Rev. Ruling 69-58

Advice has been requested whether under the provisions of 27 CFR 5.39(a), a storage statement is required on labels of a non-American type whisky which has been stored in reused cooperage for four years or more.

Under the provisions of 27 CFR 5.39(a), an age statement is optional in the case of straight whisky bottled under the Bottling in Bond Act of the United States and foreign or domestic whisky (whether or not mixed or blended but containing no neutral spirits) all of which is four years or more old.

The term "age" is defined in 27 CFR 5.10(j) as follows:

"Age. 'Age' means the period during which, after distillation and before bottling, distilled spirits have been kept in oak containers, charred if for a whisky of American type other than corn whisky, straight corn whisky, or a blend of straight corn whiskies. In the case of American type whiskies produced on or after July 1, 1936, other than corn whisky, straight corn whiskies, blended corn whisky, and blends of straight corn whisky 'age' means the period during which the whisky has been kept in charred new oak containers."

Under the above definition of age, non-American type whisky that has bee stored in oak containers (whether new or reused, charred or uncharred) for four years is four years old. Accordingly, in view of the provisions of 27 CFR 5.39(a) which makes an age statement optional in the case of whisky which is four years or more old, it has been concluded that no age statement of any kind is required to appear on the labels of non-American type whisky (not containing neutral spirits) stored four years or more in reused cooperage. However, if age is stated for such whisky, it must be in the form of a storage statement as required by the last paragraph of 27 CFR 5.39(a).

27 U.S.C. 205; 27 CFR 5.10 (27 CFR 5.11)