Dating wine bottles

Most strips of this type were only produced for a few years at best, as manufacturers soon realized that most of their consumers had never dealt with any “refilled” bottles, as was so common to find prior to the 1940’s.

For nearly 100 Years the use of a Federal tax strip over the cap/cork of a bottle ensured that the bottle’s contents were genuine.

dating wine bottles-11dating wine bottles-43

Does your dusty bottle of whskey have a UPC on the back?

They fully came into fashion around 1985, but began popping up in the late 70s and early 80s.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, and figuring out the exact age can be a real hassle, but there are 11 basic clues and resources I use when trying to determine how old a dusty bottle of whiskey is.

Below is a run through of each along with some additional resources at the end.

You know that big block of text on the back of your whiskey that tells you not to operate machinery or be pregnant while drinking?

If it’s not there then your bottle is likely from before 1989 when the Surgeon General’s warning became mandatory.The middle picture shows an open pontil on the base of a cylindrical medicine bottle.The third picture shows the base of a milk bottle from just after the trun of the century.The switch started happening in 1979 and some bottles from 79 / 80 will carry both on the bottle, but could still carry one or the other. Tax strips are the blue (if exported), green or red strips that go up the side of the neck and over the cap and will either say U. If it mentions the IRS then it’s pre-1977 which still covers a lot of time, but fear not.We can break it down to smaller chunks fo time thanks to tax strip changes over the years.Typically embossed on the bottle itself, though sometimes printed on the label, these words will date your whiskey to sometime between 1932 – 1964.

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