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  1. #21
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    You don't like Beam? I assume you're referring to Jim Beam White Label.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecrackup
    You don't like Beam? I assume you're referring to Jim Beam White Label.
    Must be. Just the cheapo one in the supermarkets with all the other run-of-the-mill liquors. I like Old Granddad very much and I know that's a Beam brand.

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    "Bottled in Bond," which has been around since 1897, was always intended to be a federal government guarantee of authenticity, not necessarily quality, but "BIB" does include quality requirements. Still, it's mostly a "truth in labeling" law.

    To be called "bonded" or "bottled in bond," a whiskey has to be aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. It must also be whiskey from one season, one distillery and one distiller. Only straight whiskey can be bonded. Straight whiskey is whiskey distilled out at not more than 160 proof, entered into new, charred oak barrels at not more than 125 proof, and stored there for at least 2 years. Only "named types" can be straight and, therefore, bonds. The most familiar "named types" are bourbon, rye and corn.

    Although introduced in 1897, "bottled-in-bond" did not become common until after Prohibition. Throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s, when fully aged, full-proof whiskey was in short supply, bonds were widely considered “the good stuff.”

    The federal government was able to guarantee the authenticity of the whiskey because it put agents in every distillery. Bonded whiskey had to be stored in a bonded warehouse, which was a warehouse at the distiller's premises that was 100% controlled by a treasury agent. Why did the distillers agree? "Bottled in Bond" was intended to benefit consumers. To induce the producers to participate, the government deferred their excise taxes until the whiskey was withdrawn from the warehouse, presumably to be sold. Originally, the excise was owed when the whiskey was produced, but this made it very costly for distillers to age their whiskey, since they had to pay the taxes years before they could sell the product.

    The government discontinued on-site agents in the early 1980s but continues to monitor warehouses through a computer auditing system.

    Today, bonded whiskey is no more "authentic" than any other straight whiskey, but the fact that all of the whiskey is from the same season, distillery and distiller remains interesting.
    Last edited by cowdery; 10-02-2006 at 22:30.

  4. #24
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    I am now smarter. I appreciate that!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    To be called "bonded" or "bottled in bond," a whiskey has to be aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. It must also be whiskey from one season, one distillery and one distiller.
    In that respect, it is even more "single" than typical single malt Scotches; while a single malt is from one distillery, it may be, and more often than not is, a vatting of more than one season's product. There are certainly single-barrel single malts (e.g. Balvenie Single Barrel) and vintage-dated single malts (like the Ardbeg and Glenrothes vintages) - but unless it's single-barrel or a year is declared, the age statement is for the youngest distillate in the vatting, and older whiskies may be inside the bottle as well.

    I'm a bit surprised that bourbon makers haven't taken the BIB concept further and declared vintage years other than for single-barrel bottlings. Are there bureaucratic obstacles to doing such a thing? After all, even with BT Antique Collection bottles, you have to read between the lines (or buy an unopened case with the letter inside) to know when it was actually distilled.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Back when bottles still had tax stamps, it seems that the bib bottles had the dates on the strip (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't believe there is anything preventing them from continuing that practice, but as the publics perception of BIB has fallen in favor of the newer single barrels and such and there have been few BIB bottlings added to product lines in recent times, it doesn't seem like they're out to promote what are usually less expensive whiskies than the new premiums they are spending big bucks promoting. I just like to consider it a bargin basement high quality secret that few know about anymore
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  7. #27
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    Timothy, that's a very good point. The bonded Old Grand-Dad bourbon and Rittenhouse rye are outstanding values. They're good to drink neat, and they also make outstanding cocktails.

    I'm starting to think that I should buy them by the case...
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Yes, for BIB the tax stamps were required to show season of distillation and season of bottling.

    As for vintage dating, that requires multiple label approvals and more set-up and change-over at bottling.

    The problem is that very few people have ever known what you now know. In other words, even people who knew to regard "Bonded" whiskey as "the good stuff" had no idea why.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    Yes, for BIB the tax stamps were required to show season of distillation and season of bottling.

    As for vintage dating, that requires multiple label approvals and more set-up and change-over at bottling.

    The problem is that very few people have ever known what you now know. In other words, even people who knew to regard "Bonded" whiskey as "the good stuff" had no idea why.
    Don't you just hate it when the 'Rules' make it harder to do the right thing? I should post this over on the Pet Peeves thread...
    Ed
    Bourbon makes me happy.

    Go Fighters!

  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Actually, I might be wrong, or at least partially wrong. I don't believe it would require label approval to put a date on the bottle. After all, think about the products like Blanton's that have the hand-dated labels. They're not getting those individually approved.

    Buffalo Trace is the one distillery that will give us pretty much any information we want. How about it, Buffalo Trace? Start slapping a "made on" date on your bonds.

 

 

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