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  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    Bottled in Bond?

    OK, so what does bottled in bond mean? I am new here, so bear with me.

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
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    the gurus will tell it like it is presently, but for a decent read, check here:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/bottled-in-bond

    the Wiki article has a good outline of the legal requirements

    PD

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    The Wiki article referenced above is pretty close to right. Also, there are threads here about this, but since the words "bond," and "bonded" appear a lot, a search might be frustrating. Here are the important points:

    "Bottled in Bond" and "Bonded" are legal terms, referring to the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits. To use them on a label, you (the producer) has to comply with certain legal requirements. The gist is that the whiskey so labeled must have been produced in one season, at one distillery by one distiller. The distillery where it was produced must be identified on the label. A distilling "season" is either spring (Jan-Jun) or Fall (Jul-Dec).

    The whiskey must be at least 100 proof and at least 4 years old.

    Though intended only as a government guarantee of authenticity, not quality, bonded whiskey gained a reputation as "the good stuff." Although a few bonds are still sold, few people today even know what the term means, so it's not very important in the industry. For one thing, further regulations subsequently enacted mean that the same "authenticity" guarantee (i.e., truth-in-labeling) has been extended to all distilled spirits products.

    For American whiskey drinkers, the significance of the bonded designation is what I call the singularity requirements. Straight whiskey (i.e., straight bourbon, straight rye) can and often is a combination of whiskeys of that same type from multiple distilling seasons and even multiple distilleries. I call bonds "single batch" whiskeys, because they must come from one batch (i.e., season) at one distillery and even (although this part is kind of funny) one distiller.

    A single barrel whiskey is, by definition, "single batch," but otherwise the only way to ensure you are tasting a "single batch" is with a bond.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    ...The whiskey must be at least 100 proof and at least 4 years old...
    Though we all know of BIBs of different ages -- Old Charter 7yo, Heaven Hill 6- and 10-year-olds, et al -- do we know of any that aren't exactly 100 proof? I don't think I've ever seen one.
    Tim

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon
    Though we all know of BIBs of different ages -- Old Charter 7yo, Heaven Hill 6- and 10-year-olds, et al -- do we know of any that aren't exactly 100 proof? I don't think I've ever seen one.
    Wow, my second mistake today. I need to stop relying on my memory and look this stuff up (which I just did).

    While it seems ridiculous that bonds must be sold at exactly 100 proof, that is the case. While the age requirement, 4 years, is a minimum, the code says "(vi) Bottles at 100 degrees of proof." 27 CFR 5.42 (b)(3)(vi)

    No "at least."

    (Why it says "bottles" and not "bottled" I can't explain, but I think it's a typo.)

    I can only speculate why this is the case, but at the time of the Bottled in Bond Act, 50% abv was considered "proof," as in the alcohol content standard for an American straight whiskey. Anything more or less was considered non-conforming. Now we have a broader view. Forty percent is now the legal minimum, and the most common bottling proof in practice. We also readily accept much higher proofs. In fact, "proof," i.e., 50% abv, isn't considered the "standard" by anyone for anything, but that was not the case in 1897 when the Bottled in Bond Act became law. So it hangs on in the "bottled in bond" designation.
    Last edited by cowdery; 09-19-2006 at 17:33.

 

 

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