Since you’ve made it to this page you probably have an interesting, dusty whiskey bottle or two and you’re finding it difficult to get a straight answer to “How much is my old bottle of whiskey worth?” Never fear! Below is some good information that will help.
First of all, I personally don’t put any value on empty whiskey bottles. Not because they aren’t worth anything but because I don’t know anything about them. For help with antique embossed whiskey bottles, visit AntiqueBottles.com. The sweet spot of my expertise lies firmly with pre-prohibition, prohibition era medicinal whiskeys, and repeal era (1933 – 1940) whiskeys. Before you contact me, below are some rules of thumb that will help determine the value of your bottle:
- What has something similar sold for in the past? Now that eBay has banned alcohol sales completely, it is hard to get current auction results on sealed, full whiskey bottles. You can search their completed auctions and you might find a few that made it past the eBay police. The other place to look is Bonham’s Whiskey Auctions. Auction results there tend to be inflated due to the buyer’s premium and millionaires with nothing better to do with their money.
- Is what you have common, uncommon, or rare? Since there are no guides for this hobby, the next best thing are sites like this one, Google Images, and Pinterest. If you see what you have popping up three, four or more times, it is common. If you see it once or twice, it is uncommon. If you don’t see it at all or there is only one other you’ve ever seen, it may be rare.
- What condition is your bottle in? There are three factors that go into this: label condition, tax stamp condition, and fill line. Like baseball cards, condition is everything and a nice bright label with no holes or tears is going to be more desirable than one that is stained, faded, and torn. Same goes with the tax stamp. For whiskey drinkers, these issues are not nearly as important as the fill line and condition of the whiskey in general. It is normal for old whiskey fill lines to be between shoulder level and top of the label. If it is lower than that, the desirability and value of your bottle begins to fall dramatically.
- What brand is your old whiskey bottle? Some brands just command a higher price such as Jack Daniel’s. Others are just so weird (Chicken Cock comes to mind) that just the name makes the bottle more interesting and valuable.
- Other factors: is the glass embossed with a neat design? What size is it (quart, pint, 1/2 pint, 1/4 pint, 1/10 pint)?
If you would like me to take a look what you have and give you an idea of value, feel free to contact me. The only thing I ask in return is permission to post the photos you send to me on this website. Who knows, I might need your bottle for my collection. If so, I will make you a fair offer.