MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Governor Jim Douglas today signed into law new legislation expanding the state’s liquor laws and allowing consumers more opportunities to sample distilled spirits products at Vermont’s restaurants, bars and other locales. “Vermont consumers will now have increased opportunity to responsibly sample the world’s finest premium spirits products,” said David Wojnar, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “Vermont is one of a growing list of states modernizing their liquor laws to bring adult consumers more choices and greater convenience.” H.B. 665, a tastings bill introduced by Representatives Judith Livingston and Mary Morrissey, allows the Vermont Liquor Control Board to grant up to 4 educational sampling event permits per year to a person conducting marketing and educational sampling of spirits, beer and/or wine. The new law liberalizes what was previously permitted by the Vermont Liquor Control Board. “Adult consumers are fascinated by the cocktail culture, but curious about how to discern between the 4,000 distilled spirits products on the market,” said Wojnar. “Like fine wines, adult consumers would like to try these fine spirits before making their selection. Spirits tastings at restaurants, bars and other locations are great opportunities to allow consumers a more informed purchasing decision.” The Distilled Spirits Council has supported passage of tastings legislation which has been enacted in 13 states in the last 5 years, including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and now Vermont – making Northeast consumers a focal point of the national tastings trend. Vermont is one of 39 states that allow some form of spirits tastings at on or off-premise establishments. With the passage of H.B. 665, Vermont becomes the first state in 2006 to liberalize its tastings laws. Vermont H.B. 665 took effect upon passage.