Visited Ohio a couple weeks ago, hitting a large flea market. Stopped in a small roadside shop with a prominent "Beer, Wine and Spirits" sign ...
Went in hoping to find a bourbon I didn't have ... instead, I encountered something called "diluted spirits". 40 proof diluted bourbon and whiskeys ... very strange.
Searched SB, and came up with an explanation by Chuck Cowdery here ... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...holic-Bourbons
"Those products were created long ago, just for Ohio, due to its peculiar law that any alcoholic beverage below a certain proof (40 I believe, or 20% ABV) could be sold in grocery and drug stores, but alcoholic beverages above that proof could only be sold in state stores. The intention was to permit beer and wine to be sold more widely, but by writing it that way they opened the door for these "diluted" spirits products. By federal law, straight spirits like rum, whiskey, tequila and vodka have to be at least 80 proof or they have to be labeled "diluted."
Interesting ... very similar to WV's "nonintoxicating beer (0.5% - 12% ABV) classification. Info here - http://www.abca.wv.gov/beer/Pages/default.aspx