Alabama liquor stores pull Russian-origin spirits from shelves

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – The administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board confirmed Monday afternoon that ABC stores immediately complied with Gov. Kay Ivey’s directive to remove Russian-origin products from store shelves.

Ivey called on ABC board administrator Mac Gipson for the immediate removal of Russian alcohol from ABC stores, citing the ongoing attack on Ukraine by Russian forces. The governor’s letter to Gipson is below.

Governor Kay Ivey is calling on ABC stores across the state to remove Russian liquor from shelves due to the ongoing attack in Ukraine.(Source: Office of Governor Kay Ivey)

“This is a small but meaningful way to take action and show the people of Ukraine that we support them while firmly affirming our opposition to the unnecessary humanitarian crisis that Russia has inexcusably created,” Ivey said. “I encourage all citizens and businesses in Alabama to explore ways to show their support for Ukraine and discourage Russia from continuing this unreasonable siege against a neighboring country.”

“Fortunately, we offer very few products of Russian origin, so we were able to act quickly,” Gipson said.

ABC’s board confirmed that Russian Standard vodka is currently the only Russian-origin liquor it has for sale, and it’s not a major seller, so there’s not a lot of product available. ABC’s board of directors had been struggling to determine a dollar amount for the proceeds over the past year.

Gipson has confirmed that products removed from store shelves will either be returned to the manufacturer/distributor/broker or stored until further notice.

Gipson noted that there are a number of alcohol and liquor brands that are often mistakenly associated with Russia, some of which have Russian-sounding names but are made in the United States or Europe. He provided a list of products that ABC stores carry that are mistaken for Russian-made products, along with their actual country of origin.

These products include:

  • Rum Aristocrate – West Indies
  • Aristocrat – United States
  • Batavia Arrack Van Oosten – East Indies
  • Belvedere – Poland
  • Chopin – Poland
  • Ciroc – France
  • Effen- Netherlands
  • Exclusiv- Moldova
  • Fris – Denmark
  • Goldschlager – Canada
  • Gray Goose – France
  • Hochstadter’s Slow and Low Rock Rye – Philadelphia (USA)
  • Hovding Norske Aquavit – Norway
  • Ivanabitch Vodka – Holland
  • Kamchatka Vodka – United States
  • Ketel One – Holland
  • Khortytsa Vodka – Ukraine
  • Lini Aquavit – Norway
  • Luksusowa Potato vodka – Poland
  • Meukow Cognac – France
  • Michter’s – United States
  • New Amsterdam – United States
  • Popov – United Kingdom
  • Red Kaya – United States
  • Reyka – Iceland
  • Rumpleminze – Germany
  • Russian standard – Latvia
  • Saint-Germain – France
  • Smirnoff – United States
  • Sobieski – Poland
  • Stoli Blueberry – Latvia
  • Stoli Vanilla – Latvia
  • Stolichnaya – Latvia
  • Sukari Vodka – Japan
  • Svedka – Sweden
  • Taaka – United States

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