Also of note: the bottled in bond code was only enforceable in USA, so it’s common to see export bottles marked as bonded that are less than 100 proof.
US bottles used the imperial system until 1980 (pint, quart, gallon, 4/5 quart, etc.).
Below is an example of a bonded tax strip (click to enlarge). – Starting in 1945, the words “Series” and “111” appear below the eagle in the center of red strips.
Following prohibition, from 1935-1964 the following text was required by the government: “Federal Law Forbids Sale or Reuse of this Bottle.” It’s usually embossed in the glass, but sometimes on the label.
If your bottle shows these words, it was probably bottled between 19.
Generally the earlier date refers to the year the bottle mold was created, and the latter is the year the bottle was made.
Most bourbons and ryes had a tax strip seal over the cap up through 1985.
This will usually tell you–within a year or two–when the whiskey was bottled.
Sometimes you’ll find two different 2-digit dates in the same bottle.Most bottle manufacturers molded the year into the glass at the bottom of the bottle in 2-digit format.You’ll often find it in the lower right portion when looking at the bottom (some dates are much easier to distinguish than others).He also explains the history and methods of early bottle production, and how diggers find bottles. There are several clues to assist in identifying the year and distillery of whiskey bottles.Other distilleries use date codes that are more cryptic.