In a recent press release, Diageo formally announced their intention to begin including ‘macronutritional’ information labels on their alcohol products. They have been providing this information to consumers by way of their DRINKIQ website since 2006, but have been prohibited by the TTB from placing this information on the products themselves. Yes, prohibited, as in not allowed. Even serving size was not allowed on any US alcohol product. Diageo, in league with a series of other consumer groups, had been working since 2003 to get this changed and succeeded in 2013. Personally, I have seen nutrition labels recently on some brands of hard cider, but not much else, aside from the occasional light beer calorie assertion. A visit to the DRINKIQ website is worth it just to see the ingredients in Bulleit listed as “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey”, and perhaps even more interestingly, the Orphan Barrel series being listed as just “whisky” (without an ‘e’, which is kind of irritating).
As one who doesn’t think too much about the calories or carbs in my whiskey, I can’t say I feel too strongly one way or another about having nutrition labels become ubiquitous. They are optional at this point, so no one is required to provide this information, yet. I do find a certain amount of irony in the company responsible for the mysterious Orphan Barrels campaigning for any kind of honesty in labeling, but I find more information is better than less. Additionally, the ‘allergen’ section also seems like it could be useful to a large part of the population. What do you guys think? The full press release is below if you’re interested, cheers!