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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EU Compromises on Vodka and Whiskey Regulations

The European Union Parliament reached a compromise on Monday that may result in a truce in the vodka war, but few are happy about it.

The politicians from the so-called vodka belt of Poland, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia wanted to get legislation passed that would require vodka to be made only from grains and potatoes. Other products, amounting to about 30 percent of the vodka made in the EU, using everything from grapes to molasses in fermentation would be labeled as "white spirits." However, the traditionalists lost out and had to settle for a compromise that says vodka made from things other than grains and potatoes will now say "Vodka made from XXXXX" on the label.

The issue might not be totally closed. The United States has said it will take the issue to the World Trade Organization. Some vodkas made in this country use sugar came.

Meanwhile, Scotland's distillers appear happy with tighter rules on the production and labeling of whiskey. The regulations will now state that whiskey cannot be flavored or sweetened. Scotch will also get tighter protection from the WTO as a regional designation and not a style.

1 comment:

Tuthilltown Sprits said...

EU definition of whisky inappropriately includes American Bourbon and Rye, contradicting American law and the definition of these traditional American spirits. The EU regulation is a redefinition of our native American spirits. It is protectionsm. The three year minimum aging requirement is fine for Scotch Whisky, but the EU may not define American Spirits. If we were to use the same method and adopt a similar standard in the US, then Scotch would not be able to be called "whisky" in the US because it is not aged in new charred oak barrels.