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Recent years have witnessed ever-growing popularity of the Japanese whiskey in the world, however, the rules protecting authenticity of that product have not always kept pace with a rapid growth in this category. Therefore, it is quite often that the labels misleading buyers who are looking for real Japanese alcohol, are attached to such bottles.
In this regard, the Japan Spirits and Liqueurs Makers Association announced new measures to combat unfair competition. The organization posted a message on its website in which it regrets that many of the spirits marketed as “Japanese whiskey” are not only far from being a Japanese product, but often have nothing to do with whiskey. Therefore, the association has formally defined the basic principles that the “Japanese whiskey” should comply with:
Ingredients: Malt, cereals and water of exclusively Japanese origin must be used as raw materials.
Production: all stages of production, including saccharification, fermentation and distillation, must be carried out in a plant in Japan. At the time of distillation, alcohol content should be less than 95%.
Aging: the distilled product must be poured into wooden barrels with a capacity of no more than 700 liters and then aged for at least 3 years in Japan.
Bottling: Bottling must only be done in Japan and a minimum alcohol content of 40% must be ensured.
In addition, simple caramel coloring is acceptable.
If whiskey does not meet the above requirements, producers are not entitled to attach to their product a label containing the names of people associated with Japan, the names of Japanese cities, regions, famous places, mountains and rivers, as well as the image of the Japanese flag or other items associated with Japan.
These new rules are to enter into full force and effect on April 1, 2021.
Based on the materials of beveragedynamics.com