Milam & Greene Bottled in Bond Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


One of my favorite whiskey categories is called Bottled-in-Bond. It is exclusively an American distilled niche created as one of the most important consumer protection laws with the unanimous passage of The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897.


This law was necessary because bad people looking to stretch dollars did terrible things to whiskey. They would add things to it. Bad things. Things like tobacco spit, old coffee, and even turpentine, and unsuspecting folks were getting sick and even dying.


Something needed to be done; otherwise, no one would buy whiskey anymore, at least not with the risks involved. The Act was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland and states that any distilled spirit that carries a Bottled in Bond (or Bonded) label must adhere to strict standards:


  • It must be a complete product of the United States
  • It must be composed of the same type of spirit (whiskey, brandy, gin, etc.)
  • It must be distilled by a single distiller in a single distilling season (January to June or July to December)
  • It must be packaged at exactly 100° (50% ABV)
  • It must be aged at least four years in a government-bonded warehouse (hence, the bonded part of the term)
  • If the spirit is bottled by someone other than the distiller, it must state the name of the distiller
  • It can be filtered, and it can use water to be proofed to 100°, but nothing else can be added


Last September, I was introduced to Milam & Greene, an all-women-run distillery down in Texas headed by Heather Greene, Marlene Holmes, and Marsha Milam. You can learn all about its fascinating backstory by checking out my review of its Unabridged Vol. 2 Bourbon.


Today, we’re exploring the distillery’s first-ever Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. Distilled from a mash of 70% corn, 22% malted rye, and 8% malted barley at Bardstown Bourbon Company, it aged between four and five years old in 72 new, #4-charred oak barrels, and, because it is bonded, is bottled at 50% ABV (100°). Aging took place in Kentucky; the whiskey was shipped for bottling to Milam & Greene’s distillery in Blanco.


I need to stress something. This Bourbon wasn’t just contract distilled by Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBC). Milam & Greene’s distilling team actually went to Bardstown in 2019, where they distilled it with their own grains and yeast using BBC’s equipment. In fact, this Bourbon is the first time anyone at BBC used malted rye in their mash.


Milam & Greene intends to have this as a regular, annual release. But is this Bourbon worth $64.99? The way to answer that is to #DrinkCurious. But first, I must thank Milam & Greene for providing me with a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured the Bourbon neat into my Glencairn glass. A hazy amber liquid produced a thick rim and even thicker, wavy tears.


Nose: I picked up fresh rye bread, newish leather, toasted cedar, caramel, apples, and corn. That’s a lot of notes, yet they were easily identifiable. As I drew the air through my lips, I found a ton of vanilla.  


Palate: The mouthfeel was dense and creamy. On the front of my palate, I encountered chocolate, honey, and fresh rye bread. The middle featured leather, tobacco leaf, and mint. I tasted cherries, toasted oak, and ginger spice on the back.


Finish: Long and warming, the finish included flavors of corn, lime, leather, cocoa, ginger, and oak. There was a slight drying effect in my mouth and throat.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The malted rye content seems impactful, as what could have been super spicy turned out to be approachable and softer, much like you’d find in older whiskeys. I could tell that much care went into this Bourbon by Milam & Greene rather than just letting Bardstown Bourbon Company distill, age, and pronounce it ready.


This is the second whiskey I’ve had from Milam & Greene, and you can consider me impressed. This Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is worth checking out, and I’m happy to have a Bottle in my whiskey library. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.