Virginia alcohol sales hit record high for 17th year in a row

Posted at 10:58 AM, Oct 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-29 11:04:24-04

Richmond, Va. – The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) say sales hit a record in fiscal year 2015 – for the 17th straight year.

Gross sales hit $848.1 million, $47.6 million higher than last year.

Across the commonwealth, customers’ tastes reflected few major shifts:

Jack Daniel’s 7 Black Tennessee whiskey, which saw $26.9 million in sales, again topped the list of ABC’s top-selling brands, followed once more by last year’s second best seller, Smirnoff 80 domestic vodka with sales of $18.9 million.

Fireball Cinnamon moved from its fifth place ranking last year to third place in fiscal year 2015 with sales of this increasingly popular spirit reaching $18.8 million, a jump of more than 16 percent.

Jim Beam straight bourbon, the third best selling spirit in fiscal year 2014, dropped to fifth place with sales of $18.6 million, ranking just below the fourth biggest seller, Hennessy VS cognac/armagnac, which realized the greatest sales growth at almost 24 percent over the previous year.

Retail sales to individuals in stores and online were $694,898,880, an increase of six percent over the previous year. Licensee sales (sales to restaurants) increased 4.4 percent to total $151,564,627 in fiscal year 2015.

Virginia ABC’s profits combined with state taxes, sales tax, and wine and beer taxes, resulted in an all-time high of $409.3 million transferred to Virginia’s general fund, up $42.4 million from last year.

“Virginia ABC’s continued record-setting performance in fiscal year 2015 demonstrates the success of the agency’s concerted efforts to focus on improving customer service through retail and online initiatives over the past year,” said ABC Chairman Jeffrey Painter. “In addition to opening five new stores across the commonwealth, Virginia ABC launched an award-winning website ( that allows customers to search for stores, determine the availability of products at any of its retail locations and order distilled spirits online for delivery to a local store.”