View Full Version : Bonded Bourbon or Bonded Whiskey
What is the term Bonded mean when it comes to Bourbon?
I have heard the it mean that it is a requirement for the Bourbon to be aged eight years?
I haven't notice anything referring to the term in FAQ?
Your comments please.
The requirement for "bottled in bond" is that the whiskey must be produced in the same distilling season by the same distiller at the same distillery. Non-bonded whiskey can be from different years as well as from different distillers. Other requirements for bonded whiskies is that they must be a minimum of 4 years in age and be no less than 100 proof.
Distillers originally produced "bottled in bond" whiskies in order to avoid having to pay the excise tax until the whiskey was aged and ready for market.
The "Bonded In Bond" Act passed Congress in 1897, so the first BIB bourbons appeared in 1901. As Mark notes, taxes were the main target of the act. Before that time, the federal tax collector could (and did) show up at a distillery unannounced on his own schedule and demand tax payment for any whiskey then in barrel that hadn't already been taxed. In other words, whiskey was taxed by the volume put into the barrels at an irregular interval unknowable to the distiller in advance. After BIB, the whiskey was taxed as it came out of the barrel (after evaporation), at a somewhat lower tax rate. It made tax planning a lot easier for the distillers because they could predict -- by their knowledge of evaporation rates and the consistent proof required -- how much whiskey would be taxed each year. That's also why you see the double padlock rings on all older warehouses. No one -- even a distillery employee -- could enter the warehouse without being accompanied by a 'revenuer', who had his own key to the second lock, in order to avoid tampering with the volume of taxable whiskey.
To be called "bottled in bond," a straight whiskey must be at least four years old and at least 100 proof. It also must be the product of one distillery and one distiller in one season. "Straight bourbon" can be and often is a combination of different bourbons made at different times and places. "Bonded Bourbon" cannot be a combination of that sort. Ditto bonded rye.
Is your informative Malt Advocate article on this subject accessible other then by ordering a back issue?
You'll have to ask them to be sure, but I believe it is not. They only post a sampling of their articles their web site, "Whiskey Pages." (http://www.whiskeypages.com/)
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