When is a “single malt” whisky not one?September 7th, 2009
The distillers of Amrut Indian whisky want to import their products into the United States. (This is great news!) To do this, the need label approval from the TTB (the governmental agency that regulates alcohol).
I just received this note from Ashok Chokalingam from Amrut:
When is a Single Malt Whisky not one? The TTB does not recognize “Single Malt” or “Peated Single Malt” as an acceptable designation for Single Malt whiskies produced outside of Scotland. Purple Valley Imports, the importers of Amrut Indian Single Malt Whiskies have been trying to get their products approved for labeling for what it is – Single Malt Whisky. However the TTB does not have a designation for “Single Malt Whisky.” With all of the world class quality Single Malts being produced outside of Scotland isn’t it time for the TTB to acknowledge that “Single Malt” is not unique to Scotland?
So, if they want to bring their single malt whisky into the U.S., they told me they would have to label it as either a “Straight Malt Whisky” or “Malt Whisky.” (Straight Malt Whisky??) They have argued that a number of non-Scotland whiskies (e.g. Yamazaki from Japan and Penderyn from Wales) can label their whisky as “Single Malt,” but they are not allowed this designation.
Anyone out there know someone at the TTB who can help them label their whisky as what it is, a single malt?