<font color=blue>The following is a string of messages taken from another thread, where they really don't belong, and brought here where they might hopefully be of use to someone interested in figuring out how old that bottle of bourbon in Grandma's spice cabinet really is...</font color=blue>
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Subject Re: What is your favorite bourbon? [re: cowdery]
Posted by Forbes ()
Posted on Sun Nov 4 17:39:41 2001
From IP 12.84.233.12

One of my prized possessions is an unopen bottle of Very Very Old Fitzgerald (Bonded 12 year) that my wife received as a Christmas gift in 1987.

Is there a way from the bottle to determine when it made or bottled? The bottle has gold lines covering it, a beige label with gold print, and a burgundy label on the neck of the bottle.
There is a number in the back of the neck label (N 05 S 12 100-CG82). Per the back label the "Original Sour Mash Kentucky Bonded Bourbon" was distilled, aged, and bottled by the Old Fitzgerald Distillary, Inc. (DSP-Ky-16) in Louisville, Kentucky.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks, Todd
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Subject Re: What is your favorite bourbon? [re: Forbes]
Posted by cowdery ()
Posted on Mon Nov 5 13:25:18 2001
From IP 24.148.26.201

Because you didn't mention it, I'm guessing this bottle doesn't have a tax stamp over the cap. That is where the dates typically would appear. A rough way of determining when a product was bottled is to look at the bottom of the bottle itself. Usually (though not always) you can find two digits that are recognizable as a year (e.g., 87). That is the year the bottle was made, but is probably also the year the whiskey was bottled. Count back twelve years and you have the probable distillation date, or as near as you are likely to get.

--Chuck Cowdery
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Subject Re: VVOF [re: Forbes]
Posted by J_Lipman ()
Posted on Mon Nov 5 21:59:36 2001
From IP 65.27.147.83

Hi Todd,

Of course, Chuck's suggestion about the tax stamp is the most accurate. If there is one. Doesn't help much if it's gone, though. Or if the red ink the dates are stamped with has faded beyond recognition.

A couple of things I've learned about bottle-age-guessing that might be helpful...

1. The words "Federal Law Prohibits the Resale or Reuse of this Bottle," molded into the glass or printed on the label were required on all bottles made between 1932-1964.

2. If your bottle has the green "Bottled in Bond" federal excise tax stamp, it was filled before December 1982

3. Metric sizes began to appear in 1979 or 1980. According to Mike Veach, bottles displaying both metric and fluid ounces were made mostly between 1980 and 1984

4. If it doesn't have a UPC code, it's probably from the mid-'80s or before

5. The health warning label first appeared in November 1989

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey
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Subject Re: VVOF [re: J_Lipman]
Posted by cowdery ()
Posted on Tue Nov 6 18:46:41 2001
From IP 24.148.26.201

That's great information, John.

Were the tax stamps just for bonds or were all spirits products tax-stamped at one time, for federal excise tax purposes?

As I recall, stamping disappeared gradually in the early 1980s. For one thing, their elimination required the manufacturers to find another way to "tamper-proof" their bottles. That is when the plastic capsule tops were introduced.

--Chuck Cowdery


=John=
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey>http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey</A>