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Virginia ABC Stores


DrXmus
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What the hell has happened with Rittenhouse Rye in VIrginia? ABC stores can't get it anymore. I'm told I can special order it, but my store has had a standing order for many weeks now, so i'll get it when they do. Is this a Virginia distribution problem or a Rittenhouse problem? Is it something else? I foresee a trip to DC soon (not that I would bring liquor across state lines, just saying I haven't been to DC in a while).

What should be my bottled-in-bond replacement for cocktails? I got a bottle of Ri, which is only 92 proof, but IIRC Rittenhouse costs much less.

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It's funny that a few days after I posted my note on the 3rd, Carrie Allen had an article in the Post about the resurgence of rye. Thanks to a friend who works in DC a few doors down from a liquor store, I now have a bottle of Rittenhouse. I'm still curious about the lack of availability in VA, though.

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It's funny that a few days after I posted my note on the 3rd, Carrie Allen had an article in the Post about the resurgence of rye. Thanks to a friend who works in DC a few doors down from a liquor store, I now have a bottle of Rittenhouse. I'm still curious about the lack of availability in VA, though.

If I am not mistaken Virginia still has a monopoly on liquor sales meaning that the state purchases and sells all liquor in state through Virginia ABC stores. Because of this their stores/buyers can sometime be a bit behind trends and won't necessarily always carry the hot new spirit of the moment. Or in this case they haven't anticipated the recent surge in popularity of rye whiskeys generally or Rittenhouse in particular. That coupled with the fact that demand is outstripping supply nationwide can lead to certain spirits being much more difficult to come across in the commonwealth.

Also, serious eats had a piece recently about several bottled-in-bond whiskeys that's an interesting read.

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I've had two experiences with really *bad* service at walk-in stores lately, and this was one of them, but I'm writing this one off to "youthful over-exuberance" - it was *so* over-the-top that it was laughable.

If I am not mistaken Virginia still has a monopoly on liquor sales meaning that the state purchases and sells all liquor in state through Virginia ABC stores. Because of this their stores/buyers can sometime be a bit behind trends and won't necessarily always carry the hot new spirit of the moment. Or in this case they haven't anticipated the recent surge in popularity of rye whiskeys generally or Rittenhouse in particular. That coupled with the fact that demand is outstripping supply nationwide can lead to certain spirits being much more difficult to come across in the commonwealth.

Also, serious eats had a piece recently about several bottled-in-bond whiskeys that's an interesting read.

This post on "Bottled-In-Bond" almost forces me to expand on my experience at the Virginia ABC Store. The kid working there was a 20-something know-it-all, and when I asked him if he had any Bottled-In-Bond Bourbons, he said, "Well ... they're *all* bottled in bond - it's the law," and proceeded to lecture me on what Bourbon is, and what the laws are, etc. etc. I then asked him if he had any single-barrel offerings, and he literally broke out into laughter. There was one other person working the almost-empty store, and he shouted across the aisles, "Hey, we have one of those guys who likes over-proofed whiskey." Turning back to me, he said, "People like you exist, but there aren't many. Well, whatever floats your boat - there's no accounting for taste."

After I paid for my Wild Turkey Rare Breed and James E. Pepper 1776 (thank you, Joe Riley), he had walked back into the aisles of liquor. This is the only time in my life I've done this, but I did it - it was just too much for me to bear silently: I grabbed a pen, and a piece of paper, and wrote on it, "Google 'Don Rockwell Washingtonian Bourbon' - Happy Holidays." Then I called back to him, and said, "Hey, I left you a Christmas present," and walked out of the store.

And I hope the snot-nosed little shit stumbles across this post one day - hopefully by then he'll have learned something: if not about Bourbon, then maybe about tact.

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Or in this case they haven't anticipated the recent surge in popularity of rye whiskeys generally or Rittenhouse in particular. That coupled with the fact that demand is outstripping supply nationwide can lead to certain spirits being much more difficult to come across in the commonwealth. 

Yeah, I think that was the case. I kept checking the shelves at my local ABC store and finally it was there and the manager/buyer happened to be nearby. He told me he'd had Rittenhouse on order consistently, but the warehouse just didn't have it to ship. Thanks for the seriouseats.com piece. I think I'd missed it, so I'll put that in my reading list for later.

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 And I hope the snot-nosed little shit stumbles across this post one day - hopefully by then he'll have learned something: if not about Bourbon, then maybe about tact.

I'm pissed off just reading about this asshat. I don't know that he could've been more insulting. I'm sure the manager of the store would love to know he's treating customers like that. I wonder if his daily satisfaction is to move people from Smirnoff peach to Smirnoff Whipped Cream.

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