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The only thing I'm interested in is WHERE ARE THE LICENSES. What stores have licenses? WHICH retailers? Don't say "Safeway" because Safeway's not going to have anything worth buying. Where are the LIQUOR STORES?
I have a suspicion I won't be able to buy a half-decent bottle of rum anywhere in this city for another year.
@7: I've read Wal-Mart and QFC so far, I am sure there are plenty more, but to me it doesnt look good for decent bottles of rum for a while.
And BTW, none of the bands you mentioned yesterday had a fraction of the impact of the Pistols. And I say that as someone who has never been all that enamored of them. (I went over it in my head, and I may have heard "Bollocks" 200-300 times in my life, placing it WAY down the list of Matt's Most Listened. So don't go thinking that I'm some Sid worshipper.)
End of threadjack.
But onto the important matter: Do I read correctly that there's going to be an entire month where there's nowhere to buy liquor (other than places that serve it)? That oughta be interesting.
I believe there is the option of private individuals/companies buying existing liquor stores and continuing to run them. It sounds like the manager of the Rainier/Andover store is quite an enterprising fellow.
@12, the minimum standard for rum in the under-$20 category is Appleton Estate from Jamaica, the VX (the cheapest Estate, in the squat bottle, not the junk in the tall bottle). For a few bucks more, Mount Gay from Barbados or Barbancourt from Haiti (or the higher level Appletons, like the Estate Reserve). For a few dollars more than that, you're into the genuinely good stuff, like One Barrel from Belize or Zaya from Trinidad (the best). Over about $40 there are no wrong choices -- Ron Zacapa 23-year-old, Flor de Caña Centenario, et al. One of the nice thing about rum is that prices top out around the place where single malt Scotch begins.
In addition a liquor store con be considered worthless if they don't have at least two different brands of cachaça, Brazilian cane rum. To be truly good, there should be at least one Rhum Agricole from Martinique, and preferably five or six -- a standard that almost no WSLCB ever met.
You like to drink rum neat, don't you? Chilled or room temp?
@28, depends on the store. The BevMo in Sherman Oaks (the last one I was in) was worse than any WSLCB store, in twice the square footage. That's what I'm worried about.
@30 you felonious bastard (it is a felony for an American to purchase a Cuban product EVEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES, even if you finish it there and don't try to bring it back. Any product; the label off that bottle, or off a cigar, is just as illegal as the object itself. I've done it several times in Canada and Mexico; COME AND GET ME STATE DEPARTMENT BITCHEZ).
@26, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the Ministry of Rum website for more. Them people are crazy; they collect the stuff -- I drink it til it's gone. Other brands I approve of are Pyrat (despite the idiotic bottle; especially for fans of oranges) and Bacardi Añejo (but no other common Bacardi product except the Reserva, if you can find it).
@31, as mentioned, these are MINIMAL standards, not quality standards. A crappy liquor store isn't going to make me happy because they have Mount Gay. This is like saying "Jim Beam" for bourbon -- it's drinkable, in the sense that most people wouldn't drink a worse one, but it's not what we're looking for.
I'm going to continue to whine and bitch until a store opens up with thirty brands of rum -- about what my closest WSLCB has. The most important thing of all is variety. And obscurity. The two most important things of all are variety and obscurity, and quality. The three most important things are -- wait, wait, I'll come in again....
Seriously, although we've had our disagreements over the WSLCB, I-1100, I-1105, and to a lesser extent I-1183, that is a heck of a guide to awesome-yet-drinkably-priced rums, Fnarf.
About a year ago, I had a $12-ish pour of something recommended by the bartender at Ballard's La Isla that turned out to be the most delicate, complicated, delicious brown liquors I'd ever tasted in my life. As you said, stunning rum can be had at the same price point where decent single-malt whiskies begin.
I still kick myself for not writing down what it was.