Spirit Labelling – What is to be done?

A recent twitter spat got me thinking.

It centred on Rum – but applies to all categories.

White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Labelling.

One train of thought is the more information the better.

Sounds reasonable.

But every time the issue arises a chorus of similar phrases crop up.

‘Lying’, ‘cheating’ & ‘out to gouge us’.

Paints a rather paranoid & fearful picture of those big bad spirit manufactures & regulatory regimes that conspire to outwit us – into buying a liquid we enjoy drinking??

151 Proof Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Just don’t buy the stuff if you’re that worried.

Spirit manufacturing is a highly regulated, highly legislated industry – regardless of country of origin.

A whole raft of rules & standards have to be adhered to before any product reaches market – one of the most important being that it’s fit for human consumption – and anyone who doubts that clearly has no faith in those measures – nor the manufacturers.

Aged Rum c/othewhiskeynut

So why would additional labelling provided by those very same bodies make any difference if you don’t trust them anyway?

The other train of thought is simply the taste test.

It’s called blind tasting – & I’m a fierce big proponent of it.

Many spirit competitions are conducted using this method and it’s the most honest & transparent system there is.

Blind tasting c/othewhiskeynut

You are presented with a line of identical bottles stripped of branding, fancy presentation & flowery prose extolling the virtues of the liquid within.

I trust my palate to decide in such situations whether I enjoy the spirit or not.

And I also trust the regulatory systems in place that the spirit before me is safe to consume & is what it says it is.

If you want more information then buy from manufacturers that provide it – but don’t make out those that show the minimum legal requirements are somehow ‘cheating’ you. They will taste just as good – or bad – as those with with the complete works of Shakespeare attached.

There is one proviso though.

Make sure any information provided is accurate.

Unlike the manufacturer below.

A 50 year old whiskey? c/othewhiskeynut

Bow St Distillery closed in 1971.

Sláinte

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