Bottled-in-Bond vs Single Barrel

Bottled-in-bond and single barrel bourbons are two of the most popular types of bourbons among whiskey enthusiasts.


While both are bourbons, they differ in several ways, including how they’re made, their flavor profiles, and their price points. Understanding the differences between these two bourbons can help you choose the right one for your palate and budget.

Bottled-in-bond bourbons are crafted at a single distillery, while single barrel bourbons can be made from different distilleries. Bottled-in-bond bourbons are also required to be aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof, while single barrel bourbons can be aged for less than four years and bottled at a lower proof.

Understanding Bottled-In-Bond

Bottled-in-bond (BiB) is a term used to describe a specific type of American whiskey that is regulated by the U.S. government.


The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was passed to ensure the quality and authenticity of American whiskey. Under this act, BiB whiskey must meet specific requirements, including distillation season, minimum age, proof, and production at a single distillery under U.S. government supervision.

To be labeled as bottled-in-bond, the whiskey must meet the following requirements:

  • The whiskey must be distilled during one distillation season by one distiller at a single distillery.
  • It must be aged for a minimum of four years in a federally bonded warehouse.
  • The whiskey must be bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV).
  • The label must clearly identify the distillery where it was distilled and bottled, and the location of the bonded warehouse where it was aged.

The purpose of the Bottled-in-Bond Act was to protect consumers from adulterated and counterfeit whiskey. By requiring whiskey to be produced under U.S. government supervision, consumers could trust that they were getting a quality product.

BiB whiskey is often associated with a higher level of quality due to the strict regulations it must meet. The aging process in a federally bonded warehouse ensures that the whiskey is not adulterated or tampered with. Additionally, the minimum age requirement of four years allows the whiskey to develop a more complex flavor profile.

Understanding Single Barrel

Single barrel bourbon is a type of bourbon that comes from one specific barrel, as opposed to being blended from multiple barrels. This means that each bottle of single barrel bourbon has its own unique flavor profile, since no two barrels are exactly alike.


Single barrel bourbons are typically aged for a minimum of two years, but can be aged for longer periods of time. The aging process gives the bourbon its signature color and flavor, as it absorbs the flavors and aromas of the oak barrel.

Because single barrel bourbons come from one specific barrel, they are often more expensive than other types of bourbon. However, many bourbon enthusiasts believe that the unique flavor profile of single barrel bourbon is worth the extra cost.

One of the benefits of single barrel bourbon is that it allows the distiller to showcase the unique characteristics of their product. Each barrel has its own distinct flavor profile, which can be influenced by factors such as the location of the barrel in the warehouse and the type of oak used to make the barrel. By bottling each barrel separately, the distiller can highlight the unique flavor profile of each barrel.

Comparison of Bottled-In-Bond and Single Barrel

Bottled-In-Bond and Single Barrel are two different types of bourbons that are commonly available in the market.


While both are popular among bourbon enthusiasts, there are some key differences between the two.

Quality and Premiumness

Bottled-In-Bond bourbons are considered to be of higher quality than standard bottle bourbons. This is because they must meet strict regulations set by the US government. For example, they must be made from a single distillery, aged for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof. Single Barrel bourbons, on the other hand, are not subject to such strict regulations and can vary in quality.

Specialization and Value

Single Barrel bourbons are often considered to be more specialized and unique than Bottled-In-Bond bourbons. This is because they are made from a single barrel, which means that each bottle can have a slightly different flavor profile and character. However, this specialization can also make them more expensive than Bottled-In-Bond bourbons.

Flavor Profile and Character

Bottled-In-Bond bourbons are known for their consistent flavor profile and character. This is because they are made from a blend of many different barrels, which helps to ensure that each bottle tastes the same. Single Barrel bourbons, on the other hand, can have a more varied flavor profile and character, depending on the barrel from which they were made.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Rocco

Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.

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