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Spirithdmc
12-13-2009, 14:16
I have happened across a few bottles of Makers Mark. These bottles state on the label "International by Maker's Mark". They have a Black Wax seal rather than the classic Red. On the bottle on the bottle, it has the numbers "64" on the left and "71" on the right. I'm assuming these are from 1971 - they are really old. I've searched the Internet but can't find anything on these. Is there anyone out there that can give me some information on these bottles? I can send pictures as well.

Sincerely,
Rick Anderson

MarkEdwards
12-13-2009, 16:25
I have happened across a few bottles of Makers Mark. These bottles state on the label "International by Maker's Mark". They have a Black Wax seal rather than the classic Red. On the bottle on the bottle, it has the numbers "64" on the left and "71" on the right. I'm assuming these are from 1971 - they are really old. I've searched the Internet but can't find anything on these. Is there anyone out there that can give me some information on these bottles? I can send pictures as well.


It's probably not worth anything. You should send it to me so I can check it out...

callmeox
12-13-2009, 17:10
What kind of information are you looking for on them?

Bourbon Geek
12-13-2009, 19:46
I have happened across a few bottles of Makers Mark. These bottles state on the label "International by Maker's Mark". They have a Black Wax seal rather than the classic Red. On the bottle on the bottle, it has the numbers "64" on the left and "71" on the right. I'm assuming these are from 1971 - they are really old. I've searched the Internet but can't find anything on these. Is there anyone out there that can give me some information on these bottles? I can send pictures as well.

Sincerely,
Rick Anderson

What you have is a bottle of the 95 proof product commonly referred to as "black wax". Mostly, it was sold in Japan ... and had Japanese characters on the center bottom of the front label. However, they also shipped a small quantity to a few US Duty free stores in airports that served flights bound for Japan. That's what you have.

It is regarded by some as a superior Maker's Mark product ... in that it is 95 proof instead of the traditional 90 ... and that it has an average age about 2 years older than the red wax vareity ... and is selected from a wider range of seasons than the red wax style.

Sadly, the black wax product has been out of production for some time now ... I think more than 10 years (my how time flies) ...

The markings on the bottom of the bottle can be very confusing ... and most have nothing to do with the age of the product. There can be up to 5 sets of numbers/symbols on the bottom of the bottle. First, there's a symbol for the manufacturer ... like Anchor Glass or Ball Foster, etc. Then there's a number for the factory where the glass was made ... like 42 for the Anchor Glass plant in southern Indiana ... then theres a number for the date of the mold design ... like 99 for 1999 (which is the only number that helps date the bottle ... in that it can be no earlier than this ... but could be much later ... especially since the Maker's package hardly ever changes ... then there's the mold number ... to help identify when a particular mold gets faulty and needs replacing. ... then there is one more number/letter combo ... but i can't remember what it's for.

Since the Black wax product was only introduced in the mid-to-late 80's ... there's no way it is from 1971.

All that being said, you do have a pretty good find ... and there isn't much of it left.

Dave

Gillman
12-15-2009, 12:30
I know the last poster is very knowledgeable but it is my view that some bottles bear a date on the base from which it can be inferred when they were manufactured and likely filled and sold.

Clearly this is not true for all bottles. Some bottles have no markings whatever on the bottom, I have a 1980's Old Forester (the era of manufacture known from other factors) that has a smooth base with no embossing.

National Distillers' bottles, e.g., of Old Taylor, many of which are still available on the shelves of the nation, in the 70's and 80's bore on one side of the base a date that seemed clearly to me the date they were made. E.g., you would see, an "80", or "85". I have seen many of these, different years in the 80's-90's. I feel they must be years of manufacture. Also, e.g., an Old Taylor will state "93" and the label states both Franfort and Clermont - which makes sense. A base stating "86" will only state only Frankfort, which also makes sense. So at least in some cases, this information seems a clue to the issuance date broadly speaking.

Perhaps it depended on which glass company made the bottle, perhaps some followed this approach and clearly others did not.

Gary

cowdery
12-15-2009, 18:06
I agree with Gary just based on personal experience. I have had too many occasions when I have known when a bottle was filled and found a corresponding two-digit year on the bottom not to believe in it. I have also had too many instances when although I didn't have direct knowledge of the bottling year, other clues from packaging were consistent with the apparent date embossed on the bottle bottom. I also have flipped over many bottles where I found nothing useful. And I acknowledge that coincidences are likely when you're using that type of indicator. If you accept all that it can't hurt to look. I think some people rely on it too much. When it runs counter to the other clues, the other clues should always rule.

Bourbon Geek
12-15-2009, 18:43
I know the last poster is very knowledgeable but it is my view that some bottles bear a date on the base from which it can be inferred when they were manufactured and likely filled and sold.

Clearly this is not true for all bottles. Some bottles have no markings whatever on the bottom, I have a 1980's Old Forester (the era of manufacture known from other factors) that has a smooth base with no embossing.

National Distillers' bottles, e.g., of Old Taylor, many of which are still available on the shelves of the nation, in the 70's and 80's bore on one side of the base a date that seemed clearly to me the date they were made. E.g., you would see, an "80", or "85". I have seen many of these, different years in the 80's-90's. I feel they must be years of manufacture. Also, e.g., an Old Taylor will state "93" and the label states both Franfort and Clermont - which makes sense. A base stating "86" will only state only Frankfort, which also makes sense. So at least in some cases, this information seems a clue to the issuance date broadly speaking.

Perhaps it depended on which glass company made the bottle, perhaps some followed this approach and clearly others did not.

Gary

I can't speak for all glass molds, but I speak with the authority of 14 years of first hand experience with the molds at Maker's Mark... The best information you can get from the numbers embossed on the bottom of a Maker's bottle is the year the mold was made ... which gives a not earlier than date.