Excerpt from WhiskyCast: Sales of “private selection” barrels by distillers in Kentucky have become popular choices for retailers, bars, restaurants, and even whiskey clubs. However, it turns out that those sales actually violate state liquor regulations in Kentucky, and perhaps even at the federal level. It’s not because sales by the barrel are specifically banned, but because the process of selecting those barrels violates a number of state regulations.
Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board enforces the state’s regulations and has issued informal guidance to that effect, according to Kentucky Distillers Association president Eric Gregory. “Right now, the ABC has given us a grace period, if you will, to work with us while the Legislature is in session to get that fixed,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s not a want…that’s a need, and we’ve gotta get that done,” he said, citing support from the groups representing liquor wholesalers and retailers for reforms.
The process of selecting a barrel usually involves tasting samples from multiple barrels during a customer’s visit to a distillery, and that is where the legal issues begin to build up. State regulations do not make any difference between “trade” visitors to a distillery and consumer visitors to that distillery’s visitors center, and the regulations limit the number of samples to 1.75 ounces per visitor per day. In addition, regulations also limit the amount of whiskey an individual customer can buy at a distillery to one nine-liter case per day …
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