bottled in bond

  1. A term used to describe American distilled spirits, usually whiskey, that fit a number of strict legal regulations. To be labeled as bottled in bond, the spirit must be:
  • produced in the United States
  • the product of a single distilling season (January-June or July-December)
  • aged in a federally bonded warehouse under US government supervision for at least 4 years
  • bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV)
  • labeled with the distillery where it was produced and, if different, the facility where it was bottled

These regulations were established by the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 as a reaction to widespread adulteration and poor quality control of American whiskey and other distilled spirits. They helped to ensure that consumers were protected from dangerous chemical adulterants and were not misled by improper labeling practices.

Today, bottled in bond is considered a somewhat archaic term, though several American distilleries still follow the regulations and bear the label to prove it.