This classification is a prestigious mark of transparency and legitimacy in the distilled spirits world. The Bottled-in-Bond Act was established in 1897 to guarantee that the product a customer was purchasing was truly whiskey. The Act requires that spirits are aged and bottled according to a certain set of guidelines.
Prior to the establishment of this Act, many people would sell spirits labeled as whiskey that were not authentic. Some would be colored, flavored, or diluted to provide a deceiving taste and appearance of true whiskey. Distillers fought for the government to get involved and that is how Bottled-in-Bond came to be.
To be labeled bottled in bond, a whiskey must meet the following criteria
- Product of a single distiller in a single season—spring (January to June) or fall (July to December)
- Aged for a minimum of 4 years in a federally bonded rickhouse
- Bottled at 50% ABV / 100 proof in the same location it was distilled