American Single Malt Whiskey Definition Proposed By TTB
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‘A Huge Moment for the Whiskey Industry’ Arrives as TTB Proposes Definition, Standards for American Single Malt Whiskey

American Single Malt

Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is “thrilled” by TTB’s proposed American Single Malt designation.

On Friday, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced a proposed addition of American Single Malt Whiskey to the standards of identity for distilled spirits.

TTB’s Proposed Definition of American Single Malt Whiskey

If TTB’s proposed standards are made official, a whiskey will, in order to be labeled an American single malt, need to meet the following requirements:

  • Made from 100% malted barley
  • Distilled entirely at one distillery
  • Mashed, distilled and matured in the U.S.
  • Matured in oak casks of a capacity no greater than 700 liters
  • Distilled to no more than 160 proof
  • Bottled at 80 proof or higher

Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, one of the premier American single malt whiskey distillers, called the proposed establishment of a category definition for American single malt whiskey “a huge moment for the whiskey industry” and “a momentous first step for not only whiskey, but distilled spirits generally.”

“We believe this established identity will amplify consumer awareness of the American Single Malt category in the United States and beyond,” Owen Martin, head distiller at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, said in a news release. “With the category being officiated, American Single Malts will start to compete with traditional whiskey categories. We’re thrilled to be at the forefront of this recognition and to continue doing what we do best – create the country’s number one American Single Malt.”

In April, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and American Single Malt Whiskey Commission published an open letter to TTB, requesting the establishment of identity and standards for American single malt whiskey.

Clearly, that effort was fruitful, as TTB said in its announcement that it made this proposal in response to petitions and comments submitted by several distillers and the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission.

“The TTB’s American Single Malt definition will ultimately protect, educate, promote, and grow the category,” Steve Hawley, president of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission, said. “With dedicated producers like Stranahan’s working as part of our collective, we’re able to certify a future where consumers are well-informed about the American Single Malt category and distilleries can build their brands and craft excellent whiskey.”

It has been almost 30 years since TTB has implemented a new whiskey category definition, according to Stranahan’s.

“Stranahan’s is thrilled that the designation allows for distilling experimentation and a freedom for producers across the United States to make spirits that are uniquely theirs,” Stranahan’s wrote in a news release.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.