Bottled in Bond…Do You Know What it Really Means?

To understand the term Bottled in Bond or BIB, you have to understand the way whiskey worked in the Wild West. In the old West and across the US in the 1800s, no law stood to protect imbibers from buying dodgy or dangerous alcohol. Sly saloon owners and snake-oil salesmen sold bottles of mixed booze browned with tobacco, turpentine and other worrying ingredients as whiskey. Unable to distinguish their product as the public avoided whiskey altogether, profits for honest distilleries plummeted.


Concerned for the safety of his countrymen and his company, honest distiller Colonel E.H Taylor led the charge to change the law. Partnering with Secretary Treasurer John G. Carlisle in the 1890’s, they went on to create the first Consumer Protection Act in US History: The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. Today he is honoured with an excellent BoB whiskey carrying high notes of spice and lemon zest. Try our EH Taylor Straight Rye and EH Taylor Single Barrel today.


From the turn of the century to today, Taylor’s Act ensures approved whiskeys are:


Produced by one distiller, in one distillery over one season

While many distilleries swap barrels, whiskeys bottled in bond are known for consistency and quality in their flavour. The concentration of ownership also enables oversight at each stage of distillation, ensuring no missteps on the way to flavourful whiskey.



Exactly 100 proof

If the ABV of a bonded whiskey were higher than 50%, it would hold many smaller distilleries from crafting their own. Any lower, and it could compromise quality. The pictured 100 proof, Old Grand-Dad, packs a powerful spice balanced with sweet notes of caramel and nut. Try for yourself our Old Grad-Dad Bottled in Bond.




Aged four years in wood casks

As well as ensuring quality, this condition also aimed to entice distilleries with a delay on paying tax until their product had aged. Current regulations for the storage of bonded spirits stipulate they be aged in contact with the wood of American oak barrels. The porous wood allows for oxygen to enhance the ageing, while contact with the American oak adds its sweet vanillin.



Uncompromised by added ingredients

As whiskeys bottled in bond can only add water to lower their proof, aficionados can be assured that no chemicals or colourings have compromised their whiskey. This is ensured by each whiskey ageing under observation in government warehouses. Quality comes through in the chocolate and dried fruit notes you can taste in our Rittenhouse Rye Whisky.



Sealed and branded as a sign of quality

Once, distillers who followed these rigorous regulations were rewarded with official seals of quality. Though this ended in 1982, many distilleries still use similar green seals and colour schemes to distinguish their bonded status. Rest assured that no whiskey can wear the word ‘bonded’ on their bottle unless they have adhered to these regulations.


Today there exists a slow growing demand for whiskeys bottled in bond, as more recognise the terms synonymity with quality. Distillers of all sizes are racing as fast as the four year wait will allow to satisfy this coming taste, so best buy a bottle or two before this resurgence raises the price.


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