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Whiskey War: Legal definition of Tennessee whiskey back before lawmakers

March 25th, 2014 7:25 am by Associated Press

Whiskey War: Legal definition of Tennessee whiskey back before lawmakers

AP photo

NASHVILLE — House and Senate committees are scheduled to take up bills seeking to undo the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey enacted last year.

The current law requires spirits to be charcoal mellowed and stored in unused oak barrels in order to print "Tennessee whiskey" on their labels.

The law was passed at the behest of Jack Daniel's, which distills its whiskey about 65 miles south of the state Capitol, in Lynchburg. Some smaller distillers including George Dickel, Pritchard's and startups like Full Throttle oppose the law as too restrictive.

But other new distillers agree with Jack Daniel's that dialing back the law could lead to quality problems like artificial colors and flavoring.

Jack Daniel's is owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman Corp., while Dickel is owned by global rival Diageo PLC.

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