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Liquor Stores Around the World

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Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 53 ratings Author Posted 9 Jan '23

As I have gotten into rum I always like to see what's available at new stores I find. Sometimes comparing price, but mostly selection. Even here within different Canadian provinces, the laws on liquor sales differ. For example, in Alberta there are privately owned liquor stores with massive selections, whereas in Ontario, I've only seen the LCBO, of which the ones I went to were quite small. 

In addition to the above mentioned situation in Canada: In Alberta, you cannot import alocohol to your mailbox, or purchase online for that matter. For this reason, when I travel, it is an oppurtunity to grab some new bottles. 

When I was in the UK, I found the Whiskey Exchange in London with a new selection of rums. When I was in Germany, most of the liquor stores were quite small and had a new selection as well, though it was quite limited due to the size. 

In order to help myself and others in the future, I am requesting recommendations as to where to go for a good selection in your native area, or when you've travelled abroad.

Personally, in Calgary here are my favourites:

Willow Park Wine & Spirits, Zyn, Wine & Beyond Sage Hill, J Webb Wine Merchant, and of course Liquor Depot, COOP, Superstore, Costco. 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 464 ratings Replied 9 Jan '23


I am in the same rum boat as you, since I cannot have spirits mailed or sent to me where I live in Louisiana. The best method that I have found for obtaining rums that cannot be found nearby is to set up an account with Total Wine & More or any other liquor store that has a website. In your case, the nearest Total Wine is 364 miles southwest of Calgary in Spokane Washington. It is so wonderful to place your order and then make the long drive where it is waiting for you after you receive confirmation. This leaves nothing to chance. My longest rum running trip was 650 miles one way and I picked up rums from three different Total Wine stores. All orders were waiting for my curbside pickup in the pandemic.

My other choices are two stores from the same owner that are 25 miles away and neither one has a good website showing what rums they have in stock. However, since a Total Wine is also nearby, I check their website first to see if it is worth the 50 mile round trip.

Jagsroy avatar image
Jagsroy (PREMIUM) 🇨🇦 | 261 ratings Replied 9 Jan '23

Yohobro 🇨🇦 | 53 ratings Author Replied 11 Jan '23

Paul B: that is an intense road trip in the name of rum! That's a good call about Spokane though, I actually might be there for work in the near future. Very nice! Thanks! 

Jagsroy: I checked out the online stock. This is what I'm talking about; an incredible selection. I knew it existed somewhere, just didn't know where. Hoping to find myself in Boston at some point! 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 464 ratings Replied 11 Jan '23


That intense road trip came right after I got vaccinated against COVID-19. I was sick and tired of being cooped up in the house, so I took that road trip with my dog to get a few bottles of Chairman's 1931 and a lot of other ones that I could not get at home. That vaccination was my freedom, so I tell all of those anti-vaxxers that vaccinations will allow for your freedom. Would I make another lengthy rum running trip like that again? Hell no!

Total Wine has plenty of stores in the state of Washington, but none in Montana or Idaho.  I picked Spokane because that one is closest to Calgary. You can use their website to find stores by State.