Market Compliance

Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program

About the Program

Our Bureau's mission to protect the public includes ensuring that labels on alcohol beverages contain adequate descriptive information and are not likely to mislead consumers. Established in 2008, TTB's Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program (ABSP) is a random survey of products in the marketplace to evaluate our success in meeting this mission and to determine where compliance issues exist.

Each year we conduct the ABSP by purchasing products from the marketplace and bringing them to our offices for label assessments to determine if products are in compliance with our labeling regulations. Following the label assessments, we send the products to our laboratories to undergo a series of analyses to determine compliance with certain information displayed on the product labels.

ABSP Results by Year

2015 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2014 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2013 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2012 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2011 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2010 Sampling Program Results - Wine
2009 Sampling Program Results - Malt Beverages
2008 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits


It is each industry member's responsibility to comply with all labeling and advertising regulations as found in 27 CFR parts 4, 5, 7, and 16. Using the results of the ABSP, we take several types of actions to address compliance problems.  In most cases, we notify the industry member about the violation and work with them to bring the product into compliance. If there are more serious violations, we coordinate other enforcement actions that may include investigations by our Trade Investigation Division.

Additionally, we use the results to help inform and develop specific courses of action for future policy development, such as updating the regulations, issuing guidance documents, or developing educational outreach programs.
The results of our sampling program over the past few years indicate that proofing and gauging for distilled spirits is a problem area for some of our industry members. Because the excise tax for distilled spirits is based on alcohol content, proper gauging of distilled spirits is a vital factor in proper tax determination.

To help address this issue, TTB offers our "TTB Proofing Video Series" available on the Distilled Spirits - Frequently Used Proofing Processes page.  These instructional videos guide industry members, step-by-step, through several frequently used proofing procedures. The videos include close-ups of techniques and processes, and explain why it is important to correctly follow all of the steps involved in proofing spirits. In addition, we encourage industry members to review the gauging manual found in 27 CFR part 30 and the official methods used by our Scientific Services Division.

Description: CONTACT US
If you have any questions about TTB's alcohol beverage sampling program, contact the Market Compliance Office at 202-453-2250 or toll free at 866-927-2533 (press 5), by fax at 202-453-2873, or by email at

Please direct correspondence to:

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division - MCO
Suite 400W
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12
Washington, DC 20005


Page last reviewed: July 15, 2012
Page last updated: March 9, 2016
Maintained by: Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division

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