Spirits Groups Ask TTB for American Single Malt Standards
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Influential Spirits Trade Groups Pen Letter to US Government Requesting Legal Standards for American Single Malt Whiskey

American Single Malt

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission have written an open letter to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

On Thursday, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and American Single Malt Whiskey Commission published a joint open letter to the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau, requesting the establishment of identity and standards for American single malt whiskey.

“We again would like to commend TTB for listening to the industry and placing a rulemaking regarding an American Single Malt Whisk(e)y Standard of Identity on its Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda,” the groups wrote. “However, the need for the development of a standard for this growing category has reached a critical moment as more distillers than ever are labeling their products with this term while there are no formal TTB requirements for the American Single Malt Whisk(e)y category.”

Traditionally a Scottish style of distilling, single malt whiskeys continue to grow in popularity in the U.S., with distilleries such as Balcones (Texas), Westward (Oregon), Westland (Washington) and Stranahan’s (Colorado) leading the charge.

The American Single Malt Whiskey Commission was founded in 2016 to establish, promote and protect the American single malt whiskey category. The commission is made up of more than 120 members.

According to the letter, DISCUS and ASMWC believe that consumers will benefit from a clear definition of what constitutes an American single malt whiskey.

“The formal establishment of this category would also signal to the world that not only do we believe in and support our own distilleries, but we also recognize that American Single Malt Whisk(e)y is as unique as other American staples, such as Bourbon, and deserves to be similarly defined and protected,” the groups said in the letter. “These protections have been in place for Scotch Whisk(e)y for generations and we believe that, to protect the developing American Single Malt category here in the U.S., such regulations should be in place here as well.”

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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.