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I suspect it will take a while for all of this text to be digested and for people much smarter than me to find a lot of nasty stuff in there.

Meanwhile, I found the New Zealand and US side letter amusing:

>To the extent contemplated in the Code, New Zealand shall not permit the sale of any product as Bourbon Whiskey or Tennessee Whiskey, unless it has been manufactured in the United States according to the laws of the United States governing the manufacture of Bourbon Whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey and the product complies with all applicable regulations of the United States for the sale or export as Bourbon Whiskey or Tennessee Whiskey.

I assume this must be quite prevalent in New Zealand if they wrote a letter specific to this one issue. I didn't see a similar letter with France regarding cognac or champagne.

There's a way of thinking about things like "Tennessee Whiskey" and "champagne" that makes good business sense: They're basically shared regional brands.

In Europe, many traditional kinds of cheese, alcohol and meat are covered by a system known in various countries as AOC (France, Appellation d'origine contrôlée) or DOC (Italy, Denominazione di origine controllata). Conceptually speaking, the idea goes something like:

1. Large-scale producers can always just create a trademark and market it. Customers will be able to recognize the product and evaluate it based on its reputation.

2. Small-scale producers, however, lack the reach to advertise and be recognized on their own. But what if they're making a traditional, high-end product for which their region is famous? Well, we could set up a shared "brand", where anybody from the right region can agree to follow traditional recipes and have their quality judged. And eventually, customers will realize that Parmigiano-Reggiano means "a certain kind of really good traditional Parmesan cheese from Italy."

Under this system, the right way to think of things like "champagne" and "Tennessee Whiskey" is to treat them as a particular kind of brand. Any company can sell products under this brand, provided (a) they come from the right region, and (b) they meet a certain set of quality standards.

The system of AOC/DOC seems to work well for both "foodie" customers (who want to be able to recognize a high-quality traditional product), and small- to mid-size producers (who get to pool their branding efforts). The only cost of this system is that names like "Tennessee Whiskey" essentially become international trademarks under the control of a regional organization.

The only problem with that is that there might be producers outside these regions who produce better quality products, these producers will be penalized for not being able to use the actual product name and may give up on it, leaving the market worse off, with lower quality products. The other problem is that producers who benefit from the regional brand name have very little reason to improve or even maintain the quality of their product as they have a monopoly on it.

> The only problem with that is that there might be producers outside these regions who produce better quality products, these producers will be penalized for not being able to use the actual product name and may give up on it

Not being allowed to lie isn't a penalty. E.g. if you are raising pigs in Texas you shouldn't be allowed to label your product as being "Ham from Italy." Whether or not it tastes better is completely irrelevant.

> E.g. if you are raising pigs in Texas you shouldn't be allowed to label your product as being "Ham from Italy."

What happens when the name of the product _is_ the name of the region though. For example, Champagne or Parmesan? Giving your product another name clearly disadvantages you.

Let's consider a US buyer of Parmesan: I have a choice between regular "Parmesan cheese", which is held to no particular standards in the US, and "Parmigiano-Reggiano", which is both expensive and (IMO) predictably delicious. Parmigiano-Reggiano is good because there are regional standards. As a customer, I know what I'm buying. This is the whole idea of a brand: It provides useful information to customers.

In the case of champagne, I'm usually unwilling to pay for the regional "brand." Instead, I often buy "cava," which is another regional AOC for sparkling wine, this one run by producers in Catalonia (and elsewhere in Spain). It's a bit cheaper, which is probably less than ideal for the producers, but I still know more or less what I'm getting.

You could argue that one or the other of these two situations is less than optimal. But as a customer, I find that AOCs and DOCs generally help me buy products I'll like. And since it would be hard for the producers of "Tennessee Whiskey" to enforce their agreed-upon quality standards on a company in New Zealand, it does make a certain amount of sense to limit participation geographically.

> I have a choice between regular "Parmesan cheese", which is held to no particular standards in the US, and "Parmigiano-Reggiano"

What if nobody bothers making quality "Parmigiano-Reggiano" in the US because they know it is close to impossible to compete against the brand name and the margin are not worth it to even try? Maybe, if Americans were allowed to call theirs "Parmigiano-Reggiano" they'd put a lot more effort into making it high quality given that they'd have a much bigger chance of making a profit.

It already happens, and new names change, or a different region creates their own regional name.

Champagne is already limited to a region in Europe, but that hasn't stopped, say, Catalonia from making Cava: their own regional brand for what is, in essence, the same thing. If anything, this also allowed local producers to band against the old name, which now indicates it's a product made in France.

So in practice, its not a big deal for good competitors.

You just need to get creative with your marketing. "ImProsciutto--it's not Prosciutto, it's improved", "I Can't Believe It's Not Champagne (tm)", "Parmigiano-Texicano", etc. :)

You either call it Parmesan-style cheese, or else you invent a new name for it, e.g. Meritage wine. Or else work out a deal with the AOC to get certified with some sort of appelation for products made in the style of the region.

For the same reason you can't start making adhesive bandages and selling them as Band-Aids, even though many people call them that: Both are proper names for a specific regional brand of sparkling wine and grana, or hard cheese, respectively.

The EU does recognize genericization of regional names in some cases, so I'm not sure it's in principle different from the U.S. on this, it just draws the line much further to one side, with a stronger presumption in favor of regional name protection. Two examples of regionally named cheeses now legally generic in the EU are "cheddar" and "emmental". These are the names of cheeses traditionally produced in the vicinity of Cheddar (in Somerset, England) and Emmental (in Bern, Switzerland), respectively, but have since become names for cheese style rather than cheese origin. There's an argument that "parmesan" should be similar, especially when used with a lowercase "p" in a manner analogous to the way "cheddar" is used, but the decision came out the other way on that one.

One that's currently being litigated in the EU is whether labeling products not from Greece as "Greek yogurt" is misleading. I personally think yes, especially given the capital 'G' and the parallels with other clear origin-designating terms like "Greek wine" and "Greek olive oil" (and mixed origin/style terms like "Scotch whisky"), but it could end up going either way.

"adhesive bandage" actually means the same thing. "hard cheese" is an enormous category. How do you refer to the specific type of cheese?


That’s what’s done here. You see that it is not the exact original product (sometimes you don’t even want the original product, but a specific fake of it), and you see still what it’s similar to.

It looks like regional brands in Europe are a feta accompli.

That's not really what happens with alcohol products, though. Bourbon, for example, has specific requirements on the proportion of corn used, the barrels it's aged in, what proof it's distilled to, etc. There's a wide range of Bourbon and most of it is good, and that doesn't mean other parts of the world can't compete in the liquor market.

I don't think that's the real problem. I have my doubts that "better quality products" is really a thing beyond a point. Most of people can't distinguish so subtle details and they really don't care. Just want "the better".

The problem we see, if it is a problem, is that regions with big demand buy the product to regions with worst brand and then sell it as their our.

A lot of the Italian olive oil comes from Spain. A lot of wine get the grape from other regions.. things like that. Not really a problem, I suppose, just a lie.

So why wouldn't that high quality provider simply create their own brand identity at that point. Brand X, an interpretation of Region Ys cheese or wine or whatever...

That's probably true given it already happens with brand names in general.

Exactly, except it's even more unfair in this case because when Apple or Google release software, at least they wrote the source code. In this case we're talking about recipes that have existed since centuries and are in the public domain yet only people who happen to live there can call them what they are.

As long as they aren't prevented from saying that they are distilling a Tennessee style whiskey, someone making such an amazing product shouldn't have any trouble.

Nods to tradition can certainly go too far, but I like allowing the regional names to be a little exclusive.

This is what Jack Daniels does and it doesn't seem to hurt them any.

I agree. Your point is supported by the fact that the only reason it's there is to make money for groups who paid politicians to be represented in the negotiation that the rest of us couldn't participate in.

<jokingly tone> The most amusing part to me is the glorification of Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. IMO, They don't stand a chance in front a good Scotch or even a Rye. </jokingly tone>

I know this is purely subjective, but personally I genuinely haven't found a bourbon I like, while I love plenty of single malts (not just from Scotland but also Irish/Japanese). Maybe someday that'll change for me or maybe I'm just destined to not be a fan of Bourbons - I have plenty of friends who love them. Haven't tried Tennessee.

(But as a Brit I completely approve of your joking, too)

The problem with Tennessee Whiskey is that the style is almost extinct. Until recently, in the TN state constitution, only three counties were allowed to have distilleries. Therefore, we have Jack Daniels (which is honestly awful), Dickle (which is quite good, i.m.o., and #12 is a good example of TN whiskey, albeit cheap), and the other county had no active distilleries. Now there are a couple of others on the market, which are very good, but a touch pricey for what they are.

In practice, most TN whiskey is home distilled, and not barrel-aged. (and also, never sold) Instead, you "char" the whiskey by putting charred birch, maple, or oak sticks inside a bottle and then aging for a relatively short time. Commercially-produced TN whiskey is always barrel aged, though.

Process-wise, the key difference is charcoal filtering before aging (Search for "Lincon County Process"). Taste-wise, it varies, but TN whiskey is usually less sweet than bourbon. It's still corn whiskey, so it's relatively sweet and has a hint of that distinct sour mash taste. However, I've never had one that's as "sticky-sweet" as Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, or the other really sweet bourbons.

Try a Buffalo Trace antique collection and you'll see why bourbon is a respected spirit among connoisseurs.

The problem is, making real bourbon is very difficult because you have to let so much evaporate off that producers lose a lot of product. E.g. 84% of the Buffalo Trace 2015 George T. Stagg evaporated off. That's a lot of lost product -- so they're opening these 53 gallon barrels and pulling out about 8 gallons of product. Producers don't like those numbers, but that's how you make real bourbon. So it leaves most people thinking they dislike Bourbon before ever having drank a real classic bourbon.

By comparison, Scotch is a very simple, cloying beverage. Scotch's complexity all comes from the peat, it's all show. If you pour enough peat in any whiskey it will taste roughly like Lagavulin. Bourbon is a more honest beverage, you're not covering anything up, which means a bad Bourbon is very bad and a good Bourbon is very, very good.

Scotch is the IPA of whiskey. It's criminal if you ask me.

Scotch's complexity all comes from the peat, it's all show

This isn't even close to true; the entire Speyside region (which produces more Scotch, and more popular Scotch, than any other region) refutes it --- most Speysides have little if any peat.

The Speysides are artificially evaporated because the North Scottish climate doesn't allow the barrels to adequately breathe -- it kills the whiskey. By comparison, the heavy temperature swings in Kentucky open and close the barrels every season, so you see a much larger angel's share, and thus a much more complex whiskey.

Drinking an 18 year Bourbon is like drinking a 40 year barrel-aged Speyside. Sure, if you can get your hands on a 40 year old barrel-aged Speyside Scotch, I misspoke. But that's rather outside the budget of even the most die-hard Whiskey fans.

As a result, most Speysides fall roughly into that same category as the shite bourbons. Once you stop covering up their failings, you're left with a boring, watery, lifeless whiskey.

It's like if we were talking beer and I said "Americans just cover up their beer with flavorants so you don't realize they're watery garbage. German and Belgian beers are superior." and you fired back "That's not true! Coors Lite doesn't do that!" No, you're right, Coors Lite doesn't do that.

I am having trouble with the idea that a bourbon-casked Glenrothes, with no peat and practically no other flavors other than the malt, has been "covered up" with flavoring, while a "serious" Scotch like Laphroiag, which has so much peat it tastes like unsweetened cough medicine filtered through a swamp bog, is standing on the true quality of the whiskey itself.

Is there more crappy Speyside than crappy Islay? Yes, of course: there is more Speyside period, the world's most popular Scotch whiskey comes from Speyside, and most blended Scotch is built from Speyside distilleries.

What any of this has to do with the idea that Scotch is all about peat is past me. Once again: the most popular Scotch in the world has minimal peat, and lots of Speysides have no peat at all. Ergo: it cannot be the case that Scotch is simply peat-flavored whiskey.

People who talk enthusiastically about American beer don't generally think about Coors Lite, let alone talk about it.

The age comment you made about bourbon and Scotch is also weird, since most bourbon is aged less than 12 years to begin with. At 18 years, you're asking me to compare a cask-strength Pappy or Buffalo antique --- bourbons that were built to be aged past the point where most bourbon would suffer for it --- to Scotch. That's a pretty apples/oranges comparison.

Glenrothes is a great example.

To pick up a 40 year barrel-aged Glenrothes you're looking at paying about €4500 a bottle, and that gets you about 90% evaporation. That's only 6% more angel-share than a $70 dollar bottle of BT Antique Collection.

If you can afford that, more power to you, but that's not really in the realm of what I'm talking about. The Scottish climate is just inappropriate for the making of proper whiskey in a timely and cost-effective fashion.

You said, "At 18 years, you're asking me to compare a cask-strength Pappy or Buffalo antique --- bourbons that were built to be aged past the point where most bourbon would suffer for it --- to Scotch."

I've been talking about BT/Pappy, etc. the whole time. Did you read my first comment?

"The problem is, making real bourbon is very difficult because you have to let so much evaporate off that producers lose a lot of product. E.g. 84% of the Buffalo Trace 2015 George T. Stagg evaporated off. That's a lot of lost product -- so they're opening these 53 gallon barrels and pulling out about 8 gallons of product. Producers don't like those numbers, but that's how you make real bourbon. So it leaves most people thinking they dislike bourbon before ever having drank a real classic bourbon."

First: it's weird to me that you qualify bourbon by how much evaporates off.

Second: if you're going to talk about "how you make real bourbon", you're probably better off not bringing a Veblen NDP like Pappy into the discussion.

Third: there is plenty of amazing bourbon to be had that isn't a Buffalo antique at $120 a bottle, so I object to the "real bourbon" notion you're putting forward. 84% of Weller didn't evaporate, it's not aged 18 years, costs $30, and it's the same juice as Pappy, just handled more competently so it doesn't taste like grass clippings.

Fourth: who the hell drinks 40 year old Glenrothes? I'm talking about the Glenrothes you buy at the liquor store.

Fifth: once again, what does any of this have to do with whether Scotch is defined by peat flavor? I'm pretty sure you were just wrong about that.

I'm talking evaporation because evaporation is first and foremost what matters in aging. Great whiskey is thick whiskey.

Why would you throw around NDP like that's a bad thing? NDPs are no better or worse. Pappy, if you're talking Stitzel-Weller Pappy, is one of the best Bourbons you can/could buy, period.

Yes, Weller 12 is great (like Pappy 12). It's not syrupy enough, but that aside, it's a quality Bourbon at a competitive price. Is it as good as a 23 year SW Pappy? You're kidding yourself -- they're in completely different leagues.

What's more, with a Weller 12 you're still looking at 42% angel-share. Considerably higher than anything you'll see out of Scotland.

I'm sorry my peat comment upset you. Maybe it's a regional thing, by and large when we say Scotch we mean Islay or High-land. Either way, it's a lot of watery garbage, peat or no.

Strong disagree on pretty much all of this. The idea that US whiskey is more viscous than Scotch sounded so batty to me that I just checked, with a Willett, a TH Saz, and a GlenDronach 18; the Dronach is the leggiest of the three. (The Dronach is obviously not the best of those three whiskies.)

I think I don't believe you that viscosity is a simple function of evaporation.

Think about it: in both US and Scottish whiskey, the spirit going into the barrel is much higher proof than what's in the bottle, or what you should reasonably drink it at if you've got a cask-strength bottle. If "good whiskey" is "thick whiskey", where "thickness" is the amount of water the distillate had lost relative to alcohol, then we'd all just be buying the highest proof spirit; you could treat the ABV like a point score for quality. Both US and Scottish whiskey is diluted to a place the distiller wants it to be at.

We also wouldn't need tasting notes describing the legs, because if it's just about evaporation, then it's purely a function of ABV, and that's printed on the bottle!

Certainly the idea that one should evaluate a whiskey based solely on its legginess finds support in zero whiskey sources I can find.

I don't just think Pappy is overpriced Veblen whiskey that people overpay for because it's the only brand they've heard of --- although people absolutely do that, and secondary market prices, which are the only place you can reliably buy the stuff, make it one of the major rip-offs in all of spirits. I also think Pappy is inferior to Weller. Maybe I've just been given flawed bottles; the 20 literally tastes like grass clippings, and I'd take a FR SB over any of the other Pappies any day.

At any rate: Scotch is not "all about the peat". You have to not drink a lot of Scotch to think that. Which is fine! Just moderate your stridency a bit. :)

You ought not compare a forcibly evaporated Scotch in an overly active cask, to a true SBM that is naturally viscous due to aging in a living breathing cask.

It's not just the water loss that matters, but the total evaporation that increases your protein ppm, and the length of time those proteins have had to break down in solution, that provides the complexity to a proper whiskey.

You don't detect that by legs, but by mouth-feel -- surface tension and viscosity are not the same thing.

I find this conversation fascinating, even though I know nothing about whiskey.

I'm glad, I enjoyed having it. I would note that I was taking a very extreme position for hyperbole's sake, which Ptacek took quite literally, and I was in the mood to argue.

Scotch is a fine beverage, it's just not Bourbon.

No True Scotch has only a little peat.

The guidelines don't prohibit that horrible pun, but I'm going to lobby to see that they do in the future, so none of us will have to suffer like this again.

Some folks advocate for a collapse-comments feature on HN.

I would like to advocate for a explode-to-frontpage comments feature ... so we could have a new front page item for "that great scotch vs. bourbon argument we had in the TPP comments".

It's why I come here.

Oh yes. I second that strongly. Some of the best things I ever saw on HN, and that I sometimes bookmark, are those random off-topic subthreads that spawn in the middle of another discussion. A way to cross-link comment threads like this would be really useful.

'dang, any thoughts?

Well you could always just make a new submission linking to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10512999 and see if it got upvoted enough - but maybe would be better if the new submission could incorporate the previous comments rather than just link to them

I agree. I don't know anything about either of these but this has been interesting to read.

It's a different flavor. Sweet, instead of smoky. It's completely okay in my opinion to like scotch and not bourbon, or the other way around. I like scotch, but I prefer bourbon. The smoky flavor turns me off a bit.

Everyone has a personal choice, but I'm of the opinion that if you don't like Maker's Mark, you probably won't like bourbon.

Only Islay malts are typically smokey, and it is certainly an acquired taste.

Malts from other regions of Scotland vary a lot, and as a point of interest, many are matured in bourbon casks because it imparts sweet notes.

They're virtually all matured in bourbon or wine/sherry casks, and more in bourbon casks than any other kind of cask. If you ask at the distilleries, they'll tell you it's because the bourbon casks are simply cheaper.

Scotch generally doesn't age in new oak. But all bourbon does, by law. So there's a pipeline of used barrels for Scottish distilleries to use.

If you get a chance to try to Woodford Reserve new/old wood rye sample, you'll see why Scots use our barrels: the first aging in whiskey in a new barrel extracts huge phenolic flavors. Those woody flavors would compete with Scotch, especially since Scotch generally ages much longer than bourbon. Meanwhile, sherry barrels are much more expensive and contribute their own distinctive flavors. So bourbon casks are they way you go when you want a neutral aging environment.

I was moved to nerd out about this because you suggested Scotch is aged in ex-bourbon casks because of the sweet notes they impart. I don't think this is true. I am a fiend for ex-sherry Scotch, and the sweetness generated by an ex-sherry casks is usually unmistakable, club-you-over-the-head powerful.

You'll notice that lots of Scotch releases make a big deal out of the wine casks they age in --- what kind of sherry, what age the barrel --- but few ex-bourbon Scotches will say anything but "aged in bourbon casks".

That's because bourbon casks are boring. :)

I too like sherry-cask scotch--which are your favorite expressions?

(Also, good lord, thank you for tilting at this windmill...Really blocked on Stockfighter?)

Bottles I've really liked: Dailuane, GlenDronach, Aberlour (single sherry cask), Mortlach, Craigellachie. I had a sherried Highland Park that I liked somewhat, but smoke and sherry don't go well together for me.

I want to like Balvenie more than I do, if only because they're so fussy about barrels. Also from what I understand a more end-to-end vertically integrated operation than most of the other distilleries, which share malt processors and other inputs through their corporate ownership.

The Dailuane is, I think, mediocre as a whisky, but possibly the most drinkable carrier for sherry flavor on my shelf. I run out of and re-buy Dailuane and GlenDronach more than anything else.

I am just a major dork about liquor is all.

I tried an Islay malt recently (https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/caol-ila-12-year-old-w...) that was matured in bourbon casks which softened the smoky flavour somewhat - very nice

Caol Ila is probably the 'lightest' of all the peaty Islay malts (from memory, I think it proclaims this on the bottle too).

Yes it's certainly lighter than others I've tasted (Laphroaig and Lagavulin). I do like the smoky taste - what smaller distilleries are there that are heavier on the smoky taste?

I'd recommend Ardbeg. I also love Talisker, from the Isle of Skye, which can be a bit sweeter but still quite smokey.

Got a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask as a house warming gift and it was very interesting. The most smokey and peaty drink I have tried. Very good and unique.

Blantons is worth trying if you've never had it: https://www.blantonsbourbon.com/original_single_barrel

Also, it's not Bourbon or single malt, but Templeton Rye is one of my favorite whiskeys (and reasonably priced): http://www.templetonrye.com/

Templeton Rye is Midwest Grain Products commodity rye with flavorants added. They recently lost a lawsuit over it! I'm not going to say it's bad (I used to drink it too), but you can (a) do better than MGPI rye at the same price point and (b) do better for relabeled MGPI.

Bulleit Rye, Dickel Rye, Redemption, Whistlepig, High West --- there's like 100 more, but those are the big names --- are all MGPI. You can buy whichever's cheapest; of the MGPIs, Templeton is the one I'd avoid, now that they've confirmed that they're not only quietly relabeling MGP, but also adulterating it.

Thanks for the tip. I knew a number of "craft" whiskeys were from MGP, but I didn't realize that Templeton was as well - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_Rye

Now I'm really curious about the "alcohol flavoring agent" from Clarendon Flavor Engineers. I've had Bulleit Rye and High West as well and did not enjoy them.

Two really good off-the-beaten-path ryes: Old Potrero (a high-proof "single malt" rye from San Francisco) and Few, a craft distillate from Chicago.

Not being a bourbon fan either I once, randomly, picked up a bottle of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanton%27s as a gift (mostly due to the little horse guy on top). Was rather pleasantly surprised when I got to taste it later. Maybe you'll find it to Your liking too.

Blasphemy! For me a scotch is something totally different than a good Bourbon or whiskey.

A good bourbon like Pappy's shouldnt be compared to a smokey peaty scotch like the Laphroaig quater cask I have in my cabinet. For me Bourdons are a daily drink and Scotch is for a celebration.

Anyways Japan and now Taiwan have been winning the most recent awards.

Global Whisky awards are pretty much based on who lobbies the hardest and with the largest brown envelope - in Scotland we view the whisky industries global awards to be about as reputable as FIFA and Sepp Blatter

wil421 has the right idea: different types of whiskey for different people. Your Scotch and Rye barely stand a chance in Tennessee because people grew up drinking "real" whiskey that tasted different. And over there, the "real" stuff they grew up around tastes nothing like ours. Discussion is really apples to oranges.

I do like how what I hear about Scotch matches what I know of Tennessee: the best stuff is brewed for locals with the exports being knockoffs. Except a few things like Jack Daniels where the standard brews are widely available. Best stuff comes from the moonshiners, though. :)

I don't think this is true of Scotch either. Go there sometime (it's an amazingly beautiful place for a road trip) and bounce from distillery to distillery. Some things you'll notice:

* Go to where the locals shop and they're selling the same brands the whiskey specialty stores sell.

* The gas stations have better Scotch selections than most US liquor stores.

* The expensive distillery-only products are generally the most interesting whiskies, and they're the stuff least likely to sell to the locals.

* Virtually all of the distilleries, and most of the best distilleries, are owned by gigantic corporations that own portfolios of distilleries.

The entire Scotch industry is an export industry. No doubt there's quite a lot of bad Scotch exported, but it seems to me like more or less all the good Scotch is exported too.

That's a trip. Especially about the gas stations: didn't see that coming haha. I'll try to remember if I make a trip out there.

Well, given the fact that Jack Daniels can't sell to the locals (they distill in a dry county - sucks to be them ;) they're by default widely available.

I was saying local to Tennessee but you maybe onto something haha. I've never toured the facility because it's a dry county and they just give you lemonade. The offices and distributors closer to where I lived were a different story. ;)

France is not part of TPP.

France is part of TTIP negotiations which probably will cover the same stipulations.

France has a deal with the US and other countries that protects the name "champagne". In the US, you can't call your sparkling white wine "champagne" unless A) it's from Champagne, France, or B) you were selling it under the same label before 2006.

> I didn't see a similar letter with France regarding cognac or champagne.

France is not a signatory to the TPP, so you wouldn't.

I believe NZ allows legal home-distilling, maybe it's related to that? Similar to home brewers making Belgian beers by using the correct yeast and methods, people could be mini-batching TN/KY bourbon & whiskey using the style and methods.

We allow distilling, but only for personal use (you can't legally sell it), so I doubt this is related.

My home state doesn't play around about their Whiskey. The best stuff isn't for export, though: homebrewed as moonshine, mixed with custom recipes, and distributed to family and friends. Jack n Coke is still a favorite drink.

Where do I start the rum thread? specifically spiced rum...yum!

NAFTA contains language that strictly defines bourbon as well.

This is the clause demanded by some of the alcoholic beverage manufacturers, which is to say they paid for that specific clause to be implemented even though it has no real global benefit and may harm smaller local groups in NZ producing similar goods. This should not be seen as a surprise to anyone.

What problem is it going to cause NZ locals?

Why would they want to brand their whiskey as Tennessee whiskey or Bourbon?

Bourbon is widely recognized as a US whiskey, probably from Kentucky, using that name for something made in NZ is more likely to piss customers off than anything else (Tennessee whiskey has a somewhat more obvious geographic meaning).

I agree for Tennessee whiskey, which is clearly tied to production in Tennessee. But "bourbon" is increasingly seen as a just style of barrel-aged corn-mash whiskey. It's already in the process of losing its geographical specificity within the U.S., with producers in places like California and Illinois [1]. Once you have California whiskey producers making bourbon, it's not that big a stretch to imagine that one of the Japanese whiskey companies might want to come out with a bourbon.

I think it would be more principled to either let anyone produce it (subject to style requirements), or to geographically restrict it to only the vicinity of Kentucky. But the U.S.'s position seems to be to want to make it a specifically American brand, but otherwise not regionally restricted. Which I understand the trade motivations for, but honestly I don't see bourbon from Tokyo as any less authentic than bourbon from San Francisco, assuming it's made correctly.

[1] http://www.nonkentuckybourbon.com/non-kentucky-bourbon-list

I'm not arguing that the distinction is particularly important to maintain (I think it's nice to maintain it, I called it a nod to tradition in another comment).

I'm specifically asking if it is going to matter to the distillers outside the US if they can use it in their product names or not (I'm opposed to preventing the use of blah-style to describe foods).

When teenagers here drink cheap liquor, they might drink 'bourbon' or a 'bourbon and coke' - anything they can get for less than $20. Accordingly, there are a number of brands targeted at that market, and I would not be surprised if some of them have nothing do with the US original.

Sure, I wouldn't be surprised if they are using it as a brand.

But I'm pretty skeptical that those teenagers care that their cheap whiskey be called Bourbon.

Its worse than that. I remember being surprised when I got older and found out that Bourbon is the same thing as Whiskey.

The common conception was that they were distinct drinks, and that Whiskey was too expensive.

Haviung a home still is not illegal in NZ - you can make your own "Whiskey" in your garage - there's probably some little guy, making something for his friends, who's just been sat on by the US

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