Perhaps manufacturers believed that consumers still shared this view and lead them to include their own strip once tax strips were no longer required.(via Walter Hurst) If you’re lucky enough to score a dusty bonded whiskey your job is even easier because the green tax strip will state both the made (distilled) and bottled date.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.The switch started happening in 1979 and some bottles from 79 / 80 will carry both on the bottle, but could still carry one or the other. Tax strips are the blue (if exported), green or red strips that go up the side of the neck and over the cap and will either say U. If it mentions the IRS then it’s pre-1977 which still covers a lot of time, but fear not.
Below is a run through of each along with some additional resources at the end.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.If it’s a dead distillery look it up and see how long the distillery was around for. Search for your bottle (by name) in Google Books under the magazines.Find ads that depict your bottle and you’ll know roughly when it’s from.