Virginia ABC sees 19th consecutive record-breaking year

Hennessy Very Special cognac is Virginia's best-selling liquor

Cocktails 'Capote' Bloody Mary, a 'Good Night & Good Luck' Martini, a 'Crash' LA Ice Tea, a shot of Jagermeister with a German beer and a 'Brokeback Mountain' 94 single barrel Jack Daniels with a twist (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control marked its 19th consecutive record-breaking year for sales in fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30.

Virginia ABC’s gross sales increased to $940.1 million, up $42.5 million over the previous year; while profits rose to $171 million, a jump of $6 million, according to the department.

Retail sales grew 4.6 percent and sales to restaurants climbed 4.1 percent during the same time frame.

ABC's profits, combined with state and general sales taxes as well as wine and beer taxes, resulted in an all-time high of $449 million transferred to Virginia’s general fund -- $15 million above last year’s contribution.

A major source of revenue for the commonwealth, Virginia ABC has now contributed more than $9.9 billion to the general fund since 1934 to support state services, including substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Liquors that led the best-selling list statewide were:

  • Hennessy Very Special (V.S) cognac
  • Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey
  • Tito's Handmade domestic vodka
  • Jim Beam Kentucky straight bourbon
  • Smirnoff (80-proof) vodka
  • Of those five, Hennessy V.S saw the most impressive leap in sales, from $25.2 million to $33.9 million, a roughly 34 percent increase followed by Tito’s Handmade vodka from $17.3 million to $25 million, a 43.9 percent increase over fiscal year 2016.

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