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Tennessee Legislature Refers Controversial Whiskey Law To Study Committee


The Tennessee state legislature has voted to send a law governing the production and marketing of Tennessee whiskey to a study committee this summer, rather than repeal it, as Diageo has sought. Still, the spirits giant applauded the legislature’s decision, with Diageo North America executive vice president Guy Smith saying in a statement, “The Tennessee legislature has done the right thing and now, rather than having one company dictate for everyone, we can do this the right way and come together in an open forum to discuss how to create the best standards for Tennessee whiskey.”

The law, passed in 2013 with the strong support of Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman, said that products carrying the “Tennessee whiskey” label must be made in the state from at least 51% corn, filtered through maple charcoal and aged in new charred oak barrels. Diageo, which owns Tennessee whiskey George Dickel, has fought against the law, saying it “defined Tennessee whiskey as the Jack Daniel’s recipe.” Jack Daniel’s has long dominated the Tennessee whiskey category, selling nearly 5 million cases annually in the U.S. market. George Dickel sells around 150,000 cases a year. - -Shanken News Daily

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