Back in the 1800’s it was an absolute crapshoot to try and find quality whiskey in the U.S. Sellers of spirits could do just about anything to alter the flavor or deceive consumers.
Hmmm. Needs some color, let’s throw some tea leaves in it!
Fruit for sweetness? Sure.
More color? Iodine sounds and tastes lovely.
Tobacco? It cures anything! Throw it in!
Manure? Yes, quick while no one’s looking…and I’m sure one of those idiots stole my pig!
Some of the reckless producers mindlessly poisoned consumers and were giving whiskey a bad rap. As a result, the government engaged to establish some authenticity under the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897.
Consumers finally had peace of mind the bottle they purchased was legit adult juice!
The Act also introduced taxes on the bottle…Shocker! Obviously, there was a money angle or the government would never engage!
To carry “Bottled in Bond” on the label, a liquor must be produced over the course of one season (Jan-June or Jul-Dec) by a single distiller at a single distillery and aged at a bonded warehouse. It must then age 4 years in the warehouse before bottling at 100 proof.
Bottled in Bond applied to all spirits at the time, and is commonly used today for U.S. whiskey. Who really cares about strict guide lines for aged vodka or gin! What separates Bottled in Bond from other U.S. whiskies is its representative snapshot of the distilleries work over a finite point in time. Huh Einstein? Many well-known brands blend barreled whiskeys, often from numerous years, to achieve a certain flavor profile. Ex. Maker’s Mark at the ABC store today should taste the same as a Maker’s Mark bottled in 2019. Thus, a Bottled-In-Bond brand’s flavor profile could vary year-to-year.
Examples are Old Fitzgerald, Evan Williams White Label, Jim Beam Bonded, Old Grandad, Henry McKenna, Col E.H. Taylor, and Old Forester 1897. They are a bit stronger than your standard 90 proof bottle. Drink responsibly!
BOOM! Another shot of knowledge!