Caramel Coloring (E150 in the EU) Is a Fraud!


I have spent the last two hours trying to find out if the brandy I like has any additives. I couldn’t find the answer. In the process, I found out that most of the cognacs that I enjoy, when I can afford them, have caramel color in them. It makes them look older, so the manufacturers can charge more money for them. Sadly, I also found out that some of my favorite single malt Scotch whiskeys have the same flaw. I am not allergic to whatever they add, but I try to live a pure life, as much as possible. I am talking about food and drink here not morality. I wish to avoid as much as possible, the introduction of any kind of chemicals made in a laboratory into my body. That includes aspirin, cocaine, caramel color, propylene glycol, high fructose corn syrup and so on. Sadly, I couldn’t find quick answers to my inquiries. On top of that, I also found that some brands of vodka have propylene glycol in them. I usually have a bottle of Polish Wodka Luksusowa in the house. I think that the purest vodka is made from potatoes and I hope this one is actually pure. I found their website and I sent them an inquiry.

Back to my Cognac or I should rather say my Brandy. Brandy is an umbrella name for many beverages of which Cognac is the most expensive. At this point, I’d like to say that I am quite done with Cognac. I found a few that do not add caramel color though now I am not sure if they add anything else. Also, they are not found in my neighborhood, so I will skip them.  I will contact some Armagnac distilleries and asked them those questions. I really appreciate a good Armagnac and would love to find out which ones are pure.

There might be some good news in this cesspool of additives. I am not very fond of the United States FDA nor the TTB which is controlling alcohol and tobacco sales. However, it turns out that the TTB enforces a law about straight whiskey. Straight whiskey, be it bourbon, rye or whatever, cannot contain any additives. There are quite a few really good ones out there. My research has also led me to another law, specifically the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. The parameters of this law are even stricter than the ones about straight whiskey. To be labeled as bottled-in-bond or bonded, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January–June or July–December) and one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). The bottled product’s label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled.[2][3] Only spirits produced in the United States may be designated as bonded.

Among the many interesting sounding whiskeys listed there is also a Sacred Bond Brandy from the Heaven Hill Company. I will look for some very soon.

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