What does Bottled in Bond mean?


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Some of The Establishment's Bottled in Bond whiskeys.

A short history of great whiskey

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


More Grenache! The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. 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 and Terret Noir for complexity.⁠
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#chsdrinks #chswine #wineme #southofbroad #grenache
More Grenache! The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. 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 and Terret Noir for complexity.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chsdrinks #chswine #wineme #southofbroad #grenache
Our menu is ever-changing based on what is fresh and seasonal. Right now we are offering this incredible Vadouvan Cauliflower with farro, mint and raita. ⁠
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#chseats #eatlocal #southofbroad #
Our menu is ever-changing based on what is fresh and seasonal. Right now we are offering this incredible Vadouvan Cauliflower with farro, mint and raita. ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chseats #eatlocal #southofbroad #
Back to Grenache! This Domaine Pierre Usseglic is 60% Grenache and aged in equal parts tank and twice used demi-muids. There’s only 600 cases made, and it has terrific density and depth, with notes of blackcurrants, black cherries and licorice. Nicely concentrated and textured. ⁠
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Our full wine list can be seen at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu
Back to Grenache! This Domaine Pierre Usseglic is 60% Grenache and aged in equal parts tank and twice used demi-muids. There’s only 600 cases made, and it has terrific density and depth, with notes of blackcurrants, black cherries and licorice. Nicely concentrated and textured. ⁠ ⁠ Our full wine list can be seen at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu
Finish an incredible meal with something sweet - traditional tiramisu, with coffee, lady fingers, and mascarpone.⁠
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#chseats #tiramisu #ladyfingers #dessert #southofbroad #datenight
Finish an incredible meal with something sweet - traditional tiramisu, with coffee, lady fingers, and mascarpone.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chseats #tiramisu #ladyfingers #dessert #southofbroad #datenight
At its simplest, Grenache makes round, heart-warming wines. At its best it has real majesty, making full-bodied wines with a sensation of sweetness due to the amount of alcohol and glycerol. It can become complex and spicy, with flavors reminiscent, some say, of rich fruit cake.⁠
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Over the next week or so we'll be showing some of the better bottles we have available. Come in and try one. Pair it with our new beef deckle dish. You won't be disappointed.⁠
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#chsdrinks #wineme #grenache #southofbroad #chswine
At its simplest, Grenache makes round, heart-warming wines. At its best it has real majesty, making full-bodied wines with a sensation of sweetness due to the amount of alcohol and glycerol. It can become complex and spicy, with flavors reminiscent, some say, of rich fruit cake.⁠ ⁠ Over the next week or so we'll be showing some of the better bottles we have available. Come in and try one. Pair it with our new beef deckle dish. You won't be disappointed.⁠ ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chsdrinks #wineme #grenache #southofbroad #chswine
Try Chef Howells take on Deckle, served with house kimchi, beef tallow mayo, black garlic and potato chips.⁠
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#eatlocal #chseats #southofbroad #deckle
Try Chef Howells take on Deckle, served with house kimchi, beef tallow mayo, black garlic and potato chips.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #eatlocal #chseats #southofbroad #deckle
Try something new tonight - like our carrots with pistachios, dates, and ubriaco di raboso.⁠
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#eatlocal #chseats #southofbroad
Try something new tonight - like our carrots with pistachios, dates, and ubriaco di raboso.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #eatlocal #chseats #southofbroad
Congratulations to Elliott Howells on his promotion to Executive Chef at The Establishment! Take a look at our ever-changing menu at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu to pick out the first dish from Chef Howells that you're going to love!⁠
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#charleston #southofbroad #cheflife #chseats #explorecharleston
Congratulations to Elliott Howells on his promotion to Executive Chef at The Establishment! Take a look at our ever-changing menu at EstablishmentCHS.com/menu to pick out the first dish from Chef Howells that you're going to love!⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #charleston #southofbroad #cheflife #chseats #explorecharleston
Boo! Happy Halloween everyone! We're closed on Sundays and Mondays, but you can make your reservations for later in the week at EstablishmentCHS.com!
Boo! Happy Halloween everyone! We're closed on Sundays and Mondays, but you can make your reservations for later in the week at EstablishmentCHS.com!
Looking for the perfect taste of fall? Try our house made agnolotti with butternut squash, chestnuts, golden raisins, and a brown butter jus.⁠
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#chseats #southofbroad #charleston #fallmenu
Looking for the perfect taste of fall? Try our house made agnolotti with butternut squash, chestnuts, golden raisins, and a brown butter jus.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #chseats #southofbroad #charleston #fallmenu
We have an incredible bourbon and scotch selection. Sit at the bar and try something special after work tonight. A Macallan perhaps? We've got the 12, 15, 18, and 25 year available.
We have an incredible bourbon and scotch selection. Sit at the bar and try something special after work tonight. A Macallan perhaps? We've got the 12, 15, 18, and 25 year available.
Taste the premier wines of Robert Foley Vineyards with the vineyard owner on November 16th. Bob Foley's been focused on winemaking since 1977, and with the founding of multiple renowned Napa Valley wineries, and 40+ vintages of 90+point wines to his credit, he's been called
Taste the premier wines of Robert Foley Vineyards with the vineyard owner on November 16th. Bob Foley's been focused on winemaking since 1977, and with the founding of multiple renowned Napa Valley wineries, and 40+ vintages of 90+point wines to his credit, he's been called "The God of Cabernet" for a reason. And did we mention that we're pairing four courses with these incredible vintages?