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  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Newport News, VA
    Posts
    39

    What is a control state?

    I keep seeing this term used. I am moving to VA and I guess that is a control state from what I have heard. What does this mean to me? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Irreverent One
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Heart of the Beaver State
    Posts
    2,395

    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by d_nelly78 View Post
    I keep seeing this term used. I am moving to VA and I guess that is a control state from what I have heard. What does this mean to me? Thanks.
    Generally, a state where alcohol distribution and sales are controlled by a state agency. There are 18 controlled states. Virginia is one. Oregon is another.

    The specifics will vary from state to state. Some exert very tight control over everything. Others, like Oregon, are fairly loose about beer and wine but still very tight about distilled spirits.

    All distilled spirits in Oregon come through a state-owned warehouse and must be on a list of products approved by the OLCC. They meet periodically to decide what to add or drop from the list.

    A bottle remains the property of the state until purchased by the consumer. The money passes back to the state, and then on to the distributer and/or producer. There can thus be a very long delay between the time a producer ships something to Oregon and the time they receive payment for it. They hate that, and it's one reason that it's very hard to get low-production "niche" products here.

    (beginning of rant)
    The 18 control commisions around the USA represent a bizarre marriage of Cary Nation moralism and anti-free-enterprise socialism. You've been recently defending this county, putting your life on the line, and you should be able to buy what you want regardless of where you choose to live.
    (end of rant)

    I noted in your intro post in "New to StraightBourbon" that you plan a visit to Florida soon. Florida is not a controlled state. I'd suggest putting together a shopping list and visiting some big liquor stores.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  3. #3
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,886

    Re: What is a control state?

    Here is a link to the VA ABC website: http://www.abc.virginia.gov/

    The most relevant part is probably the price lists: http://www.abc.virginia.gov/Pricelist/price.html (click on the categories on the lefthand side - there are several relevant categories)

    And also the list of sales (these change on a monthly basis): http://www.abc.virginia.gov/Pricelist/DISCOUNTS.html
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,894

    Angry Re: What is a control state?

    Here is one of the things I hate about my state's ABC. They add several, some of which are very substantial, state taxes to the products. Then, they have the temerity to add state sales tax to the total, including the already added state taxes! Double taxation taken to the extreme.

    They didn't used to do that, but somewhere along the line, they started.

    Of course, the other major problem is that you can only buy what the state has decided to carry.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  5. #5
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,886

    Re: What is a control state?

    I am no fan of it in VA, but one thing I can't complain about too much is the price. I'm not sure why prices are so low on bourbon here (surely it can't be subsidized?), but they are. The selection is also pretty good, although for older or unique stuff, I have to look in DC.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  6. #6
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,399

    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sijan View Post
    I am no fan of it in VA, but one thing I can't complain about too much is the price. I'm not sure why prices are so low on bourbon here (surely it can't be subsidized?), but they are. The selection is also pretty good, although for older or unique stuff, I have to look in DC.
    Yes, NH is also a controlled state and their prices are almost always better than most liquor stores I've been to and even the duty-free shops for the most part. In fact when I cross into Canada (which is often) I skip the duty-free altogether. The only issue with these controlled states is that the selection, while extensive, is geared to the higher volume products with little attention paid to smaller distillers etc... unfortunately for me, NH doesn't carry any of my favorite Van Winkle products
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  7. #7
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,886

    Re: What is a control state?

    I've noticed the same about NH prices. Yes, they do tend to carry high volume products but NH also carries the BTAC, however, or at least used to. BTAC may be available for special order in VA, but that is always kind of iffy. However, Van Winkle Lot B is available in many VA ABC stores.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,399

    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sijan View Post
    I've noticed the same about NH prices. Yes, they do tend to carry high volume products but NH also carries the BTAC, however, or at least used to. BTAC may be available for special order in VA, but that is always kind of iffy. However, Van Winkle Lot B is available in many VA ABC stores.
    Yes they still have... er... had the BTAC but are sold out except for 1 Stagg way out in Hampton and 1 Thomas Handy and 1 Saz 18 up in Conway last time I checked... too far a drive for me to go get them although I might have made the trip if some WLW's were there!
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  9. #9
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Alliance,Ohio
    Posts
    1,516

    Re: What is a control state?

    Check out TTB.com. Click distilled spirits on the menu bar then click on liquor contol boards on the menu to the right. A list of the liquor control boards for every state comes up and all "control" states are marked in parenthesis. Some states have nice websites while others just list addresses and phone numbers!

    Thomas

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,604

    Re: What is a control state?

    Historically, the one thing all control states had in common was that the state was the sole distributor, but now I see that some of the big distributors, such as Southern Wine and Spirits, operate in control states, apparently as agents for the Alcoholic Beverage Control board. Like just about every other intersection of liquor and government, it's all justified by the need to control the abuse of alcohol, but it's really all about money.

 

 

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