Oregon. Viva Las Vegas is a California white wine bottled by Cartlidge & Browne Winery of American Canyon, California.
Rogue Spirits makes a Dead Guy Whiskey “Ocean Aged in Oak Barrels for 1 Month.” Is it a gimmick or a good idea? Let’s just say they are not alone in searching high and low to make innovative products. Ocean Vodka “uses deep sea water from Hawaii” according to Luxist. “The water is drawn from 3,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean … to be devoid of surface pollutants.”
Montanya Distillers is headed in the other direction. They make Mountain Rum in Silverton, Colorado, where it is “altitude aged” far from the seas.
When it comes to the burgeoning category of alcohol beverages with caffeine, we think Sparks is one of the oldest, and Jett is one of the newest. Sparks is under fire from this lawsuit alleging it’s dangerous to mix alcohol and caffeine. As the bigger companies and brands come under attack and ease away (as in the case where Tilt removed the caffeine), this leaves a big, high-risk, high-reward opportunity for smaller brands such as Jett. Does anyone know of a brand approved for US-sale prior to Sparks (with alcohol and added caffeine, pre-mixed)?
TTB frequently says vintage dates are not allowed on spirits. The rationale is: subtle vintage characteristics do not survive distillation, and it is usually misleading to suggest otherwise. This bourbon label shows a prominent date, but seems to refrain from using the “vintage” term. The back label explains that 1792 is the year when Kentucky became the 15th state. The ad is from the October 24, 2008 Wall Street Journal.