Labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages
Product specific information for rum
List of ingredients for rum
Flavouring preparations added to rum do not trigger the requirement for a list of ingredients. For example, the addition of a guarana extract to rum does not trigger the requirement for a list of ingredients on the product. As the guarana extract is added to the rum as a flavouring preparation, it is deemed to be acceptable under the standard for rum [B.02.030, FDR] and therefore a list of ingredients is not required.
Country of origin - Caribbean rum
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations require a declaration of "geographic origin" which is less specific than a "country of origin". The declaration "Imported from the Caribbean" is therefore acceptable.
Age claims for rum
Claims for the age of rum are restricted to the time the rum was stored in small wood. Rum, including any domestic or imported spirit added as flavouring, must be aged in small wood for not less than one year [B.02.031, FDR].
Younger rum can be blended with an older rum, for example 12 year old rum, and under certain conditions retain that age claim. Section B.02.030 of the FDR provides for rum to contain "flavouring" as defined in B.02.002. The Excise Act permits up to 9.09% of the total quantity of absolute ethyl alcohol in the product (which equates to 10% by weight) flavouring in the rum. Subsection B.02.031(1) of the FDR requires the rum to be aged a minimum of 1 year in small wood and subection B.02.031(2) also requires the flavouring portion to be aged at least 1 year in small wood. Revenue Canada has interpreted this and their regulations (Circular 203-1) to mean, a twelve year old rum can contain flavouring up to 9.09% that is aged less than 12 years but at least 1 year, and it is still considered to be 12 year old rum. If more than 9.09% of younger rum is added, the claim 12 year old rum would no longer be acceptable.
See also Age claims for general information, including on foreign certificates of age and authenticity.
Use of the term "dry" for rum
In rum [B.02.030, FDR], where sugar could be added indirectly as part of the flavouring, the range of residual sugar content is very small and not readily detectable. Thus, the use of the term "dry" could be misleading and should not be used.
See also Use of the term "dry" for general information on dry claims for all alcoholic beverages.
Use of the term "light" for rum
Historically, the term "light", in relation to a rum, is recognized as a description of the colour and/or flavour of the product, and therefore need not be further qualified when used in this way. The claim "light" on rum does not trigger a Nutrition Facts table [B.01.513(2), FDR]. The alcoholic beverages section on Use of the term "light" provides additional information.
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