Providence, RI – With growing consumer interest in premium and super premium spirits products, a bill allowing Rhode Island adult consumers to sample distilled spirits at tasting events in liquor stores will assist customers with their buying decisions, according to a representative of the Distilled Spirits Council who testified today in front of the Senate Constitutional & Regulatory Issues Committee.   An identical tastings bill was being voted on in the House Corporations Committee today.

“Adult consumers are fascinated by the cocktail culture, and curious about how to discern between the more than 4,000 distilled spirits products on the market,” said Jay Hibbard, Council Vice President.  “Like fine wines, adult consumers want to purchase these high-end spirits products for their homes, but they would like to try them first.”

Rhode Island consumers can already sample wine and beer at off premise establishments.  Senate Bill 533, and its companion bill in the House, would allow adult consumers to taste one-quarter ounce servings of up to three spirits products at structured, preplanned events.  The new law would take affect upon passage.

“States across the nation are modernizing their liquor laws to bring adult consumers more choices and greater convenience in making their buying decisions,” Hibbard said – noting that since 2000, 15 states have modernized their marketplace by allowing or expanding spirits tastings bringing the total to 40 states that allow spirits tastings in some form.