TTB’s mission to protect the public includes ensuring that labels on alcohol beverages contain adequate descriptive information and are not likely to mislead consumers. We created the Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program (ABSP), which includes a random survey of products in the marketplace, to helps us identify any existing compliance issues and evaluate our success in meeting this mission.
Each year we conduct the ABSP by purchasing products from the marketplace and bringing them to our offices for label assessments to determine if products are in compliance with our labeling regulations. Following the label assessments, we send the products to our laboratories to undergo a series of analyses to determine the accuracy of certain information displayed on the product labels.
Each year we post the ABSP results and findings on our Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program home page at TTB.gov:
2013 Sampling Program Results – Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
The results of our sampling program over the past few years indicate that proofing and gauging of distilled spirits is a problem area for some industry members. Because the excise tax for distilled spirits is based on alcohol content, proper gauging of distilled spirits is a vital factor in proper tax determination. To address this issue, we are working to develop educational tools to assist distillers with their gauging skills and are raising awareness of the issue through our outreach efforts. We encourage industry members to review the gauging manual found in 27 CFR part 30 and the official methods used by our Scientific Services Division.