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  1. #1
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    Bourbon in Canada

    OK, everyone thinks I'm crazy anyway, so I'll tell ya what I did.

    Saturday morning it was raining, and called for rain all day. So my yard work plans were cancelled. Knowing that Wild Turkey sends it's best bottles out of the USA, I figured it was a good day to cross the bridge into Canada, it is about 60 miles to Detroit, and then a few miles to the Ambassador Bridge.
    I get across to the Canadian side and they ask why I am coming in.
    I say I am just going into Windsor to the casinos. "OK, go." was the reply.

    First stop was a Government owned wine and spirits shop. Beer is sold at a seperate gov store. They had a grand total of two bourbons, Woodford Reserve and Jim Beam. Of course Jack Daniels was there. Tons and tons of Canadian whiskey, (imagine that).
    No Turkey, I was hoping to get a 12 year old.
    So on the way back, I stop at the Duty Free shop, remembering that Wild Turkey Freedom was sold only there. No WT Freedom, but they had Rare Breed, to go along with the Woodford and Beam.
    Ok wasted day. At the stop to get back into the USA the guy asks what I was doing in Canada. I told him shopping, but did not buy anything. He repeated back to me what I said and I could tell this could be trouble.
    So I told him the export boubon story and his face lit up and he started asking me about boubon, whats good and not, he said he liked Fighting Cock, and I was not going to argue, and to humor him I told him that the 103 proof was 2 better than Wild Turkey, and he let me pass,... (finally).

    So I am almost home and something crossed my mind.
    Shouldn't I have stopped at the Duty Free shop on the Detroit side?Bought the bottle, if they had it. Went into Canada, you have to when you shop there, and then came back into the USA?
    Wouldn't the exports be in that shop?

  2. #2
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    I went the same route you did on Sept. 23rd. I did stop at the duty free on the Detroit side and while they did have some bottles that the Canadian side didn't, There was not WT 12 or Freedom. Freedom is sold exclusively at GFS duty free airport stores in Florida, California and a few areas overseas. I did find a Canadian Club bottle I have only seen in duty free as well as A JD monogram bottle. It is always best to go to both stores when crossing the bridge as both don't always have exactly the same bottles!

    Thomas

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH
    I went the same route you did on Sept. 23rd. I did stop at the duty free on the Detroit side and while they did have some bottles that the Canadian side didn't, There was not WT 12 or Freedom. Freedom is sold exclusively at GFS duty free airport stores in Florida, California and a few areas overseas. I did find a Canadian Club bottle I have only seen in duty free as well as A JD monogram bottle. It is always best to go to both stores when crossing the bridge as both don't always have exactly the same bottles!

    Thomas
    So when you brought your Detroit side Duty Free shop bottle back into the USA, what did they do? Did you have to pay another tax/duty?

  4. #4
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    When we went to Canada, the customs guy asked us our reason for entering Canada. We told him we were going to Casino Windsor and he told us to have a nice day. On the way back to the US, the bridge and tunnel were backed up and we spent almost an hour getting across the bridge. At the customs booth, a van 2 ahead of us got pulled to the side and unloaded after the guy hassled the customs agent. At first, the customs guy was sort of rude with us, but we answered all his questions, told him the alcohol we had (7 bottles total), he took a quick look in our trunk, thanked us for being honest and coperative and told us to have a good day. Not a nickel of duty was paid. In all the times I have traveled to Windsor, there are usually 4 of us in the car, and we have never been charged duty on alcohol. One time we had 17 bottles and they still let us go. The best policy is to tell them exactly what you have. If you lie and they catch you, they can double the duty on all your purchases as a penalty. Also, the duty on a 750ml bottle is 1.54 and it is 2.14 on a liter if you have to pay. peanuts on most of the purchases! I have a friend who fills the trunk with cases when he goes and he just pays the duty he owes and is on his way!

    Thomas

  5. #5
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    So you mean they actually ask you what you intend to do in Canada? So much for privacy! No one asks me anything when I cross the border to Norway or Finland.

    Anyway, the WT homepage still lists the 12yo as available in Canada. Maybe you have to locate specialist stores in big cities?
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  6. #6
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    Canada has some extremely strict laws concerning firearms, alcohol and tobacco. I read a story one time about a US citizen who went to Canada and when asked if he had any weapons he replied that he had a handgun. Immediately he was taken into custody and even though he was later released, he left Canada without the gun and with a $1000 fine to his name. They like to ask questions to see if any irregularities arise. Except for my most recent trip, I have always been asked about any weapons, alcohol, and tobacco I may have. Canada has been more stringent with US residents at the border due largely to the fact that the US has tightened its security at the border post 9/11!

    Thomas

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    All very true, however it is salutary to recall Canada is a sovereign nation and unlike countries in, or associated with, the EU, has a real border to contend with. This is exactly true in the reverse, I have never gone to the U.S. without being asked, often in some detail, what the purpose of my trip was. This is normal between sovereign countries, and the North American Free Trade Agreement has only modestly impacted this situation and even then, in a way whose high water mark will never exceed that reached just before 9/11, and who can gainsay that...?

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 10-04-2006 at 17:54.

  8. #8
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    Even in '99, when I visited the UK, the representative of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise had plenty of questions for me after I got off the plane in Manchester. He was quite polite, and everything went smoothly.

    Whenever you visit a foreign country, make sure what you're allowed to bring in before you go, or you might wind up with an unpleasant surprise.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  9. #9
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    I have never had any real problems going to any foreign country. I have had customs people who were all business both leaving and entering the US. The 3 times I remember specific were all at land crossings and all were because someone in a car ahead of me gave the customs people a hassle. This usually sets the tone for the questioning of subsequent travelers. Only once have they checked our trunk and only once has my brother in law required to pay duty on alcohol. He was by himself and had at least a half dozen bottles to declare. He paid what he was asked, which wasn't unreasonable, and went on his way. As I said before, Just be polite, answer their questions and be done with it. Airport security is a whole different ballgame. I have never had a bit of trouble with immigration or customs in any country. My only inconvenience was with the TSA and I attribute it to random sampling. I had to remove my tennis shoes at one checkpoint and another time whisked right through, same shoes and same airport. Just different people and different moods. There is really know way to predict how any one person will react!

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    I seem to recall now, a nut who wanted to "waste" Nixon. For some reason, he decided it would be better to shoot him in Canada.

    However, due to the risks of getting caught with a gun whilst crossing the border, he hid it well somewhere in the carīs interior. Unfortunately for him, when he got to the place in Canada where Nixon was supposed to make a speech, he couldnīt get hold of the gun. Apparently, it had "crept" somewhere deep into the car interior, so he couldnīt reach it.

    What surprised me most, was the fact that they seem to stop each and everyone at the Canadian border. Before Sweden and Finland become part of the EU (Norway is not a member) they only stopped random cars at the Swedish/Finnish border.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

 

 

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