The Bottled in Bond Act: Fun Facts

I know many of you are familiar with the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. But what you might not be familiar with is that it doesn't only apply to whiskey. It applies to any distilled spirit, including fruit brandy, which is specifically named in the original act. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was essentially the first consumer protection act. It ensured the purity and identity of the spirit that was being purchased; something that was sorely needed at the time.
Bottled in Bond: It’s not just for whiskey

I know many of you are familiar with the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. But what you might not be familiar with is that it doesn’t only apply to whiskey. In fact, the Bottled in Bond Act applies to any distilled spirit, including fruit brandy, which is specifically named in the original act. So, yes, the Bearing Rum from Marlin & Barrel Distillery pictured here can indeed be Bonded! How cool is that?!

Let’s review a little about the Bottled in Bond Act:

The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was essentially the first consumer protection act. It ensured the purity and identity of the spirit that was being purchased; something that was sorely needed at the time. In a nutshell, it states that distilled spirits must, in addition to any other style requirements, be:⁠

  1. Produced by 1 distiller at 1 distillery⁠ in 1 distilling season⁠
  2. Aged in wood (and in contact with the wood, except for vodka) for at least 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse⁠
  3. Bottled at 100 proof⁠
  4. Free of additives except water
Tax Stamp & Labelling

The Bottled in Bond regulations have changed a bit over the years. At one point the bottles labelled as Bottled in Bond or Bonded had to be sealed with a tax stamp and marked with the distilling season, bottling date and distillery or DSP. However, the tax stamp was eliminated as a requirement a while back. The Bottled in Bond Act still has labeling requirements which include the real name of the distillery where the spirit was produced, the DSP number and where the spirit was bottled, if different.

100 proof. Not always!

Oh, and here’s another Bottled in Bond Act tidbit for you; one that’s certain to win a few bets at parties (if you go to the kind of parties that I do, that is?). Bottled in Bond spirits don’t have to be 100 proof; or at least they didn’t. “What???!” I can hear you saying; “This Ed guy should have called it a night long ago”. But I kid you not. For export purposes the proof just had to be above 80, although this provision seems to have been dropped from the current version of the regulations. How’s that for a tidbit!

Bottled in Bond….Vodka?

Another weird thing about the Bottled in Bond Act is that vodka can be Bonded, but the barrel it is aged in must be lined or coated with paraffin or other substance such that the vodka is not in contact with the wood. I am not sure of the point of aging vodka in a barrel and specifically not allowing contact with the wood, though…??‍♂️ Bonded gin can be similarly aged without contacting the wood, or it can be exposed to the wood and become more traditionally barrel aged.

Are you a fan?

Are you a fan of bonded spirits? Have you ever had a Bottled in Bond rum (or vodka or gin)? If you would like to learn about some more great bottled in bond whiskeys, check out some of my Bottled in Bond bourbon and rye reviews! Here are a couple of my reasonably priced favorites to get you started: Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon and Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Bourbon. Cheers!🥃

Buy Bourbon Obsessed Hats & Glencairns

Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?? If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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