And you wonder why whisky companies don’t import their whisky to the U.S.?December 3rd, 2010
It’s not always because they don’t want to. Sometimes our government’s bureaucracy makes it nearly impossible for them to do so.
Yes, we addressed this issue before here with Amrut from India. Well, here’s another example of your U.S. tax dollars at work.
It’s true that “straight” whiskeys here in the U.S., like straight bourbon and straight rye whiskeys, must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. But it’s ridiculous for our government to require a whisky outside of the U.S. be aged in new charred oak barrels to be called a “single malt,” as described below by the importer of Amrut and (hopefully, some day) The English Whisky Company.
Many of you will recall that last year I wrote lamenting about the TTB’s decision to not allow Amrut to be designated as a “Single Malt Whisky”. After appeals and clarification they relented allowing US consumers to enjoy another Single Malt Whisky.
At Purple Valley Imports we are focused on bringing world class single malts to US consumers and have been working to offer the English Whisky Company Single Malts to the US market.
Well, the powers that be are up to the old tricks again.
We recently presented The English Whisky Company’s Chapter 6 and Chapter 9 to the TTB Beverage Lab for analysis. (Any “Whisky” not from Scotland, Ireland, Canada or the US must go through lab testing).
Although the English Whisky distilled spirits taste, smell and drink like Single Malts the TTB department has deemed that we may call these “Whisky or Whiskey” but not “Single Malt”. Their reasoning? Well, the spirits are not aged in “new oak charred barrels”.
As all of you are aware the majority of distilleries in Scotland use ex-Bourbon barrels. Bourbon is aged in new oak charred barrels and can only be used once. So, technically whisky is being aged in “new oak charred barrels that have had bourbon pass through them”.
The English Whisky Company, is the first new distillery in England in over a century. Located some 250 miles from Scotland they produce “Single Malt” Whiskies using barley grown and malted in England. (By the way some 60% of the barley used for Scottish Malt Whiskies is grown in England).
Andrew Nelstrop, Managing Director of The English Whisky Company commented: “We use only English barley, malted in England. The whisky we are producing at present was also peated in England. I am not aware of any distillery that can claim they use 100% barley, water and yeast produced in their own country other than ourselves”.
So, here is a small Distillery producing a wonderful dram (can I call a whisky that isn’t from Scotland a dram?), that the US will not allow to be labeled as “Single Malt”.
Yet, they will allow whiskies from a distillery in Wales (which is much further in distance to Scotland then the English Whisky Company is) to do so.
Well while the rest of the world enjoys The English Whisky Single Malts, the consumers in the US can only dream.
We are appealing this from here and from the UK. As always we appreciate your support and comments