Bottled in Bond (BiB) is a term, typically applied to whiskey, that used to be synonymous with “the good stuff” and came about due to the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. It was a sign that what was inside the bottle had been certified by the government to be exactly what it said it was. This act was put into place as a response to people faking whiskey and as a measure to help distillers with their tax payments. It made it so they didn’t have to pay the taxes on bonded alcohol till it left the warehouse.

what-is-bottled-in-bond-2 In addition to signifying it was authentic whiskey, Bottled in Bond also became a term that symbolized value which, for the most part, it still does today. Most BiB whiskey checks in around the $20-$30 range and, due to the government regulations around the term, are delivered at 100 proof and are at least 4 years of age. Though there’s more to it than just that. Here’s a list of all the requirements any distilled beverage must meet to carry the term Bottled in Bond on its label.

Bonded Bourbon 1 Before 1983 Bottled In Bond whiskey sported green tax strips.

Bottled In Bond Requirements

  • 100% of the liquid must have been distilled in the same distilling season (calendar year).
  • That distilling must have been done by a single distillery.
  • Aged for a minimum of 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse.
  • Bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV).
  • The label must clearly state the distillery who made it.
  • If it was bottled at a location other than the distillery it must also clearly state its bottling location.
  • Cannot have anything other than water added to the liquid.


One misconception people have about Bottled in Bond is that it’s purely a whiskey term. While whiskey is currently the biggest employer of the Bottled In Bond term, it can be applied to any and all barrel-aged beverages distilled in the United states. Two current examples are Laird’s Apple Brady and Heaven Hill’s new bonded brandy. Though seeing as how it’s the minority I wouldn’t fault anyone who thought Bottled In Bond was only a whiskey term.

What Is Bottled In Bond 1

If you’re interested in reading more about the tax side of what the Bottled In Bond Act did for distillers, or other whiskey related laws, check out this article I wrote for History Buff: 7 Laws That Shaped American Whiskey.

Until next time, happy drinking.


What Is Bottled In Bond

The post What is Bottled In Bond? appeared first on The Whiskey Jug.