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UPC codes started to be used in the late 70s/early 80s, which can give you a general idea of era.Also, you can sometimes glean some info from the prefix on UPC codes as to what company bottled/sold the whiskey: 80244 – Buffalo Trace 80432 – Wild Turkey 80660 – Barton Brands 80686 – Jim Beam (newer OGD) 81128 – Brown-Forman 83924 – Heaven Hill 85676 – Medley 86259 – National Distillers (older OGD and OT) 88004 – Buffalo Trace 88076 – Heaven Hill, formerly used by United Distillers and Schenley 88508 – Stitzel Weller (although some Old Fitz bottled by HH has been seen with this UPC also) 89319 – Old Rip Van Winkle 96749 – Heaven Hill Prior to August 1959 the bonded statement read: “This bottle has been filled and stamped under the provisions of sections 50 Internal Revenue Code.” In August of 1959 the statement was changed to: “This bottle has been filled and stamped under the provisions of sections 52 Internal Revenue Code.” Until 1958, the maximum age federal law permitted for bottled in bond bourbon was 8 years, so even if a bottle was 100 proof and met all the other criteria for bonding, it wouldn’t be considered bottled in bond if it was aged longer than 8 years.– Prior to 1973, green bonded strips denoted the size of the bottle, for example 4/5 qt, on one end of the strip. Below is an example of a 1945-1960 style strip (click to enlarge).– In January of 1961, the “Series 111″ was changed to “Series 112″ on red strips and the size of the bottle no longer appeared at the end of non-bonded strips (except for mini bottles, which were excluded).

Browse the photos on this site to see if you can find a matching bottle that’s already been identified.Sometimes you’ll find two different 2-digit dates in the same bottle.Generally the earlier date refers to the year the bottle mold was created, and the latter is the year the bottle was made.– In 1982 the words “Tax Paid” and “Distilled Spirits” were removed and replaced with simply “Distilled” and “Spirits” on the bottom of the strips.Below is an example of a post-’82 style strip (click to enlarge).

Some bottlers have used date codes, also known as dot matrix codes, to denote the day/time the bottles were filled, and sometimes other information such as the particular bottling line. You can see here this Wild Turkey was bottled in 1998.

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