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  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    As a relative noob, it seems to me that BIB bourbon is some of the best value product out there. My favorites so far include OGBIB and HH 6yr BIB. What I don't understand is why the term BIB is still used today? Is it for nostalgia? My understanding is that this originated to put the government seal of approval on whiskey in a time when you had no idea if you were drinking great stuff or motor oil. Surely those times are past us. Does the government still actually perform oversight on bonded whiskey? Thank you and may you all enjoy your bondeds as much as I do!

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    I am relatively new here also but I think today it really just means that it is 100 proof.

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2013
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    Downriver, Detroit, MI
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    Apparently many of the International owners of some of the brands we knew and loved as BIB's agree with you. Not nearly as many out there as there once were. BIB was a real selling point, denoting responsibility for; age of; and, derivation of the product and connoting quality in the mind of many purchasers back in the day. IMHO; since so much of the juice we now consume is such high quality, BIB carries rather less weight in the market than it once did. Also, having fairly stringent rules that must be adhered to, it narrows producers options... Same with age statements to a lesser, but still important degree. Just my opinion..... Here's another opinion: Many of the existing BIB's are still a great choice, and many are to be found in my shelves... They're a BARGAIN, and usually quite tasty!

  4. #4
    Guru
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    May 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    I think they are a great way to even the playing field out and be able to therefore compare house styles. When they all have to play by the exact same rules, you get a really good idea of how one brand's profile compares against another, rather than trying NAS 94 proof this versus 100 proof that, versus 6 year old that.....
    Think about how stupid the average person is.....then realize that half of them are more stupid than that.

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel View Post
    As a relative noob, it seems to me that BIB bourbon is some of the best value product out there. My favorites so far include OGBIB and HH 6yr BIB. What I don't understand is why the term BIB is still used today? Is it for nostalgia? My understanding is that this originated to put the government seal of approval on whiskey in a time when you had no idea if you were drinking great stuff or motor oil. Surely those times are past us. Does the government still actually perform oversight on bonded whiskey? Thank you and may you all enjoy your bondeds as much as I do!
    The government regulations on BIB still exist. To be BIB, a spirit must be (1) made of one type of spirit (i.e. bourbon or rye); (2) produced by one distillery in one distilling season; (3) aged at least four years; (4) 100 proof/50% abv.

    While it seems like an anachronism in some ways, the idea of BIB may be more valuable now than it has been in years. How many discussions are there on this forum and elsewhere about which bottles were sourced and where the juice came from? BIB takes the guess work out it because they have to list the distillery right on the label.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
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    May 2014
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    257

    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    Of course, you still have to be attentive, because like all of the TTB labeling requirements this one can make it through the approval process without being valid. What was that flavored, low-proof whiskey that showed up with "bottled in bond" on the label?

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    With several new players getting into the whiskey game to make a fast buck on bourbon's new-found popularity, I think the BIB designation is as important as ever.
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  8. #8
    Apprentice
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    Jul 2012
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    Chapel Hill, NC
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    Great points, especially with regards to the whiskey provenance. With BIB you know where it's coming from. I also appreciate the higher proof. With all of the importance many of us whiskey drinkers place on strength (e.g., MM situation last year) it's somewhat surprising to me that more people don't favor good BIB expressions. Talk about bang for the buck. Then again, it seems to me like most knowledgeable drinkers here do love many of these bondeds.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Jackson, MS
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    Indeed the biggest opposition to the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 were the established rectifiers (NDPs) who had grown large and wealthy buying bulk whisky from the distillers then creating brands of their own which were more often than not sometimes blending the whisky with grain neutral spirits and a little something added for color.

    One of the strongest arguments in favor of the Act was the assurance that a BIB designation meant all the whisky in the bottle was genuine Bourbon made by a specific, identified distiller and not uncontrolled bulk stuff which is just as important today as it was then.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    Jan 2014
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    Re: The modern day use of bottled-in-bond statements

    For those of us not familiar with the history behind the term, I think it's worth a quick internet search for "bonded whisky" or "bottled-in-bond" to get some historical perspective on why it's still relevant. I know that a Mike Veach article pops up, and over the last couple years I've referred others to it (as well as to his book and Chuck's book and the old threads here). Also, check out the Filson Historical Society website (http://filsonhistorical.org) .

    While revenue agents may no longer carry keys to the warehouses and physically count barrels going in and out, the regs do mean that the whisky in bottles carrying the term meets (or is supposed to meet) well-established requirements. As sku said, the BIBs are a good way for learning about house styles and comparing them since lots of tweaking, differences in proof, and other bells, whistles, and distractions are controlled if not eliminated.

    In my case, I'd have missed OGDBIB and Henry McKenna 10yr, neither of which had I considered buying until after reading the two books I mentioned above. When I think about all those years I spent in the wilderness . . .

 

 

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