Bottled in Bond

(phrase) A legal term referring to American spirits (usually whiskey) that have been processed according to regulation of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which was created to protect consumers from distillers who adulterated their product with fillers or flavorings, usually for financial gain. Distillers must comply with a different set of regulations for each spirit category to bear the bottled-in-bond label. Whiskey, for example, must be made by one distiller at one distillery during one season, then aged for four years and bottled at 100 proof. The main incentive for compliance is a tax exemption, which allows distillers to postpone payment of excise taxes until the spirit is ready to be bottled for the market, though few distilleries practice this anymore.