Ever tried to find a special bottle of spirits in a government controlled store? In NC the offerings can vary wildly from one ABC location to the next. All stores order from the same government approved list but some shops seem to have a wider and deeper selection of specific genres.
This article does a very nice job of reviewing the Raleigh options.
Does it speak ill of me that I’ve been to all of these locations except for the New Bern Ave store? The Cameron Village location is much improved. None of these hold a candle to a proper big city, privately run liquor store, however. I’m still advocating for the demise of the NC ABC system, and their reliably dull retail locations.
I agree! The state run stores have been very hard to get used to. Interestingly I purchased Deaths Door Gin while in the area of Wisconsin where it is made. Found it in Raleigh for $8 less than I paid in Wisconsin! That was quite a surprise.
Cameron Village recently stocked some 12yo El Dorado aged rum. The 15yo version is on my all time favorites list, so I was happy to find its little brother.
Overall, I just stay frustrated with the inability to buy bottles of even slightly esoteric items, and the state store’s failure to keep up with even the most obvious cocktail trends.
Imagine that the ABC were suddenly replaced with stores that gave attention to cocktail and mixing options in the same way that Wine Authorities treated wine, or Tasty Beverage treated beer.
The fact that we’re so well served for beer and wine only makes it all the more obvious how underserved this market is for spirits and cocktail items.