Ever been standing there in the spirits aisle and you know the brand you want, you know the type of spirit you want, but see a few bottles that are the same brand, same spirit. What’s the difference? The bottles have different label designs, bottle shapes may be different, prices may be different (sometimes very different!) but what does it all mean? Its #whiskeywednesday so today I decided to chat about one of those, Bonded.
Bonded or Bottled-in-a-Bond. It’s a term that you’ll see on some whiskeys. Actually any spirit but most common today is whiskey. It’s more than just a name added to bottles. It has an official meaning and some say it means a higher quality whiskey.
The term comes with the United States Bottled-in-a-Bond Act of 1897. It’s a series of regulations defined in US government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirts. Created to restore consumer confidence in whiskey since many were being watered down, or flavored or colored with other products including tobacco, iodine, licorice,
- 100 proof
- produced in one distillery season
- produced by one distiller
- produced at one distillery
- aged at least four years
- aged in a federally bonded warehouse
It also must be produced in the United States.
Today it’s mostly seen on whiskey bottles but does apply to any spirit that is produced within the regulations. Some consider it archaic while other see it as a designation of quality.
Most spirits are 80 proof so 100 proof means more whiskey. 50% alcohol by volume. Another reason to value this product. More whiskey, less dilution.
Not very common these days and more available in Kentucky, a few you might see on the shelves or at your favorite whiskey bar: Jim Beam Bonded, Rittenhouse Rye, Old Grand-Dad, Evan Williams White in Bond