There was a time when an imaginative spirits purveyor could pour a shot of whiskey in a bottle, fill the rest up with tobacco-steeped water, slap on a bourbon label, and sell it to you with a smile on his face. Technically a person could still do that today, it just wouldn’t be legal, thanks to the passage of federal laws governing alcohol. None of those laws is quite so precise as the Bottled-in-Bond Act, passed back in 1897.
The law states that whiskey bearing a Bottled-in-Bond label must be distilled by a single distillery, from one distilling season, and it must be aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years. To get the whiskey to the required 100 proof, only water can be added.
Heaven Hill, who you may already know as the makers of Elijah Craig and Evan Williams, has been making bottled-in-bond whiskey since their founding, just a few years after Prohibition ended. Their newest b-in-b namesake bourbon actually sat in their government-supervised warehouse three years longer than required. And the price for all the extra time and energy that goes into achieving that bottled-in-bond status? Just forty bucks. Start looking for it in October when it makes its limited release debut.