There are several clues to assist in identifying the year and distillery of whiskey bottles.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).

The green Bottled in Bond strips were discontinued starting December 1, 1982.

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.

– 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).

Below is an example of a “faux” strip, though they were brand specific and styles vary (click to enlarge).

– If the whiskey was bottled in bond, it will show the distillation and bottling years, if not faded away over time.

Bottled in bond tax strips are green; non bonded tax strips are red and do not show the years.Blue tax strips were for export out of the US only, but not all exports used blue strips.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.Most bourbons and ryes had a tax strip seal over the cap up through 1985.After that, several brands continued with a “faux” tax strip, which looked similar to a tax strip but wasn’t an official government item.