Quality and 'Bottled-in-Bond' Whiskeys.

I guess am what you could call an amateur connoisseur of liquors in general, and whiskeys specifically. And for a while now, I have been drawn to liquors that are “bottled-in-bond”. I know that means they have to pass certain criteria when they made.

Then about 10 years ago, or so, I was drinking a bottled-in-bond bourbon. It was actually rather inexpensive, which I also liked. And I at least thought it tasted pretty good. Then I held it up to the light. I could be wrong. But I could have sworn that it was unusually reddish–like it had been infused with artificial coloring or something! Is that possible?

I know “bottled-in-bond” is not an absolute indicator of quality. But surely it is better than other non-BIB whiskeys. Am I wrong? And, back to my experience: Could they have really added artificial red coloring to it?


No artificial coloring. All BiB really means is that the whiskey has been bottled at 100 proof and has been held in a government warehouse for a period of time. It says nothing about the quality of the liquor.

To be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond or Bonded, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January to December) and one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). The bottled product’s label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled.[2] Only spirits produced in the United States may be designated as bonded.