Bottled-in-Bond Meaning

Terebelo Distillery bonded warehouse
Terebelo Distillery bonded warehouse

Bottled-in-Bond Meaning

Bottled-in-Bond Act was to create a standard of quality for Bourbon whiskey. Prior to the Act’s passage, much of the whiskey sold as straight whiskey was anything but. So much of the product was adulterated — flavored and colored with iodine, tobacco, and other substances

The practice was also connected to tax law, which provided the primary incentive for distilleries to participate. Distilleries were allowed to delay payment of the excise tax on the stored whiskey until the aging of the whiskey was completed, and the supervision of the warehouse ensured proper accounting and the eventual collection of the tax. This combination of advantages led a group of whiskey distillers led by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. to join with then-Secretary of the Treasury John G. Carlisle to fight for the Bottled-in-Bond Act. To ensure compliance, Treasury agents were assigned to control access to so-called bonded warehouses at the distilleries.

The act made the federal government the guarantor of a spirit’s authenticity, gave producers a tax incentive for participating, and helped ensure proper accounting and the eventual collection of the tax that was due. Although the regulations apply to all spirits, most bonded spirits are whiskeys in practice.

In addition to producing bonded bourbon, some companies produce bonded rye whiskey, corn whiskey, and apple brandy.

Strength Of Bonded Alcohol

To be labeled as bottled-in-bond or bonded, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January–June or July–December) by one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). Nothing higher and nothing lower. The bottled product’s label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled. Only spirits produced in the United States may be designated as bonded.

Master DIstiller Binyomin Terebelo Removing a sample
Master DIstiller Binyomin Terebelo Removing a sample

As master Distiller Binyomin Terebelo notes, the warehouses today where bourbon is all stored are bonded. however, the need for a guard is no longer required it is all done with documentation. As his bonded warehouse is connected to the distillery the warehouse storage was placed in the cellar with a yellow line running across to delineate the pre-tax area. You can take note of the paper on the barrel on the right it is the documentation.

Sign Of Quality

Some consumers consider the term to be an endorsement of the quality, while many producers consider it archaic and do not use it. However, because bottled-in-bond whiskey must be the product of one distillation season, one distillery, and one distiller — whereas ordinary straight whiskey may be a product of the mingling of straight whiskeys (of the same grain type) with differing ages and producers within a single state — it may be regarded as a better indication of the distiller’s skill, making it similar in concept to a single malt whisky, small-batch whiskey, or single barrel whiskey


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