Building Your Bar, One Bottle At A Time:  Bottled In Bond Whiskeys

Bottled In Bond Whiskeys

If you’re joining us for the first time, welcome to our series where we explore various whiskeys to elevate your home bar and make it the ultimate gathering spot for friends and family. This series covers a range of selections, categorized by either price, proof, and type, offering options to suit every taste and budget. While these choices may not encompass every whiskey in their respective categories, they serve as valuable additions to your ever-expanding collection. Enjoy Build Your Bar Bottle in Bond edition

This week, we delve into the realm of Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys. Each of these exceptional bottles comes in under $60, making them perfect additions to your bar lineup. 

What does Bottled in Bond mean?

The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was enacted in response to concerns about the quality and authenticity of spirits in the United States. At the time, the whiskey industry was rife with issues such as adulteration, mislabeling, and inconsistent quality. Consumers were often misled about the origin and purity of the whiskey they were purchasing. This began to lead  to distrust within the industry. Prior to the BIB Act, much of the whiskey that was sold was flavored and colored with things such as iodine, tobacco, spittoon waste as well as other substances that people would not want to drink all in efforts to make their whiskey look darker and older.

To qualify as Bottled-in-Bond, the whiskey must meet several specific criteria:

  • Produced in One Distillation Season: The whiskey must be distilled by one distiller at one distillery during one distillation season, which is January to June or July to December.
  • Aged for a Minimum of Four Years: It must be aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years.
  • Bottled at 100 Proof (50% Alcohol by Volume): The whiskey must be bottled at exactly 100 proof (50% ABV), which was considered to be the “proof of integrity” at the time the Bottled-in-Bond Act was passed.
  • Labeling Requirements: The label must clearly state the distillery where it was distilled and bottled, and if different, the distillery where it was aged.

Range: Under $20: Old Tub Bottled in Bond
100 proof – $16.99 SRP – Age: At Least 4 Years
Mash Bill:  75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malted Barley

This happens to be one of my go to bottles for a daily sipper. Anyone who enjoys the Jim Beam profile will absolutely love this expression. With a price point of under twenty dollars, this is a whiskey that you can keep in your bar every day. Old Tub is great to sip neat, as well a used in a cocktail. It’s also a great whiskey to enjoy with a habano or milder maduro cigar. 

A cigar that I enjoyed with this whiskey: Cavalier Geneve White Series

On The Nose: very sweet vanilla, citrus, oak and peanut shells

On The Palate: Slightly sweet, citrus, vanilla, barrel char, and peanut with a slight Kentucky hug with a medium long finish.

Range: $20 – $30: Early Times Bottled In Bond 

100 proof – $28.99 SRP – Age: At Least 4 Years
Mash Bill: 79% corn | 11% rye | 10% malted barley

Another amazing bottle of whiskey that is under $30. Although the Brown-Forman version was probably my favorite bottle of whiskey, the new Sazerac blend isn’t bad at all. When I can find it, I will usually always have this on my bar. It’s approachable enough that new whiskey adventurist can enjoy it and complex enough that whiskey lovers will appreciate. 

A cigar that I enjoyed with this whiskey: Patina Cigars Sumatra

On The Nose: very sweet, banana up front with notes of bright fruit, spicy oak, caramel, and vanilla

On The Palate: lots of sweetness, red fruit, oak, cinnamon, slight banana, and dark chocolate,

Range: $30 – $40: Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash 

100 proof – $32.99 SRP – Age: At Least 4 Years
Mash Bill:  60% Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye (70% Rye, 18% Corn, 12% Malted Barley) | 20% Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey (80% Corn, 12% Rye, 8% Malted Barley) | 20% Jack Daniel’s American Malt (100% Malted Barley)

One of the most unique expressions out of the three bonded series bottles that Jack Daniels put out over the last few years. The Triple Mash Bonded has become one of my favorite low-cost bottles put out by them. This bottle is a great choice to offer any Jack lover a poor of if they are looking for something a little different or a great way to spice up a Jack and Coke or just a simple cocktail. Because of its price and uniqueness, it’s a bottle that I wouldn’t mind keeping in my home bar for guest to enjoy.

A cigar that I enjoyed with this whiskey: JC Newman Yagua

On The Nose: Up front I get a bready banana note followed by caramel, red fruit, slight chocolate, toasty oak

On The Palate: sweet, heavy malt notes, honey, banana, and a slight oak and chocolate finish

Range: $40 – $50: Ben Holladay Soft Red Wheat Bottled In Bond

100 proof – $49.99 SRP – Age: At Least 6+ Years
Mash Bill:  Corn 73% | Wheat 15% | Barley 12%

The distillery that is putting Missouri Whiskey on the map. Ben Holladay has been putting out some straight fire whiskey since they dropped onto the shelves. Their new Soft Red Wheet may just be their best expression and because of that and its great price point, this BIB would be well worth having. Since it’s fairly new to a lot of places, this may also give you the opportunity to let you guest experience something new. 

A cigar that I enjoyed with this whiskey: Black Bird SuperB

On The Nose: vanilla, bright fruit notes, brown sugar, slight cheerio note, 

On The Palate: soft notes of fruit, caramel, honey, with a slight chocolate note on the finish 

Range: $50 – $60: Heaven Hill Bourbon 7 Yr Bottled-in-Bond

100 proof – $54.99 SRP – Age: At Least 7 Years
Mash Bill:  78% Corn | 12% Malted Barley | 10% Rye

A bottle that most people who like whiskey know about, but also a whiskey that isn’t all that easy to find…. At least in my area. For me this isn’t my cocktail whiskey, this is one that I want to sit back and sip while having an evening cigar and talking with some friends. The price point is well worth the juice in the bottle, and you won’t have to worry breaking the bank to enjoy a pour or two.

A cigar that I enjoyed with this whiskey: Aganorsa Leaf Supreme Leaf

On The Nose: Sweet, fruity, oak char, and slightly nutty. 

On The Palate: Up front, fruit cup sweetness, oak barrel, vanilla, with a slight spice


So, what did you think? What bottles did I leave off this list that you enjoy? Should I have gone into higher price points? I would love to know your thoughts, so comment below. You know I love conversation and will reply to you. As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Until the next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff…” and do it responsibly!

Check out more of our Build Your Bar series here:
Building Your Bar, One Bottle at A Time: Irish Whiskey
Building Your Bar, One Bottle At A Time: Amazing Bottles For Under $60
Building Your Bar, One Bottle At A Time: Great Bottles For Under $40
Building Your Bar A Bottle At A Time: 3 Bourbons Under $20


Charles Ruth

Charles Ruth

I am the husband of an amazing woman who shares my love for cigars and the father to 3 wonderful kids. I am the president of the Tri-Star Herf Crew. A social cigar club based in Tennessee with family all around the country. I grew up in Kentucky where I fell in love with the taste and history of Bourbon and American whiskey. I applied for the review position at CP when it first started and was reviewer number 4. I love sharing my love, thoughts, feeling, and knowledge of cigars and Bourbon with all our readers.