The 20 Best Bottled-in-Bond Whiskeys, Ryes, Bourbons, and Brandies at Every Price

You’ve probably heard the term “bottled in bond” before, but what exactly does it mean? The defining rules date back to the late 19th century: The spirit must be at least four years old, bottled at exactly 100 proof, come from one distillery and one distillation season, and be aged in a federally bonded warehouse. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was an attempt to regulate whiskey at a time when certain cost-cutting producers were adding unappealing (and sometimes dangerous) adulterants to their spirits. Consumers who saw the BIB designation on a label could rest assured they were getting real whiskey, and not some dubious grain spirit with tobacco added for coloring. Nowadays, the BIB designation is still an assurance of quality, but it’s also a bit of a throwback. Alcohol is currently heavily regulated by the TTB, so it’s generally pretty unlikely there would be unsavory or harmful additions in your bottle. That said, BIB does give consumers a better idea of a spirit’s origin and age, comparable to a vintage in wine. And the 100 proof rule means BIB spirits often work better as cocktail components; the higher ABV allows them to shine even when mixed. BIB doesn’t only apply to w...