Live in Ohio? Like sweet booze? EVERYTHING MUST GO
January 2, 2018 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Ohio state liquor stores are offering deep discounts on booze...provided you like questionable booze. Yes, there is some good stuff somewhere in that massive list, too.
posted by Kitteh (70 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I may take a trip to Ohio solely to pick up one of those fifty-dollar bottles of Ardbeg Alligator, both because it’s one of the best scotches I’ve ever had, and because since it routinely sells for $400+ online a trip would more than pay for itself if I pick up two.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:54 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I would like to add that I am not making fun of Ohioans, but I do get tickled at blow-out booze sales where most of the stock seems to be terrible flavoured vodkas and sticky sweet liquors. It's like, "Well, I am not keen on mango flavours, but I do like to get drunk...hmmm..."
posted by Kitteh at 10:57 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


Anyone with a Paypal account wanna volunteer to grab one each of the Balvenies and mail 'em to me?
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:57 AM on January 2


Wow, the discounts on the really high-end Scotch is shocking. I suspect those went basically out-of-stock as soon as this list was drawn up.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:59 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Pints of gin are cheaper than a pint of beer. Works for me!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:00 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I will just have all of the rye whiskies, please, and see you in 2019.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:01 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Reading that list is giving me a hangover.

Can't go wrong buying a fifth of Smoked Salmon for $16.49, though.
posted by tuffet at 11:04 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Those that caught my eye: Seagrams VO, Courvoisier and Remy Martin...
posted by jim in austin at 11:08 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I will take that High West Son of Bourye for $25 a fifth all day.

There are some things that while I don't drink them often, I would drink them at that price. Shame I did my Ohio trip last weekend and not this coming.
posted by deezil at 11:16 AM on January 2


DANNY DEVITOS LIMONCELLO $22.59 $13.99 750 mL (Fifth)

Huh. I thought that only came in pints?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:38 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I want to know what Chicken Cock is but don't want to google it.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:44 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]



Those that caught my eye: Seagrams VO, Courvoisier and Remy Martin...


I'd add Alberta Rye to that list.
posted by furtive at 11:46 AM on January 2


NUTLIQUOR PEANUT BUTTER $17.94 $10.99 750 mL (Fifth)

Ok then.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:47 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


Suddenly I wish I knew someone in Ohio.
posted by freakazoid at 11:58 AM on January 2


I can't wait to see a graph of ER visits, arrests, and car accidents in OH for this time period. I wonder if they'll show a bump.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:00 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: we have cameras liquor.
posted by Mayor West at 12:04 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


NutLiquor is the world's first peanut butter flavored vodka. Unlike many flavored vodkas, NutLiquor is blended to be enjoyed neat, giving a great peanut butter taste without any "rubbing alcohol burn" finish

Well that’s a plus.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:06 PM on January 2 [10 favorites]


I live in Ohio but since one cannot legally mail alcohol (at least in this state; it may be a federal law?) unless one has a license to do so (I think?), y'all are out of luck.
posted by cooker girl at 12:09 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]




Oh no, not one of those threads that gives me just a tiny bit of regret that I'm out of the drinking game...

ABSOLUT CILANTRO

...nope, I'm good.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:12 PM on January 2 [17 favorites]


“These are de-listed items, and once sold, will no longer be stocked in Ohio. The product will vary by Agency (store). I’d suggest if someone is interested in a specific product, that they contact their local “store) to see if it’s in stock. Again, once it’s sold, it won’t be restocked.”

What's going on with that?
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on January 2


"Well, I am not keen on mango flavours, but I do like to get drunk...hmmm..."

I must have posted this from the (misspent) past.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:18 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I was tickled by the inaccurate use of the archaic "fifth" for 750 ml bottles. Surprised however that they then didn't call a 1.75 liter bottle a "handle."
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 12:18 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I don't understand this at all. How do they sell alcohol in Ohio?

Also, I enjoy that "rubbing alcohol burn" finish. I'm just not wild about actual rubbing alcohol.
posted by pracowity at 12:19 PM on January 2


Some context from cleveland.com:
    Some delisted items are only one size of the product, she said, so you might still be able to get your favorite brand, just not in a specific size you prefer. That means don't work yourself into a frenzy because your favorite whiskey, Seagram's V.O., is on the list. While it won't be available in pint bottles, it can still be available in, say, fifths. (A fifth is 750ml, same size as a standard wine bottle. Most of the liquor bottles going into the state's discount bin, so to speak, are fifths.)
posted by not_the_water at 12:24 PM on January 2


I don't understand this at all. How do they sell alcohol in Ohio?

My guess would be similar to how they do it in Pennsylvania: all liquor and wine is sold in stores owned and operated by the state. The state handles purchasing, distribution, and running the stores; there are no private stores in PA that sell wine or spirits. It’s a pretty terrible system all around (though it does have the distinct advantage of making booze in Pennsylvania really cheap, since the government buys in enormous bulk to supply the whole state - I remember hearing once that they’re the single largest bulk buyer of alcohol in the US - and generally seems to pass those savings to customers).
posted by Itaxpica at 12:25 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]


(Or rather there are some non-state-owned stores that sell wine, but they’re subject to strict limits on how much they can sell and are fairly rare. Spirits is 100% state-run)
posted by Itaxpica at 12:29 PM on January 2


How do they sell alcohol in Ohio?

You can get beer and/or wine at most grocery stores, Target stores, gas stations, liquor stores, and drive-thrus. Spirits/liquors are only sold in state-owned stores or in state-run sections of stores. Jungle Jim's and Kroger are examples of that; they each have separate parts of their stores (and with Kroger, sometimes not even attached to the grocery store but nearby) where you have to purchase spirits separately from your other stuff.

Oh, also, some stores can't sell beer/wine on Sundays but some can; I still haven't figured that one out. Like, I can buy wine at Kroger on a Sunday, but not at Target.
posted by cooker girl at 12:30 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


FWIW, unless I've done this horribly wrong, the biggest discount, both by percentage and dollar amount, appears to be the Balvenie 17-year-old Peated Cask (49.7%, $68.79), and your cheapest booze per liter is the 1.75L Russoff at $4.85/L.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:35 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Dammit, I'll be visiting relatives in Columbus in two weeks, but by then I'd be surprised if any of the good stuff is left.
posted by me3dia at 12:45 PM on January 2


I would like to add that I am not making fun of Ohioans, but

Please, feel free to make fun of Ohioans.
posted by slogger at 12:45 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Also, I enjoy that "rubbing alcohol burn" finish.

I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but I really did enjoy that feeling when I was drinking. I don't know if it's been that long or if Ohio is just higher priced, but the stuff I used to buy is still more expensive after these deep discounts than I used to spend.

Reading this list didn't make me thirsty or nostalgic so that's a win, but I do sometimes wish I could try something like BENROMACH PEAT SMOKE or ROGUE CHIPOTLE because I can't even imagine it.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:47 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I would like to add that I am not making fun of Ohioans, but

Please, feel free to make fun of Ohioans.


Please don't, actually. Some of us don't like it.
posted by cooker girl at 12:50 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


ABSOLUT CILANTRO

I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.
posted by Splunge at 12:56 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


How do they sell alcohol in Ohio?

Well, obviously we don't, or we wouldn't be having a sale, now would we?

Itaxpica is close - it used to be that anything with a serious proof, real hard liquor, was sold in stores owned and run by the state. Beer & wine and things like premixed gin & grapefruit or seriously watered-down vodka were & are available in a much wider variety of places (see cooker girl's list.) Then 15? 20? (can't remember) years ago the state allowed some private businesses to sell hard liquor and closed a bunch of the state stores. They still keep the hard liquor licenses pretty rare, though - there's maybe a dozen stores in the greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area?

“These are de-listed items, and once sold, will no longer be stocked in Ohio. The product will vary by Agency (store). I’d suggest if someone is interested in a specific product, that they contact their local “store) to see if it’s in stock. Again, once it’s sold, it won’t be restocked.”

What's going on with that?
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on January 2


Given this list & that statement I have to figure that the state has at least some say in what gets purchased in general, but the private stores definitely have input into what they actually stock - like, the state acts kind of like a wholesaler and then the stores decide what they're specifically going to buy from the wholesaler. For example, a grocery store about 3 blocks from my apartment has a hard liquor license, but they only have a handful of the most common things - Jack Daniels, Absolut vodka, etc. - kept behind a small counter. Then there's the one "beverage store" about 3 miles away in a kinda rough area of town that has a much wider variety of liquor, but again it's all behind a counter. The store 4 miles away that is technically in Cleveland but in practice is in the middle of two nicer "inner-ring" suburbs has almost any liquor you can think of filling shelf upon shelf right out where you just grab the bottle and walk up to the cashier.

Oh, also, some stores can't sell beer/wine on Sundays but some can; I still haven't figured that one out.

Beer & wine on Sunday is a special license that has to be separately applied for, and I'm pretty sure part of the application is that it has to be approved by the residents of the neighborhood - as in, a significant number of ballots that I've seen while voting have one or more "issues" where such-and-such company doing business as "FooBar Gas & Convenience" at "x" address wants to be able to sell beer & wine on Sunday.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:00 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I would like to add that I am not making fun of Ohioans, but I do get tickled at blow-out booze sales where most of the stock seems to be terrible flavoured vodkas and sticky sweet liquors.

Of course, you could take that as evidence of our relative good taste, where clearly millions of Ohioans looked at the bottle of Absolut Cilantro and went, "HELL No."

(The sale on high-end single malts and other expensive liquors is just evidence that we're broke - we'd drink the good stuff if we could afford it, we swear . . . .)
posted by soundguy99 at 1:07 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


You'd get the idea, from all these amateur explanations of how alcohol is regulated in Ohio, that obtaining it must be an arcane process, a minor expertise in and of itself. It doesn't seem that way to me; the stuff is everywhere.

There's a high-level summary here; basically the state is the only wholesaler of anything over 42 proof. I'm a little surprised by the "about 450 liquor agencies (retail outlets)" factoid. I barely drink I know of quite a few such places nearby. The grocery store a block from my house has one.

Years ago, retail liquor stores were actually owned and operated by the state, and they had a spooky sort of no-frills illicitness to them. Now they're all run by private contractors and you'd hardly know they were any different from a beer/wine store in any other state.
posted by Western Infidels at 1:14 PM on January 2


"Well, I am not keen on mango flavours, but I do like to get drunk...hmmm..."

Bizarrely, my mouth is suddenly watering at the thought of a mango vodka Hairy Navel.
Mango vodka, peach schnapps, and OJ sounds very interesting all of a sudden.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 1:15 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I was tickled by the inaccurate use of the archaic "fifth" for 750 ml bottles.

Archaic it may be, but in what sense is this "inaccurate"? A 750 mL bottle is almost exactly a fifth of a gallon. 750 x 5 = 3,750 mL = 0.99 gallons.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:24 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]


It is also my impression that neighborhood voters are involved in the permitting process for the Sunday beer/wine sales.

Cooker girl, while not convenient for single stop shopping, there are far better places nearby for wine than Target.
posted by mmascolino at 1:31 PM on January 2


Pretty sure the worst decision I've made on this list is:
EARLY TIMES 354 $17.03 $10.49 750 mL (Fifth)
The only things I regret more are jeppson malort and folk dancing.

slides his eye down one space
EARLY TIMES MINT JULEP $12.07 $7.49 1 Liter

nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. NOPE! nope. nope. nope.
posted by poe at 1:37 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


slides his eye down one space
EARLY TIMES MINT JULEP $12.07 $7.49 1 Liter

nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. nope. NOPE! nope. nope. nope.


One liter mint julep was the cause of it all.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:53 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]



so, I guess I'm going to do some in-person research tonight? My hunch is that any good deals have already scooped up by liquor aficionados.
posted by fizzix at 2:44 PM on January 2


You'd get the idea, from all these amateur explanations of how alcohol is regulated in Ohio, that obtaining it must be an arcane process, a minor expertise in and of itself

That's the thing - since the state went to private sellers, it kinda is, though. Beer & wine are everywhere (Hell, the gas station down the street from me has an entire 20' x 20' wine room, and the coolers are full of microbrews), but hard liquor is just odd, because each seller is different.

The grocery down the street from me has a big leftover sign out front that says "STATE LIQUOR STORE" and if you go inside it's 75% ordinary grocery, 25% beer & wine & low-alcohol "mixed drinks" and no indication anywhere that you have to walk up to the check-cashing/lottery/pay utilities counter to pick from a small assortment of liquors they stash back there. Go to Tony's on W. 34th and 90% of it is ordinary convenience store only way off to one side there's a long length of wood counter topped with bulletproof plexi covered in hand-written signs behind which can dimly be seen a wall of various hard liquors. The gap in the plexi where you tell the clerk what you want and pay for your booze has a sign above it that says "Pay your phone bill here" and "Ohio Lottery" - no mention of liquor whatsoever. Warren Liquor is basically nothing but booze, even the weird and the high-end, all neatly lined up on shelf after shelf, sorted by type and cost and maker, and everything is clean and well-lit.

IIRC, the state-run stores way back when tended to be stark white shelving & bright fluorescent lighting with either an "example" bottle on the shelves (you had to go up to the counter and ask for what you wanted and they would go dig it out of the back), or maybe a half-dozen bottles each of pints and fifths of something like 6 to 10 brands.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:01 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Washington used to have the commie stores, I don't really miss them. You can just buy stuff now.

So basically all of this one of those commie stores having an end of year sale of all the odds and ends in its inventory but now it has a bunch of privately owned outlets, right?
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, some stores can't sell beer/wine on Sundays but some can; I still haven't figured that one out. Like, I can buy wine at Kroger on a Sunday, but not at Target.

Sunday sales are determined by election in the precinct/municipality - See ORC 4301.351.

It's possible your Kroger and Target are in different precincts (i.e. city vs township). It's also possible the stores are in the same precinct, but there is a limit to the number of Sunday sale permits they allow at one time and they're all taken. So if Target wants to sell on Sunday, their request cannot go on the ballot until a permit becomes available.
posted by zakur at 3:52 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


“Nutliquor”
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:00 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


So basically all of this one of those commie stores having an end of year sale of all the odds and ends in its inventory but now it has a bunch of privately owned outlets, right?

More or less, yeah, although that article suggests it's not just odds and ends but also "And we're NEVER buying this again!!" so I guess Ohioans who drink enough Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka or Blackmaker Root Beer liqueur to buy it by the fifth are gonna be shit out of luck from here on.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:24 PM on January 2


Yeah, this list is full of evidence that the citizens of Ohio are not as easily pandered to as the state's liquor control board thinks they are.

When I lived in Ohio, several decades ago, the cutoff point was 32 proof: Anything below that could be sold by package stores and groceries, anything above it was only vendable at state stores. So beer stores at the time usually had a couple shelves of, basically, recognizable hard liquors watered down enough to be sold retail, alongside bottled premixed cocktails like Kamikazes. Maybe they still do; like I said, it's been a very long time since I lived there.

This is more sane than the law of the early 80s, in which beer had to be no more than 3.5% else require a special license to sell. (On the other hand, people age 18-21 were allowed to buy sub-3.5 beer, so it was a good time to be a college student.)
posted by ardgedee at 4:47 PM on January 2


Insert Clever Name Here: "I was tickled by the inaccurate use of the archaic "fifth" for 750 ml bottles."

I've never heard anyone use a term other than "fifth". What else would you call it?
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 PM on January 2


Okay folks: so you do know someone from Ohio.

MeMail me with your lists and I'll drop between three of the local stores between my home/work commute.
posted by hal9k at 5:13 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Pics Pints or it didn’t happen: I want to see one of these wacky stores now!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:14 PM on January 2


This is more sane than the law of the early 80s, in which beer had to be no more than 3.5% else require a special license to sell.

That'd changed by '86 (if not a couple of years earlier), though, because I got to Cleveland in the fall of that year, having turned 18 over the summer, and I was legally able to drink and buy regular old beer - 3.5 beer was like a tale from the Bad Old Days. Had to be 21 for the harder stuff. I probably only remember this because the summer of '87 was when Ohio went full-on "21 for ALL alcohol", but since I had been legal for beer under the old law I got "grandfathered" in and was still legal for beer.

This, of course, made me fairly popular among my college classmates, not all of whom had made the cut-off date for turning 18 - which, I think, was you had to be 18 by the end of '86.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:45 PM on January 2


I've never heard anyone use a term other than "fifth". What else would you call it?

Personally I always find myself reaching for google when some pop culture references a fifth because in western Canada a 750 ml bottle is commonly called a twenty-sixer or two-six.
posted by Lorin at 6:02 PM on January 2


Surprised however that they then didn't call a 1.75 liter bottle a "handle."

We call those 1/2 gallons around here.
posted by octothorpe at 6:13 PM on January 2


POPOV $6.99 $5.49 750 mL (Fifth)

POPOV $4.99 $3.99 375 mL (Pint)


Well, that makes sense, since, according to my high school and college experience, Popov can only be truly enjoyed in its proper medium: the plastic-bottled handle (1.5 liter), passed mouth-to-mouth in a circle of people who truly do not know better, as they grimace, squirm and eventually seek a receptacle to eject the contents of ones stomach. Kind of like communal peyote, but lower-middle-class northeastern white culture.
posted by General Malaise at 6:16 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


Popov can only be truly enjoyed in its proper medium: the plastic-bottled handle (1.5 liter), passed mouth-to-mouth in a circle of people who truly do not know better

The first time I was truly drunk, the first time I spent the next day puking my guts out, was from a handle of Popov. Warm, naturally. Getting the shivers just thinking about it.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:25 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


So, if there are restrictions on mailing this liquor across state lines, are there still restrictions against transporting it by other means (say, in the trunk of a big black Dodge, bought at auction at a Mason's lodge rental Grand Marquis or Craigslist Crown Vic)? I live in Australia, but bootleggin' liquor across state lines seems like a fun way to partially fund a holiday road trip to the States. Hypothetically.
posted by MarchHare at 7:21 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


i don't think ohio actually exists. i think we are being pranked by a couple of motivated jokesters.
posted by indubitable at 7:22 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


I can't believe that Son of Bourye price. We bought one of the few remaining bottles at High West in Park City in 2016, and all they had were 375ml bottles ("what you see on the shelf is all there is"). Aside from that and the various single malts, the Lazzaroni maraschino and Luxardo amaretto are specific cocktail ingredients we keep on our bar. And I'd definitely buy a bottle of Zwack at that price. Too bad I'm six hours from Ohio, don't own a car, and don't have a job right now so spending a few hundred bucks stocking up is not a good plan.
posted by fedward at 9:03 PM on January 2


Cooker girl, while not convenient for single stop shopping, there are far better places nearby for wine than Target.

I didn't actually say that I buy wine at Target, just that I can't do so on Sundays. I'm well aware of many, many lovely places to buy wine, thanks.
posted by cooker girl at 4:57 AM on January 3


Archaic it may be, but in what sense is this "inaccurate"? A 750 mL bottle is almost exactly a fifth of a gallon.

Quite true!

But liquor companies long abandoned the term in their marketing and sales language and use only metric measurements when describing packaging: 50ml, 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1L, 1.5L, 1.75L. The only time I ever see the term in print is in old magazine ads and on so-called "dusty" bottles from before the changeover to metric in the 1970s, often pressed into the bottom of the bottle itself.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 10:36 AM on January 3


(Not to derail too much further, but it you are interested, more to read regarding a "fifth" here.)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 10:46 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


i don't think ohio actually exists.

My brother said he drove there once, but he brought back no evidence. Just numbers on his odometer.
posted by pracowity at 11:19 AM on January 3


Funny that wine and spirits converted over to metric in the seventies in the US but beer is still strictly sold by the ounce.
posted by octothorpe at 11:37 AM on January 3


There are a number of German, sort-of-German, and not zero not-German bars around here at least (DC) that sell beer in .5 liter steins, but that's just an interesting exception to the rule. I wonder if it's just that there's no round ml number that would make a good size for a glass of beer, or just a historical anomaly of a pint being a pint (and for some reason a 12oz being a 12oz).
posted by General Malaise at 2:48 PM on January 3


MarchHare: "So, if there are restrictions on mailing this liquor across state lines, are there still restrictions against transporting it by other means"

I can tell you that you can get in trouble here in PA buying liquor out of state and bringing it back in - the cops occasionally bust people buying it cheaper in MD and coming back.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:00 PM on January 3


My neighbors make periodic runs to Ohio to buy cases of wine that you can't buy in PA and no one has ever cared. That's the only way to get "Two-Buck Chuck" since it's forbidden in PA.
posted by octothorpe at 4:25 AM on January 4


Sure, you aren't likely to get busted. But I remember a story about them watching people come back from a Maryland liquor store just over the border and pulling them over.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:47 AM on January 4


Utah is notorious for doing this same thing. As I recall, some liquor stores in Wyoming got cease-and-desist orders preventing Utah State Police from parking unmarked cars in their lots and forwarding license information to troopers on the other side of the state line.

I also have been told it is legal to bring some wine/alcohol into Utah for personal use, provided you take it straight to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control offices and pay the relevant tax.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:37 AM on January 4


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