Tito’s Handmade Vodka is once again the top spirit of choice among customers at Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) stores, garnering $72 million in sales in fiscal year 2023. Tito’s was followed by Hennessy VS cognac ($44M), Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey ($30.1M), Patron Silver tequila ($28.6M) and Jim Beam straight bourbon whiskey ($24M). Tito’s sales grew by $5.1M compared to the prior year as it continues its six-year run as the top selling product in the commonwealth.
Among the top 10 best-selling products, Jameson Irish whiskey rose to No. 6; Maker’s Mark straight bourbon remained at No. 7; while Crown Royal Canadian whiskey dropped to No. 8. Grey Goose vodka rose to No. 9. Lunazul Blanco tequila joined the top ten – rising from No. 20 to No. 10 – while Fireball whiskey fell to No. 14.
The biggest movers among the top-50 products were all tequila brands: Lunazul Reposado (up 127%), Lunazul Blanco (up 71%), Casamigos Blanco (up 67%), Teremana Reposado (up 57%) and Teremana Blanco (up 45%).
Among the top-50 products, Fireball represented the largest decline by percent (18.4%) and total sales (declining by $3.2M); followed by Crown Royal Regal Apple, which declined by 15.2% or $2.2M.
Virginia ABC’s best-selling categories remained relatively steady, led by vodka at 1.64 million cases sold. Tequila (885,876 cases) overtook straight bourbon whiskey (780,777 cases). Cordials/liqueurs (514,517 cases) and rum (470,292 cases) rounded out the top-five categories.
The tequila category showed strong growth, with an 18.4% increase in cases sold. Tequila grew from an 11.8% to 13.7% market share.
The fastest-growing categories* were moonshine at 25.6%; tequila at 18.4%; specialty (such as gift sets) at 14.8%; domestic ready-to-drink cocktails at 10.1% and straight rye whiskey at 9.8%. The biggest declines were seen in Cognacs/Armagnacs at 14.6%; and Canadian whiskey at 10%.
*Sloe gin grew 64% but is Virginia ABC’s smallest category, at only 141 cases sold.
Best-selling Virginia spirits
Virginia ABC is proud to offer nearly 300 Virginia-distilled spirits. Sales of Virginia-distilled spirits grew to $24.1M of sales, with more than one million bottles sold.
The top-sellers in this category were Bowman Brothers Virginia straight bourbon ($1.6M), Cirrus Vodka ($1.2M), John J. Bowman Virginia straight bourbon ($841,852), Isaac Bowman port finish whiskey ($623,848) and Virginia Highlands War Horn Whiskey ($446,898).
Virginia ABC added four stores in FY23 (among them Store 523 in Great Falls), bringing its total to 399.
The top-five stores by gallons sold were Store 256 in Virginia Beach (113,346); Store 219 in [Tysons] Fairfax County (103,139); Store 278 in Virginia Beach (97,326); Store 225 in Virginia Beach (94,302) and Store 280 in Chesapeake (92,432).