Bottle dating page
Whether you’re trying to date a bottle of bourbon or determine the relative age of a dusty bottle of Scotch the process for US bottles is pretty much the same; it’s a matter of looking at clues and narrowing down possibilities.
Kind of like playing a game of Clue, except with booze.
It does NOT denote when the whiskey was put in the bottle, as some suggest, but possibly when the bottle was made – or even when the mold for the bottle was made. Reach out and see if anyone at the company can tell you when it’s from.
It could also just be a proof number or something from the manufacturer and mean nothing at all in regards to age. If it’s a style that’s no longer made do a quick Google search to see if you can find out how long it was made for. Another great way to figure out the relative date of your bottle is advertising.
They fully came into fashion around 1985, but began popping up in the late 70s and early 80s.
Though if the numbers have faded you can ball-park it by looking at the verbiage on the strip itself.
If it reads: “This bottle has been filled and stamped under the provisions of sections 50 Internal Revenue Code.” then it’s pre-August 1959 because in August of 1959 the sections it refers to changed to 52.
It has many links that deal with the different ways bottles are dated (color, columns, etc.). Artifacts from Phillipsburg, Norfolk Island: Examples Chinese export porcelain, English wares, terra cotta; wine and spirit, gin, medicine bottles; decanters & window glass Bank/6559/scc125University of South Alabama Archaeology Website: Artifacts of Colonial Mobile: French faience and coarse earthen wares, Spanish colonial majolicas and coarse earthen wares, some Dutch and English delfts, and English colonial coarse earthen wares.
Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History: helps identify historic period ceramics and sherds and learn about specific historic-period ceramic types.