What does Bottled in Bond mean?


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A short history of great whiskey

Some of The Establishment's Bottled in Bond whiskeys.

You may be familiar with this distinction, seeing it on spirits labels in the liquor stores or on cocktail menus around your town or city. But what does it mean? And what does it say about the product inside?

In the late 1800's, the question of where one's booze originated either wasn't important or folks just didn't give much thought to it. Or if their whiskey was even whiskey at all. Generally, alcohol was bought by wholesalers in barrels rather than bottles making it all too easy to tweak or mask the product with additives and artificial flavorings to stretch the product for more profit, frequently using questionable ingredients to do so.

A traditional whiskey distiller from Kentucky, for example, could be easily undercut by another distillery using a neutral spirit like vodka which is much less expensive and requires much less skill to make and add to their vodka such ingredients as caramel coloring, wood chips and even formaldehyde to alter it enough to pawn it off as something that vaguely resembled a traditionally made whiskey.

After experiencing this con for some time, whiskey distillers and consumers alike got fed up. With the help of the federal government, they set up a standardized designation known as the Bottled In Bond Act. This was one of first examples of a consumer protection law in the US.

The Bottled in Bond or "BIB" designation is one that holds a spirit to a fairly high standard. The Bottled in Bond or Bonded spirits standards are as follows:

  1. Must be aged for a minimum of four years.
  2. Must be bottled at precisely 100 proof (50% ABV).
  3. Must be made by a single distiller.
  4. Must be made at one distillery.
  5. Must be aged in a bonded warehouse.
  6. Must only use spirit distilled in a single distilling season. Either spring or fall. Spring is defined as January to June; fall as July to December.

Because of these standards, what you get is essentially a "craft" spirit. A unique expression of that distillery's terroir/climate/water etc.

As a bartender and cocktail creator, using a BIB spirit will ensure you of a couple of things. Because of the four-year aging minimum and a 50% ABV, you know your spirit is going to have a strong flavor profile and alcohol content to give it the backbone to stand up to all other ingredients. Especially for more savory or less sweet style cocktails.

The takeaway for me in understanding more about BIB spirits is that a BIB designation of a spirit does not necessarily guarantee a higher quality. That is still a very subjective realm. But it does speak to the authenticity of the product. It's the truest expression of that distiller's "art" in their craft. And that speaks volumes to me.

Come sit down at the bar at The Establishment and let's explore some of these BIB whiskeys. We have several on the menu, and now that they have grabbed our attention, you can rest assured you will see many more offerings a little sooner than later.

Cheers to all!

Ryan Wise
Bar Manager
The Establishment




The Latest Dish


NOW HIRING: Join our hosting team for a great full- or part-time job with great pay, great hours, and great perks. Email your resume to jobs@establishmentchs.com today! ⁠
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NOW HIRING: Join our hosting team for a great full- or part-time job with great pay, great hours, and great perks. Email your resume to jobs@establishmentchs.com today! ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #nowhiring #restaurantjobs #fandbjobs #charleston #hosting
Available tonight only from Chef Howells: Agnolotti with braised pork, peas, and a smoked pork brodo. ⁠
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#chseats #chsdrinks #southofbroad
Available tonight only from Chef Howells: Agnolotti with braised pork, peas, and a smoked pork brodo. ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chseats #chsdrinks #southofbroad
It was an honor to work with Michelin Star Chef Mariya Russell this week. We raised $10k for the CYDC and had a great time doing it. 
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Read all about it at EstablishmentCHS.com/giveBack
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#giveback #explorecharleston #southofbroad
It was an honor to work with Michelin Star Chef Mariya Russell this week. We raised $10k for the CYDC and had a great time doing it. . Read all about it at EstablishmentCHS.com/giveBack . . #giveback #explorecharleston #southofbroad
New to the menu tonight: Pork Belly with a lavender soubise, pea tendrils, and crispy pork skin. Served on our new plates from @lecreuset. ⁠
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#southofbroad #chseats #peculiarpigfarm #explorecharleston
New to the menu tonight: Pork Belly with a lavender soubise, pea tendrils, and crispy pork skin. Served on our new plates from @lecreuset. ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #southofbroad #chseats #peculiarpigfarm #explorecharleston
How many Michelin Stars are in Charleston? There's going to be ONE on May 9th as Chef Mariya Russell joins Chef Elliott Howells for a dinner to support the Charleston Youth Development Center. Details and registration for this SIX-COURSE EXPERIENCE with wine pairings and a cocktail hour are at EstablishmentCHS.com/events.
How many Michelin Stars are in Charleston? There's going to be ONE on May 9th as Chef Mariya Russell joins Chef Elliott Howells for a dinner to support the Charleston Youth Development Center. Details and registration for this SIX-COURSE EXPERIENCE with wine pairings and a cocktail hour are at EstablishmentCHS.com/events.
Want to join an incredible team and hone your skills in the kitchen? WE'RE HIRING! Send your resume to jobs@establishmentchs.com to apply as a line cook. Best pay in Charleston!⁠
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#nowhiring #linecook #restaurantjobs #fandb
Want to join an incredible team and hone your skills in the kitchen? WE'RE HIRING! Send your resume to jobs@establishmentchs.com to apply as a line cook. Best pay in Charleston!⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #nowhiring #linecook #restaurantjobs #fandb
We've got locally caught, No. 1 Bluefin Tuna on the menu this week. Check out the preparation for tonight's dish at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu.⁠
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#eatlocal #localfish #tuna #bluefin #southofbroad #sustainableseafood
We've got locally caught, No. 1 Bluefin Tuna on the menu this week. Check out the preparation for tonight's dish at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #eatlocal #localfish #tuna #bluefin #southofbroad #sustainableseafood
We've got quite a few new wines by the glass starting tonight! We'll pair your personal tastes to the perfect glass! ⁠
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Full menu at EstablishmentCHS.com/wine
We've got quite a few new wines by the glass starting tonight! We'll pair your personal tastes to the perfect glass! ⁠ ⁠ Full menu at EstablishmentCHS.com/wine
Let's talk a minute about fresh pasta. Chef Howells has prepared a Short Rib Agnolotti with smoked king trumpet, english peas, ricotta, and a mushroom brodo. Think ravioli but more Piedmont area of Italy. Limit of two orders per person.⁠
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#eatallyouwant #italianfood #southofbroad #charleston #chseats
Let's talk a minute about fresh pasta. Chef Howells has prepared a Short Rib Agnolotti with smoked king trumpet, english peas, ricotta, and a mushroom brodo. Think ravioli but more Piedmont area of Italy. Limit of two orders per person.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #eatallyouwant #italianfood #southofbroad #charleston #chseats
This weekend we're serving a classic country pate with gherkins, radish, and mustard. ⁠
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#pate #countrypate #classicfrench #southofbroad #chseats #explorecharleston #charleston
This weekend we're serving a classic country pate with gherkins, radish, and mustard. ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #pate #countrypate #classicfrench #southofbroad #chseats #explorecharleston #charleston
The week is almost over. Relax over some incredible food and a wonderful bottle of wine. May we suggest the Tablas Creek 'Patelin de Tablas'?⁠
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Counoise. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and small additions of Counoise for complexity.⁠
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Full wine list at EstablishmentCHS.com/wine
The week is almost over. Relax over some incredible food and a wonderful bottle of wine. May we suggest the Tablas Creek 'Patelin de Tablas'?⁠ ⁠ The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Counoise. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and small additions of Counoise for complexity.⁠ ⁠ Full wine list at EstablishmentCHS.com/wine
A new dish from the old world: Porchetta di Testa with tonnato, gherkins, radish, mizuna, and an herb lemon vinaigrette. This is a traditional Italian pork dish that is slow cooked for over 18 hours and served as a roulade. ⁠
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#oldworld #roulade #pork #porchetta #chseats #southofbroad #downtown
A new dish from the old world: Porchetta di Testa with tonnato, gherkins, radish, mizuna, and an herb lemon vinaigrette. This is a traditional Italian pork dish that is slow cooked for over 18 hours and served as a roulade. ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #oldworld #roulade #pork #porchetta #chseats #southofbroad #downtown