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  1. #1
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    1,394

    Dating Tips and FAQ?

    No, not that way, I'm happily married.

    I have been learning so much since starting to read this forum - there is a lot, lot, lot of collective knowledge here.

    Much of what I am learning about dating dusty ol'bottles is gleaned from facts mentioned in passing, that I don't think have ever been put into an FAQ on the forum.

    Here are a few things I'd like to verify (Some things may be right sometimes but not other times, and some I'm sure I got wrong.):
    1) National Distillers sold to Beam in 1987
    2)Tax stamps were traditionally green if bonded, red if not-bonded. Were there other colors?
    3)What year(s) were tax stamps phased out?
    4) Some distilleries spent several years using faux tax stamps as tamper indicators. What years was this most common?

    If there's anything I could do to help with an FAQ, I'd be happy to participate.

    Thanks,
    Roger

  2. #2

    Re: Dating Tips and FAQ?

    1) National Distillers sold to Beam in 1987
    Correct, but for several years there is a good likelihood that ND bourbon continued to go into some of the now-Beam bottlings. For example, I have several bottles of Old Taylor the bottle dates for which are 1992 that continue with the old Old Taylor label, bottle and ND UPC code. Some folks here with more knowledge than I suggest they are still ND whiskey.

    2)Tax stamps were traditionally green if bonded, red if not-bonded. Were there other colors?
    Sounds right, but others here are more knowledgeable.

    3)What year(s) were tax stamps phased out?
    The tax-stamp regulation was repealed during the first Reagan Administration -- 1982, I believe. Many states, however, continued to use some form of local revenue stamps. Tennessee was one of the last to discontinue tax stamps in 1992, for example, at which time it was a shoulder stamp with the state's shape in orange.

    4) Some distilleries spent several years using faux tax stamps as tamper indicators. What years was this most common?
    That's pretty variable depending on distiller and, in some cases, even bottling. In general, some sort of strip stamp continued till the early-Nineties. Additionally, even some of the early 'shrink wrap' capsules briefly incorporated a false strip stamp within the plastic. In Jack Daniel's bottlings, for example, these are pretty rare and valuable.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nelson County, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,734

    Re: Dating Tips and FAQ?

    There were two different types of stamps...

    I don't know what the protocol was in other distilleries but we had two different names for them...The strip stamp (which is what I think you are referring to) and the state stamp...

    The strip stamp was used for tamper evident when I started working at Heaven Hill. They were red and white in color, and were used as seals on our products. Distilleries, picked different designs for their strip stamps. You knew where the product came from just by looking at the strip stamp.

    They used to havta keep up with the numbers but that was before I arrived at HH. Those glue machines used to eat those stamps like candy

    There was another type of stamp that had to be attached to each bottle that were destin to specific states---they were called State Stamps...These state stamps were on cards---sort of like a decal---about the size of a nickel--, about 50 on each card---ya dip it in water and they will loosen so you can pick them up (with index finger) and place it on the right shoulder of the bottle with your index finger.

    The most difficult task in the early years of my employment with HH was on the line putting on those "State Stamps"...They put 4 extra girls on each side of the line...Those bottles were passing by at 180 bpm...Those stamps were sticking to my fingers and not the bottle and trying to get it to stay on the bottle instead of your finger was incredibly difficutlt...Plus, you are holding those bottles back and getting further behind...causing you partner to lag behind and then ya come up short...They always said that each stamp cost one dollar each...and what did you do with 50 stamps?

    It took quite awhile to master that task...Then, as I moved on I saw new hires giving it their best shot trying to get those little stamp on the right shoulder of that bottle...

    I think some of ya might remember my "Lucy on the candy line story with Elijah Craig bottles instead of candy? ...Well Alot of ya know me...and you can imagine "the rest of the story"

    Oh...and before I forget...we still use the strip stamp...On our jug of Master Distiller's Select To show tamper eveident on the cork stopper

    Bettye Jo

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,394

    Re: Dating Tips and FAQ?

    I have taken the liberty of starting an FAQ for dating tips, based on Tim and Bettye Jo's responses to my post. I think that whenever I see helpful old posts in the archives that I'll paste them into a word file for my own use. The first installment of that is attached.

    Here are 2 questions I have about this idea:
    1) Is compiling quotes from forum members and placing them on the forum as an FAQ a good idea? Are there any privacy concerns?

    2) Has this been done by anyone else?

    If there is interest, I'll try to continue compiling info in this way with some sense of rigour and post it to the forum.

    Thanks,
    Roger
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, IN
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    1,087

    Re: Dating Tips and FAQ?

    Time to revive this thread because I have alot of questions and because I agreed to help put together a "bottle dating" FAQ for this site.

    1) Tell me what you know on how to date the actual glass bottles. For example, I know that the numbers on the bottom reflect the year the bottle was made....is there anything else characteristic of older bottles?

    2) Tax stamps/fake tax stamps/state stamps....I think we have that one covered in this thread and previous info. But if you have a tid bit of info, let's hear it.

    3) UPC's....to look them up, you go to www.upcdatabase.com. However, it's not very helpful when you find something that is not entered into their database. Tell us which UPC's you've discovered are associated with bourbons no longer readily available. For example: Yesterday I found a bottle of Old Fitzgerald 1849 with the United Distillers UPC #88076. Chances are I have S-W Bourbon? I also found a Rebel Yell with the United Distillers UPC.....not sure what's in that one?!?!

    4) What else do we need to know to make "dating" a dusty find a little easier? For example, I know that a ORVW from Lawrenceburg is most likely SW bourbon. What else do we all need to know?

    5) Please list the distillers that you know provided bourbon for another label. For example: I know that Van Winkle Bourbon is in earlier bottles of Black Maple Hill....and the only way to tell is that the label will say Lawrenceburg KY instead of Bardstown KY.

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Info can be posted here, sent in a pm or e-mail to dawngun@insightbb.com. I will try to create a usable table of bottle dating facts for the FAQ section of this site.


    Dawn

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    NYC, Louisville, Shenzhen
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    1,598

    Dating Tips aka Dear Dawn

    Dating Tips
    Wow. This is great. The board now has its own Abigail Van Buren!
    <font color="brown">
    Dear Dawn:

    A few years and two kids later, the wife and I could use some "grab a date while the kids are out" ideas. Any suggestions?

    Signed,

    Still Happily Dating the Wife </font>

  7. #7
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, IN
    Posts
    1,087

    Re: Dating Tips aka Dear Dawn

    LOL
    I would have expected that comment from Dane.....but Cliff?!?!

  8. #8
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moscow Mills, MO
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    2,507

    Re: Dating Tips aka Dear Dawn

    I resent that accusation. Mostly because it smacks so true.....

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    857

    tax stamp colors (strip stamps)

    )Tax stamps were traditionally green if bonded, red if not-bonded. Were there other colors?

    There is a third color for tax stamps. It was put on bottles for export. It was a blue/cobalt/purple color.

    I have not run across any other color but that does not mean there isn't one.

    Metric bottles started in 1980 and federal numbered tax stamps were phased out around 1982-4, most strip stamps were gone when bottles were equiped with break-away screw tops/caps around 1984.

    Hope that helps...best, dog

  10. #10

    Re: tax stamp colors (strip stamps)

    ...most strip stamps were gone when bottles were equiped with break-away screw tops/caps around 1984.
    As Bettye Jo has noted elsewhere here, Heaven Hill continued to use strip stamps as tamper-proofs until well into the '90s, and I've found many strip-stamped bottles (not tax stamps) from the late-'80s, early-'90s period.
    There was no uniform date when tamper-proof caps came into being -- it varied greatly by distillery and brand/label.

 

 

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