Early Times Bottled in Bond: A Spirited Tradition Reviewed

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A Time-Honored Toast to Tradition: Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon

Gather ’round, whiskey aficionados and curious sippers alike, for a tale steeped in heritage and topped with a twist of fate. Today, we dive into the liquid lore of Early Times Bottled in Bond Bourbon, a spirit that has danced on the tongues of Americans since the dapper days of waistcoats and watch chains.

A Slip of Bourbon History

Oh, the drama! Picture a young John Henry “Jack” Beam, swaddled in whiskey wisdom and daring dreams. In 1860, with a swagger in his step and a gleam in his eye, he bid adieu to his father’s distillery. His destination? His very own bourbon playground near Bardstown, Kentucky, where Early Times Bourbon was brought into the world.

After Jack’s journey on earth concluded in 1915, a doldrum descended until Owsley Brown, of Brown-Forman fame, swept in to scoop up the surviving barrels and trademark in 1923. Flash forward to 1945, Brown-Forman uncorks the iconic Bottled in Bond, setting bars ablaze with its popularity. Such is the charisma of this bourbon; it snatched the crown to become America’s bourbon sweetheart by 1953.

Yet, the whispers of the 70s and 80s brought ill winds. Early Times, faced with the industry’s tempests, morphed from bourbon to a blended whiskey concoction. Yet, even amidst this identity crisis, the spirit of Early Times endured, proudly asserting its status as one of the longest continuous bourbon tales in the heart of Kentucky.

The Sazerac Plot Twist

Fast forward to the recent past, the year 2020, when Sazerac Acquisition adds a splash of intrigue by acquiring Early Times from Brown-Forman. This deal, which includes Canadian neighbors Collingwood and Canadian Mist, cradles the brand’s precious stock under Sazerac’s wing. In 2021, with a nod to tradition, the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown proclaimed its role as the new custodian for distillation, all the while, reassuring the faithful that the treasured recipe would prevail, unaltered.

Amy Preske, ever the eloquent PR manager for Sazerac, assures us that the amber nectar gracing our shelves today is a testament to Early Times’ legacy. The Bourbon Flavor Profile, long cherished by connoisseurs, shall remain intact, right down to the yeast’s genetic threads.

A Sensory Promenade: Tasting Notes


Imagine your olfactory senses tiptoeing through a blooming orchard. Here, peach, raspberry, and the sun-kissed kiss of dried apricot greet you with open arms and fragrant whispers. As the symphony swells, notes of vanilla custard and toasted marshmallow sidle up with a rye spice kick. This is a bouquet that flirts with tradition yet courts the modern palate with its fruit-forward charm.


The procession continues with a palate parade of apricot and citrus zest, where caramel and vanilla waltz seamlessly with the fruitier callers. There’s a creamy undercurrent here, bustling with the buzz of rye spice. This balance of sweetness and fire presents itself undeniably at 100 proof, providing a rich and unpretentious encounter with every sip.


As we near the finale, rye spice and fruit perform a graceful pas de deux, leaving a lingering sweet-spice memory on your taste buds. While it promises no shocking revelations in its departure, what it does offer is a farewell that’s both gratifying and memorable.


This bourbon, once transfixed in a state of flux, now struts with a distinct profile, owing to Sazerac’s carefully curated blend. Every sip is an exploration, a treasure hunt for taste buds, as one uncovers a flavor map that is undeniably fruit-forward, yet still, an homage to the harmonies of bourbon’s past.

Spoils of the Spirit: The Value Proposition

Price-savvy sippers, unite! Early Times Bottled in Bond panache comes packaged in 1-liter bottles, a hearty 33% more than your garden-variety 750ml. A delightful dalliance that doesn’t ravage one’s reserves, its affordability stands as an enduring testament to the notion that one needn’t break the bank for a brush with bourbon brilliance.

In Summation: A Bourbon’s Bond With Time

Two years post-Sazerac’s stewardship, Early Times’ essence lingers lovingly like a trusted old friend. Its transformation a subtle nod to evolution, while staunchly guarding the value and character that has bedecked its storied existence.

In the saturated seas of fresh-faced, costly bourbons, Early Times remains a beacon of legacy and moderation. A sip representing the synergy of bygone generations with today’s tastes. Early Times, my friends, stands not merely as a beverage but as a shimmering slice of Americana, an ongoing narrative of resilience and loyalty to the bourbon craft. Until we encounter what delicacies Barton 1792 Distillery has in store, we’ll raise our glasses high to the here and now—a generous pour of Early Times, preserving its station as a sterling selection for the discerning yet budget-aware bourbon buff.

Early Times Bottled in Bond: A Spirited Tradition Reviewed
Bottle Info

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Sazerac Company Inc. / Early Times Distilling Company

Distillery: Brown-Forman Distillery

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 100

Age: NAS (Aged at least 4 years per TTB regulations)

Mashbill: 79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

Color: Dark Copper

Price: $25 (1L only/750mL not offered) (2022)

Official Website

Reader Rating958 Votes

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  1. I absolutely loved this article! The review of Early Times Bottled in Bond bourbon whiskey was thorough and informative, and it really highlighted the tradition and quality of bottled in bond spirits.

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Written by Emma Jones

Emma Jones has been writing about the spirits industry for the past five years. She has a degree in journalism and has written for several publications. Emma is passionate about the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon, and loves to share her knowledge with her readers. She is an active member of the Bourbon Women Association and the Kentucky Distillers Association. Emma is also a frequent speaker at whiskey and bourbon events, and has been featured in several publications and podcasts. She is dedicated to educating her readers on the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon, and is always looking for new ways to share her knowledge.

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