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New EU Legislation 2021 for adding sugar to rum.


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VikingXO

Posted 23 Jan '21 from Denmark with 151 ratings

In (May) 2021 the new EU Legislation for adding sugar will change from 100 gram down to 20. This means that all brands with more than 20 gram sugar added is not allowed to name Rum on the bottle, but will ADD the name “spirit drink” instead. Some brands has always started changing the amount of adding sugar down to 20 gr (like El Dorado) where other brands like AH Riise has changed the name from Rum to “spirit drink” because they will not change their product. My own opinion is that reduce the amount of adding sugar is a good idea, because too much added sugar remove the “classic” rum profile (like with Bumbu rum, I get no rum profile at all) What do you think, good or bad Legislation?
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Pirate

From Greece with 30 ratings Replied 23 Jan '21

That's far beyond good, that's simply great! Since few distilleries are honest, transparent, respect their products and their customers (like Foursquare or Appleton as a readily available example out of the top of my head), somebody has to protect, or at least inform the consumer (plus, defend the rich history and ominous legacy of Rum/"Killdevil" itself); no? YES, please! Besides, nobody bans anything, they can keep doing their stuff, only the name/label is going to be corrected! Thank you for the good news, YARR!!!
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 224 ratings Replied 24 Jan '21

The new Regulation (EU) 2019/787 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, etc, that replaces the old (EC) No 110/2008, was published April 17, 2019. This new EU regulation enters into force on May 25, 2021. What’s new is that it has now been decided how much sugar may be added, which wasn’t regulated before. In addition, I perceive that the writings are now much clearer regarding information on the label. There was already in the old regulation a writing about “spirit drink”, but it may not have been mandatory for the producers. It’s not always easy to read and understand legal texts especially when they aren’t written in one's own language, so I suggest that you who are interested google it and read yourself.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 411 ratings Replied 24 Jan '21

This is a good thing, even though I cannot buy rums from the EU over here in the USA. Basically, all rums from the EU will soon basically fall into my three classifications, either dry, semi-dry, or white. All of the sweets, sugar bombs, and flavored will be labeled as spirit drinks. I wish that they would do this over here in the USA.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 224 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

I have now found the document in Swedish, which means that I understand the meaning better. I think it’s good as the purpose is to protect and help us consumers against less honest producers, that try to make us believe that the contents in the bottle is something else than there is. I also attach some of the most important paragraphs in the document. First Annex 1 para 1 that defines rum. “1. Rum (a) Rum is a spirit drink produced exclusively by the distillation of the product obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of molasses or syrup produced in the manufacture of cane sugar or of sugar-cane juice itself, distilled at less than 96 % vol., so that the distillate has the discernible specific organoleptic characteristics of rum. (b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of rum shall be 37,5 %. (c) No addition of alcohol, diluted or not, shall take place. (d) Rum shall not be flavoured. (e) Rum may only contain added caramel as a means of adjusting the colour. (f) Rum may be sweetened in order to round off the final taste. However, the final product may not contain more than 20 grams of sweetening products per litre, expressed as invert sugar. (g) In the case of geographical indications registered under this Regulation, the legal name of rum may be supplemented by: (i) the term ‘traditionnel’ or ‘tradicional’, provided that the rum in question: — has been produced by distillation at less than 90 % vol., after alcoholic fermentation of alcohol-producing materials originating exclusively from the place of production considered, and — has a volatile substances content equal to or exceeding 225 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol, and — is not sweetened; (ii) the term ‘agricultural’, provided that the rum in question complies with the requirements under point (i) and has been produced exclusively by distillation after alcoholic fermentation of sugar-cane juice. The term ‘agricultural’ may only be used in the case of a geographical indication of a French Overseas Department or the Autonomous Region of Madeira. This point shall be without prejudice to the use of the term ‘agricultural’, ‘traditionnel’ or ‘tradicional’ in connection with any product not covered by this category, in accordance with their own specific criteria.” Secondly Chapter 2, Article 10, Para 3 about labeling. “3. A spirit drink that does not comply with the requirements laid down for any of the categories of spirit drinks set out in Annex I shall use the legal name ‘spirit drink’.“ Thirdly Chapter 1, Article 1, Para 2 which states that this rules also applies on imported rum. “2. This Regulation applies to products ........... that are placed on the Union market, whether produced in the Union or in third countries, as well as to those produced in the Union for export.” Finally they say in the end of main document that it’s binding not mandatory so it will be interesting to follow up the result. “This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.”
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 19 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

I found a bottle of Kraken in a shop today, there is no longer a word "rum" on the label. Is the situation getting real?
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vomi1011

From Germany with 343 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

The rum will become less sweet in the future, which also means that some off-notes can no longer be covered up when the producer wants to write Rum on the lable. I also noticed that Wagemut, for example, doesn't use the word rum on their label. I think thats because of the sweet PX finish (they use wet PX casks). But they say that they don't use any additives. This EU regulation is good for connoisseurs. But for sweet rum lovers it could be the other way around.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 411 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

Stefan: So according to this new EU rule, the incredible Pusser's Gunpowder Proof could no longer be able to be labeled as a rum! The same goes for the even better Plantation OFTD! The USA will probably never see this ruling, so the rum companies will need to create different labels based upon their final destination. And here is why. The big three rum companies are on US territories, Bacardi, Captain Morgan, and Cruzan. Big money from these three will make sure that this EU law will never be adopted. However, if this were to be adopted in the USA, most of these beverages could no longer be labeled as rum because they are obsessed with the flavored market to make the lives of bartenders much easier.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 224 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

It will be very interesting to see how different producers tackle it. Some will eventually change their additives if they are close to 20g and others will change their labeling. Maybe some single producer chooses not to export to the EU, even if I don’t think so. And Paul, you’re probably right about that the majority will use different labeling depending on to were it’s exported. But in the end no one will be left without their favorite drink because in principle everything will remain, but with different labeling, except that maybe a few varieties will be a little less sweet in cases where producers decide to change their products.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 343 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

Which criteria does the OFTD not meet? https://www.plantationrum.com/oftd Did Pussers have problems with the added sugar? I think the new Pussers Guyana bottlings also meet the EU criteria. https://ruminations.blog/2016/11/08/rum-review-pussers-black-label-gunpowder-proof https://pussers.com/pussers-history/the-pussers-difference "By comparison, Pusser’s is all natural. No sugar or flavoring agents have been added. It is still the same Admiralty rum, the original Navy Rum, as it has been for more than 300 years."
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 411 ratings Replied 25 Jan '21

vomi1011: Read the details of the segments from the Swedish document posted by Stefan very carefully. It is not just one sentence, but deliberately vague. It is also open to interpretation, and I gathered that those two overproof rums fall under the new rules.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 343 ratings Replied 26 Jan '21

I wouldn't dive too deep in the interpretation. OFTD uses the word "traditional" which should meet additional criteria, but there should be no problem with that. If Plantation OFTD is not allowed to use the word rum, then the regulation would have failed and we could only rely on our own judgment.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 224 ratings Replied 26 Jan '21

Just to clarify, I just read the document in Swedish, then I went back to the English version. So it’s the original text in English that I attached, I haven’t translated it from Swedish.
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Earl Elliott

From Canada with 202 ratings Replied 26 Jan '21

Damn, cancel culture has invaded the rum domain. Doesn't matter to me, I will still purchase rums based on taste and flavour, regardless of the sugar content. If they label it as a spirit drink then we know that it's got more than 20 GPL. This could be quite helpful.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 411 ratings Replied 27 Jan '21

Thanks to mujuru's mentioning that Plantation Rums' website now shows dosages of added sugar for their rums (going all the way back to 2018), I went digging through their detailed data to update my spreadsheet that I began about three years ago. Quite of few of those old long standing favorites now show less sugar than what I had shown before. Oddly enough, a favorite of many now shows 20 gpl of added sugar instead of 24 gpl that I had shown originally. This is only 1 gpl too much for the EU to call it a rum!!!! This is none other than Plantation XO 20th Anniversary. So will the dosage or the labels be changed when that time comes? This is downright ridiculous in my book! By the way, I am pleased to report that less than 27% of all that I have reviewed on here could no longer be called rums according to the new EU rule. I never needed a rule to tell me to back off on heavily sweetened rums. My body would tell me to back off the next day, along with them slowly degrading in the bottles.
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