Dating Recent Esoterica Bags & Tins

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peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,118
50
A method for dating Esoterica bags and tins was recently summarized by a member of another forum I am on. Apparently, this person contacted Germain for this information, but I have no way of verifying that.
I also understand that this only works (if in fact it does work) for relatively recent bags and tins, but I am not sure exactly when the applicable code system was introduced. I have looked at the codes on several of my bags and tins, and the answer produced by the dating strategy I am about to explain does seem to be consistent with when I know that I purchased those bags or tins. However, I would ask some of the people on this forum to do the same verification, so we can learn together whether this dating strategy holds water.
On Esoterica bags and tins there is a code on the bag or on the back of the tin. Pictures are below.

On this bag, the number is 357113. The claim is that the first number, 3, translates to 2013. The next three numbers - 571 - is some form of internal Germain batch code. The last two numbers apparently translate to the month and day, which if correct would mean that this tin (with the numbers 1 and 3) was ostensibly made on January 3rd.

The code suggests that this tin was produced on April 2, 2013.
To be honest, using the first number to decode the year seems like it may hold water, as I have looked at several tins and bags and the year decoding certainly alligns with when I purchased them. I am a bit doubtful about the month and day decoding though. In particular, in a random sampling of some of my bags and tins, I could find no bags or tins with three or four numbers rather than 2 numbers after the first four numbers in the code. Surely they must have made some product made in the months of October, November or December, or after the 9th day of a month, and that they would need to represent those months or days with two digit codes. Every bag and tin I could easily find only had 6 numbers, which does cause me to doubt this methodology.
In any event, would appreciate any thoughts.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,641
1,045
Thanks to an anonymous tip I discovered on the dark web, I learned that the careful application of lemon juice and heat to the back surface of an Esoterica label will reveal a number of secret codes.
But to the best of my knowledge, no one has yet decipered what any of them mean.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTA7KR9-9lM

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
3,053
218
Interesting and useful information...all my ET dates from 2012 or so to present :)

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,000
1,257
That seems pretty consistent with what I'd noticed. The first number seems to line up with, or be one digit ahead of, the year that I bought the bag. Maybe it's coincidence, but I have been using the first number, when looking at bags, to determine the year.

 

surlysoul

Junior Member
Jan 22, 2013
96
0
The year ties out on all of my bags and tins, but I have the same question regarding month and day and I have a bag of Stonehaven that has 02 as the last two numbers.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,844
430
The first number definitely correlates to the year back to 2010. The two numbers correlate after 2013, according to my stash. Photos below.
I did find a few ERRORS.
Penzance, from last month, 8 oz, code matches to August, 2019

WOOPS, 2019, ERROR


But here is another bag from the same batch that matches to August, 2018.


Dunbar from last month, 8 oz, code matches to August, 2018


Margate May, 2018, code matches to May, 2018 (cellared last week so disregard my date in handwriting)



Penzance from 2016, code matches to 2014

I BOUGHT IT ONLINE, so it was in fact NOT 2016.



Margate from 2010, code matches to 2010



Code matches on all these from 2012 to 2018


It works on Germain also, code matches to last month, August 2018



Dunbar, various months from 2018, codes match


Pre 2010, the codes are sketchy. Not as reliable. All these below are 2007-2011.



 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,844
430
That penzance bag though - casts some doubt on the theory!
I agree. I got that just a few weeks ago and only that one bag of Penzance was off on the coding. So I am skeptical. However, I posted many examples where it holds true. So it’s “reliable”, but with some errors.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,000
1,257
The first number seems to work pretty well with the year of purchase. Where the number seems to represent the year following the year of purchase, when was that bag purchased?
Maybe they mixed up a label intended for an early 2017 release with a bag released in November of 2016, for example? Mistakes happen, like Lucas Electrics. After all, they're British, not German. :mrgreen:

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,844
430
And can you post a pic of the code on one of those pre-2012 bags?
Here are a couple of examples. Most of the pre 2012 tins I have seem to start with 11...
Penzance, 8 oz, 2007. Code is 110102.


Penzance, 2 oz, 2010. Code is 11014.