Distilled Spirits Council Testifies in Support of House Bill 6084

Providence, RI – Allowing Rhode Island consumers the opportunity to sample distilled spirits at tasting events held by liquor stores will assist adult customers in their buying decisions, according to a representative of the Distilled Spirits Council, who testified today in support of House Bill 6084, heard by the House Corporations Committee.

“Adult consumers are fascinated by the cocktail culture, and curious about how to discern between the 4,000 distilled spirits products on the market,” said Jay Hibbard, Council Vice President.  “Like fine wines, adult consumers want to purchase these fine spirits for their home, but they would like to try them before making their buying decision.”

Under the new law, adult consumers would be allowed to sample one-quarter ounce servings of up to three spirits products at any one event.  Consumers can presently sample one ounce servings of both wine (four products) and beer (two products) at off premise establishments.

“If this bill passes, Rhode Island consumers will have an opportunity to responsibly sample the world’s finest premium spirits products in a retail setting, just like they do wines,” said Hibbard, pointing out that the bill would create a leveling of the marketplace with respect to wine and beer tastings, which are already allowed under state statute.  “Nationally, more and more states are modernizing their liquor laws to bring adult consumers more choices and greater convenience.”

Forty states currently allow spirits tastings in some form, including Rhode Island neighbors Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.  The new law would take effect upon passage.