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Industry Circular

Number: 79-8

Date: July 16, 1979

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division

Washington, D.C. 20224


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Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Importers, Wholesalers and others concerned

Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to inform industry members that ATF Ruling 79-9 will be published in a future issue of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bulletin. The ruling will read substantially as follows:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has recently recognized the need to establish guidelines for use of the terms "Original Proof," "Original Barrel Proof," "Entry Proof" and "Barrel Proof" on distilled spirits labels. No standard definitions have been issued by the Bureau specifying when and under what conditions distilled spirits labels may bear phrases indicating that the proof of the spirits when originally produced and when bottled is the same. Previously, the Bureau commented on the use of terms such as "Original Proof," "Original Barrel Proof," "Entry Proof" and "Barrel Proof" on a case-by-case basis.

Although these terms are not defined in the regulations, they have acquired certain meanings when used on distilled spirits labels.

To preclude any misunderstandings and to effect standardization in the use of these terms, the Bureau is issuing guidelines as follows:

Held, a distilled spirits label bearing the phrase "Original Proof," "Original Barrel Proof" or "Entry Proof" indicates that the proof of the spirits entered into the barrel and the proof of the bottled spirits are the same.

Held, further, "Barrel Proof" on a distilled spirits label indicates that the bottling proof is not more than two degrees lower than the proof established at the time the spirits were gauged for tax determination.

All companies presently holding approved certificates for distilled spirits labels bearing the term "Original Proof," "Original Barrel Proof," "Entry Proof" or "Barrel Proof" must return the aforementioned certificates by December 31, 1979, for cancellation.

Inquiry. Inquiries concerning this circular should refer to its number and be addressed to the Assistant Director (Regulatory Enforcement), ATF, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20226.

W.T. Drake

Acting Director

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