I’ve noticed over the past few months, as the number of readers of my blog have gone up, so have the number of emails and comments. I really enjoy this. I like hearing that someone enjoyed my review or is going to try a cocktail recipe I wrote about or that they agree that such and such rum is fantastic – or even that they disagree with me vehemently (although that hasn’t happened yet). It’s great to know that people are reading and (hopefully) enjoying the site, as well as (again, hopefully) finding it useful.
The most common question I find in my inbox every week though is one that I always feel a bit guilty about when I can’t come up with an answer:
I loved your review of RumX. I tried it once about 2 years ago and thought it was great. Do you know where I can buy this rum near my hometown?
I continue to make offerings to my Dood Idol in my basement,
OK, maybe the part about the basement is an exaggeration of sorts…but the gist of the message is still true to the most common question I receive: where can you find these rums?
It’s a hard question to answer at times. Taking just the United States as an example, each of the 50 states has their own rules about alcohol distribution and licensing, and different distributors don’t work in all of the different states. Some states make it easy to bring booze in, others (I’m looking at you, Washington) are a bit more complicated and therefor don’t always get the greatest variety.
My most common answer is to check various websites to see if the bigger online liquor retailers ship to your area. Of course, there’s no guaranty that they do, and therein lies the rub. And, while it’s been attempted, there isn’t a solid, comprehensive database of where to buy all of the fabulous rums and other spirits out there in the world. It’s just a really difficult thing to maintain. How does one keep track of all of the available retailers and all of the spirits they have available? You can’t!
For some, there is good news. If you live in California, I can tell you right away that just about anything I talk about on this site can be located either at Hi Time Wines in Costa Mesa or at your local (or online) Beverages & More. Both of these stores have a great selection (Hi Times is easily the better of the two though) AND will ship to anyone in California. If you live near Orange County, California, drive down to Costa Mesa and check out Hi Time. It’s worth the visit.
If you are unfortunate enough to not live in the warm, smoggy, goodness that is the Golden State, however, your options change a bit. While Hi Time and BevMo will ship out of state, they can’t ship distilled spirits to all states (*cough*Washington*cough*).
There are, of course, alternatives. You can always check out Internet Wines (which has a store located in Illinois), or any one of innumerable websites located in different states that ship to entirely different states. It’s a maddening hodgepodge of rules and available stock.
And, of course, I even have a few rums that you just can’t buy here in the states at all – including my shiny new bottle of Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy.
Once you depart the US, well the rules and regulations and available stock all change all over again, and I simply do not have the mental faculties necessary to keep track of all that stuff. Plus I’d probably have to quit my job just to even consider TRYING to do that, and those few ads I post on my site do not quite make me enough money for that sort of venture (unless that venture can be funded on about $74 a year).
So, for those of you looking for that rare bottle that you just can’t seem to find locally, I apologize, but I can’t really help you out that much. What I typically recommend is that people visit the Ministry of Rum Forums or the forums at Refined Vices and post an inquiry there. I can’t say for certain that anyone will be able to help you, but I’ve seen it work out before.
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Well, it’s possible to ship to certain northwestern states of an evergreen persuasion… I’m living proof! 😉
I also recommend a visit to the Ministry of rum or the forums at Refined Vices to post an inquiry. I have a very interesting rum from Australia coming my way in a swap i made that way.
Hi Time Wine does ship out of state, on a state to state basis (some- not all, and it changes).
So don’t rule us all the way out!!
Forrest, I didn’t realize that. Since I don’t live out of state, I was going on what a few non-Californians had told me.
I’ll correct the article.
no sweat, dood!
“…there isn’t a solid, comprehensive database of where to buy all of the fabulous rums and other spirits out there in the world.”
Well, there is something that’s not *complete* but I’ve found it pretty darned useful, Wine Searcher. This service searches the Internet for liquor retailers with online sites that list availability of wines and spirits. So you can search for a particular rum (or wine, or Scotch, etc) and find stores that carry it. While it’s far from complete, I found it more useful enough to pay for the full, “pro” service, and I’ve found 40 or 50 bottles of special rums in my area. Highly recommended for those seeking particular spirits.