A growing number of American craft distillers are exploring a whiskey category that is not (yet) officially recognized by the federal government. The American Single Malt Whiskey Commission, which is more than 170 distilleries strong, hopes to change that. The group has proposed a standard of identity for the category, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently announced that the matter will be addressed in its upcoming spring unified agenda.
Steve Hawley of Westland Distillery in Seattle is one of the commission’s founders and its president. In the latest episode of The Craft Spirits Podcast, Hawley discussed the commission’s efforts to establish and protect the category across the globe. He also talked about common misconceptions about the category, as well as future opportunities for craft distillers making American single malt.