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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Started thinking about it the other day,and I really dont know the answer..I know someone can enlighten me..thanks..

  2. #2
    Disciple
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    There are tons of posts and threads with info on Bib regs...but the just of it is...

    A product of one distillery and season aged to a minimum of 4 yrs and 100 proof. It can have more age without issue. It is a mark of quality from the old days. That's the bones of it.
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    The juice is also from the same distiller and the same season (2 seasons a year).

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    And at one time it was the standard by which all distillery bottlings were judged.

    A given distillery 50 years ago might have marketed an extra-aged higher-end expression (think Very Old Fitz), or they might have come out with "lighter, milder" 86 or 80 proof. Or both. But even while they did that, the mainstream whiskey the distillery sold was likely as not Bottled in Bond. That was the bread-and-butter expression of a given distillery's whiskey.

    I've seen ads from decades ago for a BiB expression of Jim Beam. All of the "Olds" we know today (Crow, Fitzgerald, Forester, Grand-Dad, Overholt, Taylor) were Bonded back then, even if a lower-proof expression was also being sold (which was the case with all the Olds except perhaps for Overholt).

    What I don't know, and what I would very much like to know, was whether bourbon and rye were REQUIRED to be bottled in bond, or whether the government set up a stipulation and if you wanted to sell your whiskey that's what you adhered to. Because during and right after WW II (thanks to Prohibition and the Wartime switch to industrial alcohol) there were whiskey brands sold that were blends of, say, a small percentage of five year old bourbon and a larger percentage of 18 month old whiskey - obviously such a product would not qualify under the Bottled In Bond Act, but just as obviously it was not against the law to sell such a product.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Thanks for the info..

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Bottled-in-bond was never required but it did have a "Good Housekeeping Seal" effect. Nobody would attempt to sell anything except a commodity brand that wasn't BIB, and at that time everything was 100 proof too. But a lot of non-BIB whiskey was sold, because a lot of people couldn't afford the good stuff, but BIB was considered the good stuff.

    It was only after Prohibition, and only really after WWII, that the lower proofs started to appear. Consumers during Prohibition had developed a taste for lighter spirits. That's when the long, sad decline of American whiskey began, even though sales themselves boomed until the late 1960s.

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Chuck, what do you mean exactly by "the long, sad decline of American whiskey?" In what ways has it declined, and from what standard? Is it on its way back up?

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Before Prohibition, if you drank a distilled spirit, you drank American whiskey. American whiskey dominated the American distilled spirits market.

    During Prohibition, most of the distilled spirits consumed were not, suffice it to say, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Even the swells who could afford the good stuff were drinking scotch and Canadian, much lighter drinks, but people were drinking a lot of white goods, i.e., gin, vodka and rum.

    After Prohibition, the American distilleries went back to making a heavy, full-flavored straight whiskey, and people didn't like it, so they started to lighten the product--higher distillation proof, higher entry proof, lower bottling proof, less rye, lighter char, blended whiskey, light whiskey. They tried all of that, then began a race to the bottom on price, trying to take share in a contracting market, and that led to a race to the bottom on quality. Only after all that did we start to see the double-digit annual sales declines, until it reached bottom at about half of what it had once been. It stayed flat for a long time, then slowly started to rebuild. Quality has also come back, though the style is still "modern." It was crappy-modern and now it's excellent-modern, but it's not the way it used to be.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Chuck,

    As always, you are a wealth of information. I'm glad to know we are on our way up with "excellent modern"! Do you think the whiskey we'll be drinking in 10 or 15 years (assuming you and I are still able to drink) will be better than what we drink today?

    Stu

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: What does Bottled in Bond mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    Chuck,

    As always, you are a wealth of information. I'm glad to know we are on our way up with "excellent modern"! Do you think the whiskey we'll be drinking in 10 or 15 years (assuming you and I are still able to drink) will be better than what we drink today?

    Stu
    I know I will, I'm stocking up now on the "good stuff" while I'm drinking bottom shelfers
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

 

 

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