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The Best Bottled In Bond Whiskeys To Drink This Fall

For the average whiskey fan, the words “bottled in bond” mean high proof. But the phrase is much more complicated than just a whiskey with higher alcohol content. Championed by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was created to make an official designation for whiskey quality standards.

So what does this all mean? To receive the title of “bottled in bond,” the whiskey must adhere to a handful of rules. It must be produced at only one distillery during one distilling season. Then the juice has to be matured in a federally bonded warehouse for a minimum of four years. Finally, the whiskey has to be bottled at 100 proof, or 50 percent ABV. While the act was initially created for bourbon specifically, it’s been extended to all American whiskeys.

If you’re new to bottled in bond whiskeys, we want to help you find a few bottles to try. That’s why we decided to list a few of our favorites (with tasting notes) below.

George Dickel Bottled in Bond

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., Tullahoma, TN (Diageo)
Average Price: $41.99

The Story:

Tennessee whiskey is dominated by Jack Daniel’s, but it’s another brand that’s not-so-quietly gaining a cult following. George Dickel’s newest offering is a 13-year-old bottled in bond whiskey. Distilled in 2005, this 100-proof offering was created to be bold, complex, and shines in your favorite cocktails or as a sipper on the rocks.

Tasting Notes:

You might assume that a 100-proof whiskey might have an overpowering ethanol aroma, but the first nosing this expression brings forward are hints of charred oak, sweet honey, and toasted vanilla. The first sip yields hints of Christmas spices, more woody oak, and sweet sticky toffee pudding. The finish is dry and pleasing with just a single flourish of peppery spice at the end.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey is bold, robust, and stands up well in a whiskey sour, Manhattan, or old fashioned.

Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Heaven Hill, Bardstown, KY
Average Price: $42.99

The Story:

Heaven Hill makes some of the most well-known brands in the world, including Henry McKenna, Old Fitzgerald, and Elijah Craig. But it truly shines with its seemingly simple Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond. This whiskey pays homage to the brand’s original bottled-in-bond offering from 1939. Like all bottled-in-bond whiskeys, it’s 100-proof. But this small-batch whiskey is made using Heaven Hill’s proprietary bourbon mash bill while being aged for seven years.

Tasting Notes:

This highly complex expression starts with aromas of toasted caramel, sweet butterscotch, and subtle cinnamon. The first velvety sip yields notes of brown sugar, leather, and just a hint of peppery spice. The finish, while long, is full of hints of vanilla, cinnamon sugar, and dried fruits.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey, while high in ABV, is so mellow that you’ll want to sip it neat (or on the rocks) while you sit in a comfortable chair, reading a good book.

1792 Bottled in Bond

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Barton 1792 Distillery, Bardstown, KY (Sazerac)
Average Price: $44.99

The Story:

This award-winning, high-rye bourbon is made in small batches at 100-proof (as the Bottled-in-Bond Act designated). The official website claims it’s “well aged”, but there’s no age statement (although we know it’s at least four years old). First released in 2017, this bold, balanced bottle should find a spot on your bar or in your liquor cabinet right now.

Tasting Notes:

While nosing a glass, you’ll be met with hints of sweet vanilla, subtle peppery spice, and charred oak. There’s more peppery rye in the first sip, but it’s surrounded on all sides by dried cherries, caramel, and toffee. The finish is long sweet and chocked full of cinnamon, honey, and subtle corn sweetness.

Bottom Line:

This is a bottle to be savored. Share some of the cheaper bourbons with guests, but save this one for yourself.

Old Forester 1897

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBYgWwKHpdR/

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Brown-Forman Distillery, Shively, KY
Average Price: $47.99

The Story:

The second expression in the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series (the others are 1870, 1910, and 1920) 1879 is so named for the aforementioned Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. This award-winning offering is an homage to Old Forester’s history as the first bottled bourbon in America. It’s also a throwback to the type of whiskey made at that time. It’s rich, bold, and not to be missed.

Tasting Notes:

The first nose brings forth rich, charred oak along with dried cherries. The first sip yields sweet vanilla, honey, and subtle fresh corn followed by a pleasing peppery warmth. The finish brings back more of that woody oak from earlier along with gooey toffee and just a single hit of smokiness at the very end.

Bottom Line:

Since this bottled-in-bond whiskey was made using the techniques of the late 1800s, we believe you should mix it into a drink from that era such as a boulevardier.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Jim Beam, Clermont, KY (Beam Suntory)
Average Price: $21.49

The Story:

You might assume that the “old grand-dad” on the iconic bottle was just someone’s grandpa. But, in fact, the image is that of Basil Hayden who famously taught his son and grandson how to distill whiskey (among various other accomplishments) and was rewarded by having his image used for this brand and his name used for Basil Hayden’s. It should come as no surprise that both brands are Jim Beam products. Old Grand-Dad is one of Jim Beam’s “Olds” collection that also includes Old Overholt.

Tasting Notes:

This is one of the cheapest whiskeys on this list. But cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad. You’ll notice this on the first nosing when you are greeted with scents of sweet corn, charred oak, and toasted caramel. The first sip brings you a hot kick of cinnamon-sugar followed by rich vanilla and butterscotch. The finish is lingering and full of warming heat with a zing of white pepper at the very end.

Bottom Line:

While this bottle is a bargain at around $20, it’s best suited as a base for a cocktail than as a sipper. But, if you find yourself with any mixers, Old Grand-Dad will definitely keep you warm this fall.

Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond

ABV: 50%
Distillery Name: Heaven Hill, Bardstown, KY
Average Price: $27.49

The Story:

This award-winning rye was aged for four years before entering a bottle. It was created to pay homage to Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, a park created by William Penn to be a warm and inviting place to gather away from the dingy city. Well, this rye is also warm and inviting, but is also spicy from the rye content (which is only 51 percent). This is a rye whiskey that belongs in your collection. There’s a reason it’s a favorite of bartenders and drinkers alike.

Tasting Notes:

While nosing this whiskey, you’re first met with the ever-present peppery spice associated with rye whiskey. But since this is a fairly low rye whiskey, it’s more subtle than most. It quickly evolves into more complex aromas like sweet honey and rich vanilla. The first sip brings you more vanilla, toasted wood, cacao, and just a hint of bitter espresso. The finish is long, warming and full of cinnamon, dried cherries, and rye spice.

Bottom Line:

This is a great beginner rye because of its low rye content. But, it’s also bold enough to go back to again and again.

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