RICHMOND -- The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's (ABC) announced Wednesday a 15th consecutive record-setting year for sales.
ABC reported gross sales of $769 million, up $35 million from the previous year, and profits rising to $134 million, an increase of $2 million over last year.
ABC profits combined with state taxes, sales tax, and wine and beer taxes, resulted in an all-time high of $370 million transferred to Virginia's general fund, up $10 million from last year.
'The growth in sales is attributed in part to expanded Sunday sales and the opening of six new stores across the state,' said ABC Chairman J. Neal Insley. 'We are also noticing a trend of customers 'buying up,' or purchasing more top-shelf brands, a hopeful indication of a recovering economy,' he said.
Jack Daniel's 7 Black topped the list of ABC's top-selling brands, followed by Smirnoff 80; Jim Beam ; Grey Goose; and Crown Royal.
Vodka, however, is clearly Virginia's category drink of choice, netting a combined $212 million in sales for domestic, imported and flavored vodkas. Whiskey followed with combined sales of $145 million for Canadian, Scotch, Tennessee, Blended, Domestic, Irish, Corn, Rye and Bond whiskeys. Cordials came in third, with sales of $90.5 million.
Corn whiskey (legal moonshine) saw the sharpest increase in sales, jumping 123 percent from $1.7 million to $3.8 million.