Where has all the good liquor gone?

Wander down the aisles of your local ABC store these days, and a silent culling of some of the best (and best-priced) liquor has taken place.

I first found out about this sad state of affairs when seeking out a bottle of Michael Collins’ Irish whiskey, a particularly delicious variety named after the legendary guerilla commander. Gone. Discontinued, I was told.

While disappointed, I didn’t think much of it, at first. The state ABC board discontinues various items periodically and I figured that one of my favorites. So I went off to find another favorite — Jefferson’s, a lovely, spicy small-batch bourbon that tasted about three times as good as its cost.

Gone.

Yes, the state has deprived its citizenry of two of the best liquors available to it, and the disaster doesn’t end there. Michael Collins was about $25 a fifth, Jefferson’s $30 (and worth every penny), but their ham-fisted depletion of the best spirits continued at the lower end of the scale too. Luksusowa, a perfect Polish pure potato vodka that was an amazing deal at $13 a fifth, has also met the discontinuing axe, as has Henry McKenna’s, a solid $9 a fifth bourbon, especially good for mixed drinks.

In fact, two of the five liquors I touted in a Best Kept Secrets of the Liquor Store column just over a year ago are now a thing of the past. Please, please, please, North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, don’t do anything to Cruzan’s or Sailor Jerry’s rums.

Over the past few years, the state has invested considerable funds to renovating, rebranding and (until now) expanding their stock. For those of us who like good drinks on a limited budget, it was a welcome change. However, if the current trend continues, it seems the new, fancy green-logoed stores will contain exactly one bottle each of Smirnoff and Jack Daniel’s, and little else.

Meanwhile, many of us will go elsewhere to find our favorite brands. Tennessee, perhaps.

—David Forbes

Have you lost one of your favorite spirits to the ABC commission’s recent discontinuing spree? Let us know at dforbes@mountainx.com

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3 thoughts on “Where has all the good liquor gone?

  1. jefro

    Hey man, I remember when an ounce of good Mexican was $10. This is what happens when Big Government messes with the intoxicant supply. They just don’t know what they’re doing. They should confine themselves to what they do best – fighting amongst themselves.

    Popcorn Sutton is dead.
    Long live Popcorn Sutton.

  2. jefro

    Hey man, I remember when an ounce of good Mexican was $10. This is what happens when Big Government messes with the intoxicant supply. They just don’t know what they’re doing. They should confine themselves to what they do best – fighting amongst themselves.

    Popcorn Sutton is dead.
    Long live Popcorn Sutton.

  3. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Jefro wrote: “Hey man, I remember when an ounce of good Mexican was $10. This is what happens when Big Government messes with the intoxicant supply.”

    And now, as of this week, Governor Purdue is looking to privatize the independently-operated ABC stores in our state to improve efficiency, ethics, and transparency, which means that North Carolina might, in the future, be selling liquor store franchises statewide.

    Only eleven states still control alcohol sales as does NC…… so perhaps this free-market opportunity is a good thing.

    But, Jefro, was that $10 Mexican with or without the green worm? Or, did you mean an ounce of some other good Mexican intoxicant?

    Anyway, Popcorn Sutton would be pleased, as will a number of other such local entrepreneurs.

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