Liquor Stores Around the World

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Yohobro (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 79 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. 

Yohobro (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 79 ratings Author Replied 19 Mar '23

Leo K, yeah I wondered this exactly when I went to Ontario. I thought maybe you guys are able to purchase online from overseas but I guess not either. I don't know how you are supposed to get rare or specialty items. I hope you like Appleton and Havana Club! 

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 70 ratings Replied 19 Mar '23

based in UK the rums in the supermarket don't have a good selection

but if u go online there is a very good selection I think it's easier to buy rums online in UK  with UK been a  small country 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 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.

Leo K (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 69 ratings Replied 20 Mar '23

Wow.... I don't think anything l would call a favorite of mine (for straight up) can be had for $ 50 USD or less (other than Seleccion de Maestros)..... and that's the home country price, not import. 

Jagsroy avatar image
Jagsroy (PREMIUM) 🇨🇦 | 288 ratings Replied 9 Jan '23

Yohobro (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 79 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 🇺🇸 | 472 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.

Leo K (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 69 ratings Replied 19 Mar '23

I don't know what country/provivce (state) has the biggest selection, just the worst....Canada/Ontario. A total Provincial government monopoly with massively inflated prices and very poor selection of rum (even the online offerings ) plus ....for all practical purposes you can't buy from other online stores in other Canadian provinces let alone other Countries.....perfect example of why monopolies are bad for customers. 

mwb1 🇬🇧 | 9 ratings Replied 15 Feb '23

In the UK amazon is usually decent especially on black Friday, rum auctioneer is the only place I could fine Foursquare's top range and I've found a website in Denmark called fine drams which are competitive but sending into the UK can incur duty and vat costs 

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 78 ratings Replied 20 Mar '23

Paul, Love your road trip but I do sail trips when not at home, NYC. Maybe I got hooked on a long line, which happens quite often, LOL.  My local TW is getting boring like no top shelf unless  It's over a C-note or over and those are mostly Martinique & Jamaican. Although I do like that type  I've been through enough that I'm not willing to experiment spending over $50 a bottle. I keep going back to ElDorado and like that style.  Haven't had anything that beats in that $50 sweet spot range! By the way, still don't know what your favorite is?




Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 20 Mar '23


Only 3 rums got my rating of 10. In order, they are: Selvarey Owner's Reserve, Flor de Cana 25 Year, and Dictador Insolent (which is no longer available). Hot on their heals at my top ranked 9 rating is Yolo Gold. I did a side by side taste test between the Selvarey and the Yolo Gold, since both are products from the legendary Don Pancho. The Yolo Gold has a slightly bitter finish, which is the only difference in taste. However, since I can buy 5 bottles of Yolo Gold for the same price as one bottle of the Selvarey Owner's Reserve, it is a no brainer on what is the best buy.

I only went sailing once, which was about 30 years ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Letting someone else to do all of the work is the way to go. I have also been watching weekly videos from SV Delos since 2018, mainly for their visits to exotic places and their underwater shots. There is a LOT to fix on a sail boat, which is why I will go no further with that.  I made 200 dives on scuba between 1988 and 1998, and those 10 years were the best of my life. I went all over the Caribbean, Florida, the Louisiana oil rigs, and one failed trip to Hawaii because of sinus problems. I have been to Kauai three times, by far the most beautiful place that I have ever been and with the nicest people. As for Hawaiian rum, forget it.

Leo K (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 69 ratings Replied 20 Mar '23

The LCBO monopoly only carries the lower tier Havana Club Anejo Reserva, 3 year white(strictly mixers) and the slightly better Havana Club 7.....nothing like Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros or Santiago de Cuba 11/12 l typically only get better offerings when l travel to the Caribbean a couple of times a year.

Yohobro (BASIC) 🇨🇦 | 79 ratings Author Replied 14 Sep '23

Well I finally made it to a Total Wine, this one in Seattle. So nice to see a new selection of rums, and so funny to see the difference in price. I was under the impression liquor was cheaper in the states but in some cases, it was quite a bit more pricey. Funny how that works. Anyways, I got a Myers's Single Barrel & Zafra 21. Pumped to try them out!