If you’re new to the whiskey world, you might have noticed a phrase found on some expressions of bourbon (and even some other whiskeys). The phrase is “bottled-in-bond.” If you purchased some of these bottles, you might assume it simply means that said expression is higher in alcohol than most. That’s because bottled-in-bond bourbons are exactly 100 proof. But there’s much more to this title than simply a higher alcohol content.
The Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897 was enacted to make legal regulations surrounding the aging and bottling of whiskey, specifically bourbon. The reason this act came to be was because back in the late 1800s, much of the whiskey world was more like the Wild West. There was a lot of moonshine, ethanol, and other potentially dangerous spirits. That and some flavorings and coloring added to make them appear to be whiskey. The U.S. government wanted to protect consumers and actual distillers.
All these years later, using the term bottled-in-bond still comes with a few rules and regulations. According to the act, to fit this qualification, one distiller must make the whiskey at only one distillery in one distilling season. It must mature in wooden barrels for a minimum of four years in a federally bonded warehouse. It also must be bottled at 100 proof and have nothing except water added to it.
Now you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase a bottle of bottled-in-bond bourbon. So, it’s time to drink it. To help you out, we put together a list of the best bottled-in-bond bourbons you can drink right now.
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