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Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses

All of the ingredients in a cocktail contribute to the experience.


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Old 06-22-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
forrest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiare View Post
Does that have to do with alcohol content? the alchol in the US bottles is 28% alc./vol. so what`s in the bottles for Europe?
No. It is an arcane tax law in America if the bitters 'taste good', it gets taxed more, so they were having approval issues because it 'tasted tasty', it was cleared up and now we have it.

Last edited by forrest; 06-22-2008 at 08:49 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest View Post
if the bitters 'taste good', it gets taxed more, so they were having approval issues because it 'tasted tasty'
So they determine how good things taste and tax thereafter?
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #13
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I expect that the law is an attempt to differentiate potions that can be drunk alone to inebriating effect and those that must be a small part of a larger mixture to be drinkable at all.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:11 PM   #14
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Basically, the idea behind the law is what Michael said. Vanilla extract (or mint, or whatever) is not booze, it's an ingredient. Rum and whiskey, on the other hand, get you drunk, and thus are taxed as booze. It's referred to as potable alcohol versus non potable.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiare View Post
So they determine how good things taste and tax thereafter?
Michael and The Scribe are both correct.
To illustrate, i'll quote from Grossman's Guide to Wines, Beers, and Spirits, Seventh Edition, published 1983.Appendix R, page 593:
"Bitters of all kinds containing spirits:
Not fit for use as beverages -
Customs Duties(Proof Gallon)-.38
Internal Revenue taxes(Proof Gallon)- 0
Fit for use as beverages -
Customs Duties(Proof Gallon)-.50
Internal Revenue taxes(Proof Gallon)- 10.50 "

So taxes could seriously bite into the old profit margin-- if you get my drift.
This example/quote is from 1983, and i am sure taxes went up since then...

Last edited by forrest; 06-24-2008 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Formating
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by forrest
if the bitters 'taste good', it gets taxed more, so they were having approval issues because it 'tasted tasty'


That's very intersting and weird at the same time.
Is it the same with everything else in the US?
AOB in europe is 28% abv as well.
I've never heard of this story that better your product is, more tax you'll have to pay.
Again, I'd like to exchange a bottle from the US with one from Europe (I've got cases here waiting at home)...
Lets do a comparaison taste and then we'll see.
I don't think that Angostura would have changed its recipe in order to save a couple of $.

Cheers
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarNowON View Post
Originally Posted by forrest
if the bitters 'taste good', it gets taxed more, so they were having approval issues because it 'tasted tasty'

That's very intersting and weird at the same time.
Is it the same with everything else in the US?
AOB in europe is 28% abv as well.
I've never heard of this story that better your product is, more tax you'll have to pay.
Again, I'd like to exchange a bottle from the US with one from Europe (I've got cases here waiting at home)...
Lets do a comparaison taste and then we'll see.
I don't think that Angostura would have changed its recipe in order to save a couple of $.
That statement was an over simplification (with humor intended) that i assumed would be understood as such, please excuse my pedantry.
Seeing it was not as clearly understood, as i had hoped it would be, i posted an elucidation with quotes, from a respected source.

Now i have not suggested, nor would i, that anyone changed their recipe.
i do not think that anyone did.

These post's, and quotes originating from me, posted here by others, were intended to explain the delay in Angostura's Orange being released into the American market place.

My statement are not, were not, and will not be an indictment of their product-- which i think is great.

The tax code issues (and labeling issues) always hold up the release of products.

The question wasn't if the product was better or not, it was if the product was bitters or not.

Bitters easily fall into 2 categories:
1. Bitters you drink-- or
2. Bitters used for flavoring.

#1 gets, taxed more.
It doesn't have a thing to do with quality, it is about concentration.

#2 is a flavoring agent (not just for cocktails, try some Angostura in vegetable soup!!!!, or Peychaud's on ice cream!!! or Regans on lemon sorbet. . .)

Which is not to say that Angostura was called to question.
It is saying that as a product desiring to be released into a market place the burden of proof lay with the manufacturer, which in turn explains the delay, and demonstrates Angostura's compliance.

i hope this clears everything up.
i am sorry for the confusion.

Last edited by forrest; 06-24-2008 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:41 PM   #18
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thanks a lot for these precious info.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:05 PM   #19
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It also has to do with how the product can be sold.

Because they are a flavoring agent, Non-Potable Bitters can be sold in grocery stores with no intervention of the liquor distribution chain or the taxes associated with alcoholic beverages. You, as a consumer, just pay sales tax (or not, depending on your state).

In the US, Potable Bitters must be sold through whatever sale and distribution channels the state you live in requires for alcoholic beverages. They must also go through the alcoholic beverage and label approval process with the TTB.

~Erik
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:49 AM   #20
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I second Forrest's assessment of the current bitters discussion. The legal thought (in the US) goes back to the legal exclusion of "bitter"s" (non-potable Abbott's, etc.) from Prohibition's ban on alcholic potables. Bitters (non-potable) "slipped in" under the need for digestve aids under the banner of accepted medicinals. The argument presented in Washington at the onset of prohibition was that bitters could not be drunk in large enough quantities because they, well, tasted too bitter (or bad, in large quantities) to be drunk as a cocktail/spirit/intoxicant in their basic form. There were secondary thinking regarding whether a bitters could be successfully diluted! Anyway, a lot of this thought worked its way into the goverment's present stance and regulations. The shorthand, if you will, is that bitters get to be classified differently than potable spirits, wine, and beer/ale. So, to sum it up, tradition helped pave the way. Also, to further complicate matters, some states which have "dry counties" regard bitters as they would any other alcholic beverages and ban their sale. In most of these counties, non-potable bitters were once allowed for sale and only became contraband after many prohibition laws were replaced with "blue laws".

Last edited by rumdog007; 06-25-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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