Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Early "Slug Plates"

I must admit that I have never really been a big fan of slug plate whiskeys. They just do not have the beauty, and overall appeal that full face embossed bottles exhibit.
Some of the earlier slug plate fifths do have some attractive characteristics, with some having good crudity, and color. Their main appeal however is rarity, and heritage.
Here are two "slug plate" fifths. The R.T. Carroll is rare with 7 known examples, and the Renz's is almost as tough, with about 12 or so in collections. I like the thick end primitive embossing with the "curved Rs". There are some slug plate whiskeys that are unique to maybe 2 or 3 known. You have to wonder just how much more expensive it was to have a more elaborate container than these relatively plain bottles blown. The fact that most slug plates are very rare attests to the likelihood that there were just not as many produced in the first place, so they must have been ordered with only cost as a concern. Otherwise the cheaper bottle should be much more numerous.


  1. That R.T. Carroll top almost looks just like the glob tops on a lot of the earlier J.F. Cutter fifths.

    The Renz's fifth and Renz's Square make a nice Whiskey/Bitters pairing. What other Whiskey/Bitters pairings am I missing? The Henley's bottles come in square form and cylinder, but don't quite qualify as Whiskey fifth/square bitters pair.

    Could you imagine a Gold Dust bitters flask, or a Tea Kettle Square? Even a nice "Cutter" square as a bitters product would be insane....It sure is fun to imagine what else could be out there....We all know that examples of every embossed bottle has not been found as of yet. One has to reckon that there are likely a few slug-plates roaming about that were made as a very small batch, perhaps still unknown. And quite possibly there are a handful of elusive flasks, fifths, and other squares are begging to be unearthed from their sleepy bottle graves.

    Does someone on here want to really get the party kicked off by finding a green Old Signet fifth?!?!

  2. Yep them are some sweet ones M.E. and a favorite style for G.P. Although known as "slug plates" the ones with the inset panels and no raised square relief I believe are the only true slug plate moulds. Bottles like these were private molds in which the square outline was actually part of the embossing and not a plate that was slipped into a generic mould.

  3. BONER !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Heavier than a bag of lead, cheya man, wooh. That thing's got 60% Green, 39 % Amber, and 1% yellow.

  5. "Slug plates" are interesting and somewhat difficult fifths to find. One of the rarest plate molds I have ever dug was the light green John Wolf. I have yet to see another, so it has to be a rare doggie. I have dug Renz's Blackberry, Snowflakes, N. Grange(Sole Agent), Kane O'Leary, and other more often seen fifths of that type, but those are few and far between in comparison to "full face" embossed whiskey fifths of similar vintage. A hole full of Cutters is not very likely to give up a rare "slugger". Most seem to be "loners", or maybe in pairs, but seldom in the same pit as other types. That's my observation, anyway. Other diggers may have had the opposite experience. Heck, that's what makes this "obsession" so darned interesting.


  6. Just a few months ago 17 cutter fifths and one rare slugplate united we stand. 20 years ago I dug one united we stand slugger and the sacramento slugger together, and not much else in the hole.

  7. Sacs National EnquirerJuly 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    ok bumstead, try to leave a few 5ths in the ground for everyone else !!

  8. Hey Andrew,
    The Carroll was in a Washington collection for years, before being sold to a Northern Oregon dealer about 6 years ago.I do not know where or when it was dug, but would sure appreciate knowing that. It was then sold to a Northern Cal. collector, and is now back in Oregon. It is now safe from being shipped around for a long time!(unless I get a green example!)


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