US regulations require the federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) to preapprove all alcohol labels used in the United States. Companies wishing to sell any form of alcohol must apply to the TTB for a Certification of Label Approval (COLA). Through this process, the TTB reviews the label for compliance with federal regulations.
The COLA approvals are publicly available through the TTB's on-line database. This is actually quite helpful to consumers because it allows you to view the labels for any approved spirit.
For instance, say you hear about the release of a new high-rye bourbon and you're wondering it is sourced from LDI in Indiana. Just go to the TTB, search by the name of the whiskey, click to see the "printable version" and look for the tell-tale "Distilled in Indiana" on the label. The COLA approval will also tell you the name of the company that requested the approval, which can be helpful in searching through whiskeys that aren't forthcoming about their provenance.
Since this is a preapproval process, you can also find out what whiskeys might be coming out in the future. For instance, a search of "E.H. Taylor," Buffalo Trace's new line of limited releases, produces a number of results, including this application for an E.H. Taylor Straight Rye.
Similarly, if you are a Scotch fan, a search for Murray McDavid or any other independent bottler will show you what new Scotch releases might be coming our way. Before any press release goes out, you know the inside scoop!
Now go ahead, spend the rest of the day geeking out and searching for labels.