Understanding Litres Volume (LV) and Litres Pure (LPA) in the Spirits Business

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Navigating the intricate landscape of the spirits industry requires understanding the various measurements and terminologies associated with bulk spirits. Litres Volume (LV) and Litres Pure (LPA) are two terms that often come up in the beverage industry that our team at Sasma is well-acquainted with. This article outlines the significance and importance of each in regard to aged spirits.

Litres Volume vs. Litres Pure

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Litres Volume (LV) and Litres Pure (LPA)? 

Litres Volume (LV) refers to the total volume of a liquid, irrespective of its alcohol content. While commonly used across various industries, in the context of spirits, it measures how much is in a bottle or barrel without accounting for the actual alcohol content.

Litres Pure (LPA) measures the volume of pure alcohol in a liquid. The LPA is calculated by multiplying its Alcohol By Volume (ABV) percentage by its volume. If you have 100 litres of a spirit with an ABV of 40%, for example, you would have 40 LPA.

Examples of Calculating Litres Pure

Example 1

IBC of 1,000 litre volume has 65% alcohol = 650 litre pure.

That leaves 350 litres of water.

If this has been aged for 5 years, it could be that you have 60% alcohol left because of “angel share” – which in turn means you have 600 litres pure left.

Example 2

IBC of 1,000 litre volume has 70% alcohol = 700 litre pure.

That leaves 300 litres of water.

In a 1,000-liter IBC initially holding 65% alcohol, aging for 5 years may result in a 60% alcohol content due to the “angel’s share” evaporation, leaving 600 liters of pure alcohol. Conversely, an IBC with 70% alcohol initially will have 700 liters of pure alcohol, and after aging, the remaining volume is 300 liters of water. In the whisky industry, “liters pure” denotes the actual volume of pure alcohol, and the term “angel’s share” refers to the natural evaporation through the wood during aging.

We use liters pure within the whisky industry. 

LPA and Aged Spirits: A Special Consideration

When it comes to aged spirits, determining alcohol volume becomes more complex due to certain factors. The environment, including temperature and humidity, can cause alcohol to evaporate, leading to what’s known as the “angel’s share,” altering ABV over time. Given that it can vary, even within the same batch, it becomes challenging to rely solely on LV for accurate calculations. 

If you’re in the market for spirits such Whisky, Cognac, Bourbon, or Tequila, LPA offers an accurate and consistent way to measure alcohol volume. Businesses can get a precise measure of the alcohol content, ensuring consistency and accuracy in trading, taxation, and other operations. Other LPA benefits include:

  • Accuracy: The ABV of aged spirits can change over time. LPA provides a consistent measure of the actual alcohol content, irrespective of the total volume.
  • Consistency: Consistency is necessary for trading and commerce. Using LPA ensures that you’re always dealing with a consistent measure, making transactions smoother and more transparent.
  • Regulatory and Taxation Purposes: Most countries tax alcoholic beverages on their alcohol content–using LPA guarantees that it’s taxed accurately, avoiding legal complications. 

Get in Touch - SASMA

As While both LV and LPA have their places in the spirits business, when it comes to aged spirits, LPA undoubtedly offers a more accurate and consistent measure. By understanding and utilizing these measurements appropriately, you’ll remain precise, transparent, and compliant. To learn more, contact our sales and logistics team at Sasma BV or e-mail [email protected].

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