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Dating Green River Whiskey Bottles
Green River Whiskey Bottle
Green River Whiskey Bottle (Click to Enlarge)
Green River Whiskey Bottle
Green River Whiskey Bottle (Click to Enlarge)
Green River Whiskey Bottle
Green River Whiskey Bottle (Click to Enlarge)
 

Dating Bottles


 
Green River Whiskey bottles have numbers on the bottom. There may be two lines of digits, with the top lines as follows: D-682. At the bottom may be another number such as 56-6. A maker's mark also usually appears.The number 56-6 would indicate the bottle was made in 1936. Sometimes the center of the bottle bears the bottle-maker's mark. At other times that symbol appears to the left. "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" appears on the side of some 1937 bottles, and a horseshoe with the embossed phrase "Green River" centered on the horseshoe appears on 1936 bottles. All Green River Whiskey bottles bore paper labels. And these labels in time are destroyed by moisture and elements in the soil, garbage dumps, etc., which is too bad, as the labels contained a considerable amount of identifying information.

Additional information on bottle marks can be found at: "Glass Manufacturers' Marks on Bottles"

More Information on Bottles
Green River Whiskey has been bottled, as best as can be determined, from about 1904 to 1960. National Prohibition started in 1920, and the Repeal took effect in 1933. So, basically Green River Whiskey was distilled and manufactured up to Prohibition. It was bottled out of U.S. Government warehouses during Prohibition....just the confiscated whiskey as it was illegal to distill new whiskey. This process occurred during the latter part of Prohibition when the government bureau administering the Volstead Act created an exemption for liquor sold as Medicinal Alcohol. Beginning in 1934 after Repeal, Green River Whiskey began active corporate distribution again.
 
During all of this period Green River Whiskey was made by different companies. The company that manufactured your bottle was Oldetyme Distillers, Inc., a New York City company started in 1934. All GRW bottles with good labels are collectible. Look under the bottom of the bottle and you should see numbers. On the right side of the bottle there should be the date of issue. Seldom is the whole date given, just the last two digits, and sometimes just one digit. As for the value of these bottles..... the price tends not to exceed $100.00. Full bottles command a greater premium.