America’s 10 Most Popular Liquors

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The sales of distilled spirits is a huge industry, and a major contributor to the tax base, particularly at the state level. Ten liquors dominate the sales of distilled spirits based on dollars sales, led by Jack Daniels.

Research firm Parkstreet

The U.S. beverage market is a $354.2bn industry with alcoholic beverages making 60% of the revenues with $211.6bn in sales. The alcoholic beverage market is almost equally split between malt beverages on the one hand and wine and spirits products on the other hand. Distilled spirits make up around 37% of the sales of alcoholic beverages. The largest sub-category of spirits is vodka with 34% of cases sold, followed by whiskey with 24% and rum with 12%. Wines make up around 15% of the alcoholic beverage market. 71% of the cases sold are domestically produced wines and 21% are imported wines. Champagnes and sparkling wines make up around 6% of the wine volume.

There is a massive swing in state taxes, according to the Tax Foundation:

Washington has the highest spirit excise tax rate at $35.22 per gallon, followed by Oregon ($22.72), Virginia ($19.18), Alabama ($18.22), and Alaska ($12.80). Spirits are taxed the least in Wyoming and New Hampshire, where government-run stores have set prices low enough that they are comparable to having no taxes on spirits. Following Wyoming and New Hampshire are West Virginia ($1.89), Missouri ($2.00), Colorado ($2.28) and Texas ($2.40).

These are the top 10 selling liquors in the U.S. based on dollar sales for the week which ended November 5 (the latest available data, according to Nielsen

1 37,752,642 Jack Daniel’s
2 36,319,092 Smirnoff Vodka
3 31,480,980 Crown Royal
4 31,368,527 Hennessy
5 30,159,459 Tito’s Vodka
6 25,040,493 Bacardi
7 24,105,783 Captain Morgan Rum
8 22,220,585 Johnnie Walker
9 20,537,096 Jim Beam Brbn
10 18,328,566 Jameson


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