On Monday, November 26, 2018, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a lengthy 132 page Notice No. 176:  Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages in the Federal Register.  The TTB is proposing to make significant changes to its regulations governing the labeling and advertising of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages by reorganizing and recodifying their regulations in order to simplify and clarify regulatory standards, incorporate guidance documents and current policy into the regulations, and reduce the regulatory burden on industry members where possible.   

As proposed, 27 CFR parts 4, 5, and 7 continue to contain the labeling regulations for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages, respectively, while the current subparts of parts 4, 5, and 7 that relate to advertising would be removed from those parts and consolidated into a new part 14. The new amendments range from the inclusion of “agave spirits”  as a class of distilled spirits  recognizing ‘‘Mezcal’’ as a type within that class, to adding a new standard of identity for Absinthe. 

In addition, to mirror a proposed change in the part 5 regulations, the TTB is also proposing to amend 27 CFR part 19 to increase the alcohol content tolerance for distilled spirits to 0.3 percent alcohol by volume above or below the labeled alcohol content in order to allow greater flexibility and business efficiencies for bottlers.

The TTB is encouraging comments, suggestions, and feedback from industry members. To view the proposed rule and any comments related to this proposed rule, go to Docket No. TTB–2018–0007 at To comment on the TTB proposals electronically, use the comment form for Notice No. 176.