Monday, April 1, 2024

The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897


By Kristy McCaffrey

Distilled spirits, especially whiskey, helped to shape the Old West. Whiskey’s ingredients were easy to produce, namely corn, wheat, barley, and rye, and as its value rose it became a popular trade item.

As demand increased, some businessmen doctored their supplies with ingredients such as tobacco juice, kerosene, and grain alcohol, leading to the term “rotgut” when describing the liquor. This “rectified” whiskey required no aging and was consumed immediately following production, as opposed to straight whiskey which was aged in new oak barrels for a minimum of two years.

In towns such as Tombstone, Arizona, popular whiskey drinks included Whiskey Cocktails, Whiskey Slings, Whiskey Punches, Rock and Rye, and Stone Fences.

But as the nineteenth century was ending, change was afoot. The Bottled in Bond Act was enacted in 1897 to regulate the sale of whiskey. The legal regulation is part of the U. S. government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits. It stipulates that the liquor must be the product of one distillation season (January-June or July- December) by one distiller at one distillery. It must be aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof/50% alcohol by volume. Only spirits produced in the U.S. may be designated as bonded.

Some consumers consider this to be an endorsement of quality, but some producers of whiskey believe the regulation to be archaic today. But the goal was to insure a higher quality of whiskey to the consumer.

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Don’t miss my new western coming July 2024. 

Pre-order THE NIGHTHAWK now.


Sophie Ryan’s dream of working for a newspaper has come true. Accompanied by her cousin, Lucas Blackmore, a newly appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal, she arrives in Jerome, one of the richest mining towns in America. And one of the most remote. Although she’s been hired to report for the Jerome Mining News on education and cultural issues, she soon finds herself immersed in something more serious when she finds an enigmatic injured man in the Black Hills claiming to be an ornithologist.

U.S. Deputy Marshal Benton McKay is undercover tracking the notorious train robbing Weaver gang, and the trail ends in Jerome. When he’s injured in the Black Hills and found by a determined and beautiful young woman, he must gain her trust to keep his identity a secret. But keeping her out of trouble proves a challenge, especially with her cousin assigned to assist him. As they track down the band of outlaws, another agenda emerges—the renegades are searching for lost gold believed to have been left behind by the Spanish Conquistadors. And Sophie Ryan is determined to report on it.

Come along with Sophie and McKay as they find adventure, mystery, and love. 

Sophie is the daughter of Logan and Claire from THE DOVE.

 Coming July 17, 2024

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Julie Lence said...

Gotta love those old names for rotgut whiskey. So colorful. Thank you for sharing, Kristy, and Congrats on your upcoming release.

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Thank Julie!