PROPOSED HEARINGS CONCERNING
27 CFR Part 5
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants,
Importers and Wholesalers of Distilled
Spirits, Cooperage Industry, and others
This circular is issued to provide information about a series
of public hearings proposed to be held to consider possible amend-
ments of the regulations set forth in 27 CFR Part 5, Labeling and
Advertising of Distilled Spirits.
The comments and suggestions submitted by interested persons in
response to the Distilled Spirits Standards and Labeling Survey
Committee's informal proposals (see Industry Circular No. 66-9, dated
May 25, 1966) have been carefully reviewed and evaluated. We have
also considered the petitions of several distillers which have been
pending for some time requesting consideration of various proposals
to amend provisions of the regulations applicable to the labeling of
domestic whisky stored in used cooperage.
Sufficient grounds now exist, based on the petitions, industry
requests in certain areas, and consumer interests, to justify pro-
ceeding with a series of public hearings in the following sequence.
1. Hearings will be held on industry proposals to amend the
regulations governing the labeling of domestic whiskies particularly
as affected by cooperage. This will afford an opportunity for
hearing to those persons who have filed, or who may file, petitions
on this subject, and to all persons who are interested in the pro-
posals which are the subject of such petitions.
As stated, several petitions for hearings are now on file and
unless withdrawn or modified by the petitions will be noticed for
hearing. In essence, these request that the regulations be amended,
(1) to permit domestic light flavored whisky (distilled at higher
proofs) and aged in uncharred oak containers or used charred oak
containers to bear a normal age statement, and
(2) to permit the
traditional American whiskies such as bourbon and rye to be made
through storage in used barrels into which have been inserted
sections of charred new oak wood or by storing such traditional
whiskies first in used cooperage and later transferring them to charred new oak cooperage for an additional storage period of at
least two years after which age could be claimed for the total
periods of storage. Several variations of these proposals have
also been received.
If there are any other proposals to change in any manner the
present regulations with respect to the labeling of domestic
whiskies or the standards of identity thereof, petitions should
be filed with the Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, within
30 days of the date of this circular. The petitions should be
specific as to the regulatory changes desired.
In order to obviate any misunderstandings as to sponsorship
of the individual proposals, it is anticipated that the notice
will state the proponent of each proposal to be considered.
2. Thereafter, proposals relating to substantive changes in
regulations in areas other than those which were the subject of
industry petitions concerning domestic whiskies and which are con-
sidered of sufficient merit to justify further consideration will
be grouped and noticed for a separate hearing.
3. A final hearing is anticipated which will be based on a
notice in the form of a complete new regulation. That notice will
include an overall editing of the regulation so as to combine
sections, rearrange subparts, reword language to achieve a higher
degree of clarity and delete obsolete matter plus any changes
which may result from the earlier hearings and the necessary con-
forming and editorial changes. Additional proposals for sub-
stantive changes found desirable during the period between the
first and final hearings would be included in this hearing. It
is emphasized that testimony will not be received at this hearing
relative to matters which were decided pursuant to the earlier
Inquiries concerning this circular should refer to its number
and be addressed to the Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division
(Attention: CP:AT:JHL), Washington, D. C. 20224.
Harold A. Serr
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division