Advertisment for 10 BIB whiskies from Julius Kessler, 1908
Ten bottled-in-bond whiskies from Julius Kessler, 1908. None of these were even close to being the first to bear the designation. But it gives you an idea how large the category had grown by then.

In Search of the Earliest Bottled-in-Bond

The identity of the first bottled-in-bond Bourbon has eluded me since I first started researching American whiskey. I've identified two candidates but still remain a bit skeptical I've got my answer.

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Charred barrel staves
A pile of charred barrel staves also showing the characteristic 'red line' indicating the depth to which the whiskey inside penetrated.

Show Me the Color!

One of the other Bourbon books I picked up over the summer (and actually finished before it was over) was Kentucky Bourbon: The Early Years of Whiskeymaking by Henry G. Crowgey (University of Kentucky Press, 2008). The book focuses primarily…

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The Missing Outage

Karl Raitz’ book Making Bourbon (which I've mentioned here previously) is a gift which keeps on giving. A footnote in the current chapter led me to a small book entitled The American Compounder or Cross' Guide for Liquor Retail Dealers…

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JTS & Hewitt Brown ('Old Prentice') Distillery, Sanborn's Survey of Whiskey Warehouses, 1910 (detail)
JTS & Hewitt Brown ('Old Prentice') Distillery, Sanborn's Survey of Whiskey Warehouses, 1910

Two Distilleries, Entwined

A few months ago, a new ‘local’ acquaintance, author David Jennings (@rarebird101, rarebird101.com) asked me a question about whether I thought it was possible that some of the early Ripy Brothers whiskey bottled at DSP-KY-45, also known as Old Joe,…

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