In December last year, “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” have been recognized in Japan as distinctive products of the United States. As a consequence, only whiskeys that are produced in the United States according to their respective official U.S. identity rules (see more) can now be sold as “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” in Japan, their top export market.
“Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” are currently recognized in 44 jurisdictions around the world.
While referred to as distinctive products in their country of origin (the United States of America) – rather than GIs – “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” are listed in the oriGIn worldwide GIs compilation, as they seem to match the TRIPs definition of GIs.
An interesting element, in this respect, is the fact that the recognition of “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” in Japan (as well as in the other 43 countries outside the United States of America) is the results of the joint efforts by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which concluded an agreement with Japan (as well as with the other 43 trade partners). As part of the agreement with Japan, the United States initiated a similar process for several products as distinctive products of Japan.