The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 took effect 125 years ago today. The Bottled-in-Bond Act was passed March 3, 1897 by the U.S. Federal Government. The law required spirits makers to age their spirits and label bottles according to a strict set of legal regulations.

One of the champions of the Bottled-in-Bond Act was Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. The Act guaranteed that what a distiller said was in the bottle was actually in the bottle. The Act was so far ahead of its time that it was actually a precursor to the Pure Food and Drug Act which didn’t take effect until nine years later in 1906 to protect our food. Well, at least the whiskey was protected!

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Buffalo Trace Distillery - Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. 1830-1923, Painting
Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. 1830-1923.

The Bottled in Bond Act guaranteed the integrity of the whiskey to the American consumer, and among other things, guarantees only water can be added to the whiskey. Prior to its passing, disreputable sellers would put items like tobacco juice, turpentine, iodine or other unsavory and potentially poisonous additives to a barrel of whiskey to fill it back up, and/or to give the liquid color. Back in those days, whiskey was usually delivered by the barrel to a local saloon, general store or pharmacy where customers could fill up their own jug directly from the barrel, or retailers could bottle it up for resale on the spot.

To celebrate the 125th Anniversary Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky and home to one of Col. Taylors first distilleries salutes the Col. by releasing a “Bottled in Bond Day” commemorative edition E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel. One special barrel was hand-picked by the team at Buffalo Trace Distillery, the contents being bottled and made available through musician Chris Stapleton’s charitable fund, Outlaw State of Kind. Each bottle will be autographed by Chris Stapleton.

Initial bottles will be used to support disaster relief in Texas, hit hard by a major winter storm, and Eastern Kentucky, experiencing devastating floods. These initial bottles are available for bidding on the online charity auction Charitybuzz. Less than 100 bottles will be available in this initial release to support disaster relief in Texas and Kentucky. Buffalo Trace will offer the remaining bottles throughout the year to raise funds for a variety of charities across the country. Updates on subsequent fundraisers will be posted to Outlaw State of Kind.

“We’re very excited to partner with Chris Stapleton and Outlaw State of Kind,” said Joshua Steely, E.H. Taylor, Jr. brand director. “We knew Chris was a big fan of E. H. Taylor, Jr., so we thought this was a perfect way to commemorate Bottled in Bond Day, by partnering with his charitable fund so fans of both his music and our bourbon can help out needy causes across the country through the various events and auctions that will be held throughout the year.”

Grammy Award Winner Chris Stapleton adds, “The first glass of E. H. Taylor, Jr. I ever had was in the studio. Vance Powell, engineer of both music & good times, brought a bottle to the session for inspiration. That week we recorded an entire album, and that album was Traveller. We’ve made it a point to keep a bottle around ever since.

American Glassworks Flask - 1815 -1895
Prior to bottling whiskey customers would bring their own hand-blown glass flask to their local saloon or pharmacy for a refill.

“So when E. H. Taylor, Jr. approached us to partner up for an exclusive bottling in celebration of Bottled in Bond Day, it seemed like a natural fit since they were already a part of our musical journey.

“Together we’ve decided to use the occasion to give back to the communities that have been the real magic in both of our stories. The challenges of these times have left many in need, and we’re honored to help address some of these needs through this partnership.

“Proceeds from the first batch of bottles to be auctioned off will go to natural disaster relief in Texas & Kentucky.”

The E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel was distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery and put in the barrel on Jan. 5, 2012. Bottled in early February, this bourbon is 9 years old, and like the act its namesake fought so hard to pass, is Bottled in Bond at 100 proof.

Like the other E. H. Taylor, Jr. releases, this Single Barrel is packaged with elements of Taylor’s original bottlings from the turn of the 20th century, a vintage label bearing his signature and a distinct canister reminiscent of Taylor’s whiskey package from over one hundred years ago. The canister gives a nod to this unique bottling with a commemorative sticker noting the 124th anniversary of Bottled in Bond Day and a label at the bottom explaining in more detail the significance of this bottling. 

The E. H. Taylor, Jr. Bottled in Bond commemorative Single Barrel bottling will not be available at retail. It is only available through the charitable organization Outlaw State of Kind.

Learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery.
View all Kentucky Distilleries.

E. H. Taylor, Jr. Bottled in Bond Single Barrel Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery - Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. 9 Year Old Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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