Noyaux Redaux

A few days ago I happened upon what appears to be a moderately old bottle of Bols Creme de Noyaux for sale in a nearby neighborhood liquor store. I purchased it, of course. Here’s a photo:

I’ve been trying to date it based on some of the clues I found on the bottle. These are:

  • Sealed with “Bureau of ATF” tax stamp. (See photo below.)
  • Produced and bottled in Louisville, KY.
  • Label indicates “certified colour added” on front label. (N.B. British spelling of “color”). All other label text in Dutch.
  • Glass impressed with volume of bottle on back: “3/4 QUART.” (See photo below.)
  • Bottom of bottle impressed with text: “ERVEN LUCAS BOLS LIQUOR BOTTLE” and the number “60 78” plus a couple of other symbols I cannot make out very clearly.

I’m guessing it’s at least 25 years old since as best as I can determine the very last tax stamps were used in 1985. I’m also guessing it may be colored with cochineal rather than a completely artificial coloring. (It’s actually rather lurid looking.) Certainly this isn’t any sort of pre-Prohibition treasure but it’s definitely got an historical feel about it. If anyone can help me refine these guesses, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Oh, and yes, I opened and tasted it. Intense marzipan flavor with a distinct bitter finish. I can’t figure out if the finish is from the flavoring (peach pit kernels would definitely give you that) or from the coloring.


9 Responses to “Noyaux Redaux”

  1. Interesting….I found this post when I was trying to figure out what this stuff was. I have a much *much* older bottle of this on which the label is >50% damaged and very hard to read. The bottle has a lot of embossments(?) including a band above the top of the label with “Bols” and a symbol that looks like crossed arrows. According to my wife, this bottle came from her great aunt who would have been about 100 years old now (died at 94) and was from her father’s bar. This thing has to be at least 50 years old. It’s almost full but the seal was already broken. I tasted it – it’s sweet but packs a whallop.

    Found this:
    Creme de noyaux – [krehm deuh nwah-YOH] The word noyaux is French for “fruit pits,” and this sweet pink LIQUEUR is flavored with the pits of various fruits. …

  2. Dear Dave

    Thanks for the note. I’d love to see a photo of your bottle. Any chance you could post one some where? I could even ‘host’ it here. Let me know…



  3. Did you ever determine the age of your bottle? I just came across an unopened bottle of Creme de Menthe that has essentially the same label and markings as yours (but green, of course). Came from the home of a deceased auntie of a friend of ours. No telling how long it had been in that house.

  4. PW

    Still trying to determine that. There’s really not much information on when tax stamps were phased out.


  5. I have almost the same bottle. Same label, but my tax seal says U.S. Internal Revenue instead of Bureau of ATF. And a liquor rep friend who works for Bols says mine “is from between late 80’s to early 90’s before Remy Cointreau was the owner of Bols” so your 1985 might be right. Can I ask how much you paid?

  6. Actually just found this site about the tax seals.

  7. I learned a funny thing about the tax stamps/seals after I wrote this: when the stamps were eliminated most liquor companies still had lots of them already printed as well as the machinery in place to apply them, so…that’s what they did until the stamps ran out. So they’re not a great indicator of age if the bottle in question was made in the mid 1980s.

  8. That would make some sense then, because the seal puts mine as from the 70s…but I would kinda trust a person who works at Bols to know what their bottles looked like and when.

  9. Says:

    Glad you are not dead – old bottles of this sometime had cyanide rise to the top over time – whomever got the first drink – crick. Or at least that is the legend. See: Dorothy Sayers, or Hugo the All Knowing.

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