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TTB Public Guidance

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July 31, 2018
TTB G 2018-8

Changes to Class/Type Designations for “Ouzo” and “Aquavit”

TTB is making two amendments to its Distilled Spirits Beverage Alcohol Manual (BAM). Although this manual is currently undergoing a more thorough review, TTB is making two immediate amendments that address issues related to the class/type designations for “ouzo” and “aquavit.”

Chapter 4 of the BAM contains a chart in which class and type designations for distilled spirits are listed. Currently, on page 4-10, “ouzo” is listed as a type of liqueur/cordial and generally defined as an “anise flavored liqueur/cordial.” Under TTB regulations, cordials and liqueurs are “products obtained by mixing or redistilling distilled spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants, or pure juices therefrom, or other natural flavoring materials, or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation, or maceration of such materials, and containing sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, in an amount not less than 2 1/2 percent by weight of the finished product.” See 27 CFR 5.22(h).

TTB received a correspondence from the Embassy of Greece regarding the labeling of “ouzo”, which stated that many Greek products labeled as “ouzo” in Greece do not contain more than 2 1/2 percent of sugar.  However, when imported into the United States, these products may not be labeled as “ouzo” because they do not conform to TTB’s regulatory standard for a cordial/liqueur. Taking this information into account, TTB has decided to remove “ouzo” from the listed types of liqueurs/cordials in the BAM. Instead, TTB is adding “ouzo” to the end of the chart, at page 4-13, as a distilled spirits product. As a result, the product is no longer required to meet a minimum sugar content standard. Furthermore, it may be labeled in accordance with trade and consumer understanding as “ouzo,” which is now generally defined as an “anise flavored distilled spirits product.”

Additionally, page 4-13 of the BAM lists “aquavit” (towards the end of the chart) as a “caraway flavored distilled spirits product,” which is labeled in accordance with trade and consumer understanding. TTB received a correspondence from an aquavit producer, which explained that Norwegian law allows aquavit to possess the flavor of caraway, dill, or both. However, under the current BAM, the dill-flavored products are not eligible to be labeled as “aquavit” in the United States. TTB has confirmed that under Norwegian and European Union regulations, aquavit may be flavored with caraway and/or dill. Accordingly, TTB has administratively approved such products to be labeled as “aquavit” and now amends the entry for “aquavit” on page 4-13 to read: “A caraway and/or dill flavored distilled spirits product.”

These amendments to the Distilled Spirits Beverage Alcohol Manual are effective immediately.

New page 1:

Pages Amended:

4-10: “Ouzo” removed as a type of “liqueur/cordial.”

4-13: “Aquavit” amended to account for caraway and/or dill flavored spirits.

Amendatory instructions:

4-13: “Aquavit” amended as follows:

CLASS

GENERAL CLASS
DEFINITION

TYPE

GENERAL TYPE DEFINITION

AQUAVIT1

Caraway and/or dill flavored distilled spirits product

NO TYPE UNDER THIS CLASS

 

1Sufficient as class and type designation.

 

4-13: “Ouzo” removed from “liqueur/cordial” list and added after “Bitters” as follows:

CLASS

GENERAL CLASS
DEFINITION

TYPE

GENERAL TYPE DEFINITION

OUZO

Anise flavored distilled spirits product

NO TYPE UNDER THIS CLASS

 

Contact Information

Interested parties who have questions concerning this guidance may contact the Regulations and Rulings Division at 202-453-2265 or use the Contact Us form.

 

TTB G: 2018 – 08
OPR: RRD
Date: July 31, 2018

Page last reviewed: August 30 2018
Page last updated: September 4, 2018
Maintained by: Regulations and Rulings Division

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