Whatever happened to tax stamps on liquor bottles

In my teens and early twenties during the Seventies, I worked as a stockboy at a liquor store. In those days, every bottle of distilled spirits had a paper tax stamp sealing the bottle cap. Now that I actually buy distilled spirits, it occurs to me that I don’t see those any more.

Anybody know where they went? Don’t need answer fast.


Last time I saw those was when I was bringing liquor from Mexico and had to pay duty at the Texas border.

I don’t have the answer but my SWAG is that with electronic inventories its easier for the government to monitor production and assess tax that way.

Hey, I found something that says 1984 laws made the stamps unnecessary


Thanks very much, BubbaDog. Interesting article.

I guess some of those bottles I have sitting around are a lot older than I thought.

They do still have them on cigarettes though.

It occurred to me to wonder if bottles with stamps might enhance their eBay value, but most people who know their aged spirits would probably realize that glass doesn’t really add anything to the aging process.

It might could increase their value simply because people like old stuff. I’m sure plenty of people would buy old bottles of booze even if they never intend to drink from them.

I have a bottle of Maker’s Mark that’s something like 50 years old. If I decided I wanted to drink some, I’d probably go buy a new bottle before I’d open that one.

If you haven’t drank it in 50 years, what makes you think you’re suddenly going to have a hankering for it now?

That’s in the US. Do other nations still require tax stamps on containers of alcohol? I was going to ask if tax stamps were applied to other products but I see such have been used to collect taxes or fees on documents, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, drugs and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses, firearm registration, and many other things.