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Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 5:08 a.m.
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Effort to rewrite Tennessee whiskey law fails for year

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 25, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State lawmakers on Tuesday decided not to rewrite the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey this session, meaning the rules supported by Jack Daniel's will govern other distillers in the state for at least another year.

House and Senate committees voted Tuesday to consider efforts to rewrite or repeal the law in summer study panels after the legislative session ends.

Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett, who has heavily lobbied lawmakers to uphold the current law, welcomed the decision to put off suggested changes such as removing a requirement to age whiskey in unused oak barrels.

"We stand behind last year's law, we truly believe it's best for Tennessee whiskey all over the world," Arnett said. "And for the players who've located in the state of Tennessee, we need to uphold these quality standards."

The debate has pitched two global liquor giants against each other. Jack Daniel's which is owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman Corp., first proposed the establishment of a Tennessee whiskey law last year. George Dickel is owned British conglomerate Diageo PLC, which led this year's attempts to dismantle that law.

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