The White Russians are Stronger in Ohio: Liquor Laws

kahlua in ohio

Apparently Ohio has some of the most backwards liquor laws in the country, but this one leaves me with a sort of chest-beating midwest pride:

“In Ohio, the state segments alcoholic beverage sales into what we citizens commonly think of as liquor and beer and wine. You can buy beer and wine in grocery stores, etc. Liquor can only be purchased from the state’s liquor agents. The state defines this distinction by a simple criteria: the percentage of alcohol by volume.  And that percentage is 20%.

Now, Kahlua wants to be sold in state liquor stores, next to the vodka, the rum, and most other liqueurs. But Ohio would classify Kahlua’s normal formulation as low alcohol, and refuse to carry it, sending it instead to the grocery stores and UDFs.

So Kahlua’s maker, Pernod Ricard, has to manufacture a completely separate product (separate production run, labeling, and distribution) to satisfy Ohio’s caprice. Kahlua is sold at a higher ABV amount in Ohio so that the state won’t treat this rum and coffee liqueur like a wine.”

[via The Pegu Blog]

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