How To Date A Bottle Of Whiskey - The Whiskey Jug
Here is a simple guide on how to read the expiration dates on food labels in Japan. We will Ready-made food pack Best If Used By date: January 5th, . Until , companies were required to label foods with the date of bento box meals, sandwiches and cakes made with fresh whipped cream. Date of Introduction: New Product–Documentation: Product with Label purchased from Smoky Mountain Natural Foods, Asheville, Made in Japan.
Though if the numbers have faded you can ball-park it by looking at the verbiage on the strip itself. Federal Law Forbids Sale Or Reuse Of This Bottle Typically embossed on the bottle itself, though sometimes printed on the label, these words will date your whiskey to sometime between — Glass Date I always save this for a last resort, but look at the bottom of your bottle.
Is there a 2 digit date on the bottom?
Likely there is and it could denote when the bottle was made. 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. It could also just be a proof number or something from the manufacturer and mean nothing at all in regards to age. Take these with a grain of salt. And speaking of Googling it… Google Books — Magazines Another great way to figure out the relative date of your bottle is advertising.
Search for your bottle by name in Google Books under the magazines. Bottle label designs can change over the years and advertising will always depict what the label looked like at that time so consumers could go out and get that exact bottle.
Coxsackie Antique Center
You can basically use advertising as a visual history of label changes. Nothing wrong with that. On the reverse of the bottle there is raised lettering on the bottle which says "A blend of the choice whiskies". If you look higher up in this post you will see that that phrase is featured on a mainstream bottle of Suntory Old in but not on its equivalent in I don't know when exactly Suntory started using that phrase, instead of referring to "ancient" whiskies as it had done earlier, but it may indicate that this is a later bottling.
There may have been early "Extra special" bottling with the ancient description but I have never seen one. Another explanation might be that the change from "ancient" to "choice" may have been initiated on the "Extra Special" bottles and later carried over onto other versions. Here is the raised lettering: My goodness, this post is getting really dorky but I just want to note that the strap line on these Suntory Old does appear to have varied considerably over the years.
Japanese Porcelain Marks
Another variation is below. It is another "Extra Special" Suntory Old but I think it would be a mistake to think that the "blend of rare selected malt whiskies" means this was a vatted malt. I think Old has always been a blend and that what that strapline means is that it is a "blend involving rare selected malt whiskies".
- Reading food expiration dates in Japan
- Expiry dates
- History of Made in Japan Ceramics
Thanks to Tim from The Whisky Exchange for the photo, who said it came from a collection in Spain with a lot of bottles from the 60s and 70s. Another reader has sent in some photos of an old bottle, which I am guessing comes from before or around the same time as the bottle at the top of this post.
Nonjatta: Dating Suntory Old bottles
It carries the "Extra Special" mark and "kotobuki" characters. My current theory is that these marks were associated with bottles for export, and this one was exported into the U.
The use of "Kotobukiya Ltd. However, the photos at the top of this post show a bottle dated by Suntory as being distributed in also using the Kotobukiya name. My guess is that this is a bottle from the 60s or, possibly, earlier.