Cracking the Code: Whiskey Labels

Whiskey Labels
Whiskey Labels

Have you ever looked over a whiskey bottle’s label and thought, “what does that phrase mean?” Or, have you been curious about why particular terminology seems to be present on most bottles, but some is unique to a particular brand? And most important of all – what is fluff and what is legitimate?

Being an informed consumer helps to avoid potential buyer’s remorse. Believe it or not, many federal regulations address the particular phrasing permitted on whiskey labels. However, not everything on the label is subject to regulation.

Below is an overview interpreting some of the common phrases, descriptors, and claims found on whiskey labels. It may not be the equivalent of Rosetta Stone, but it could save you from falling for a marketing ploy.

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