Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Coffee Brandy is #1 (and #2 and #6 and #9)...

BANGOR - When it comes to spirits, coffee brandy remains Mainers' libation of choice.

State sales figures for last year show that Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy remains by far the top-selling brand of liquor in the state, just as it's been every year for more than a decade. Nearly 994,000 bottles worth $11.9 million were sold in four different bottle sizes in Maine in 2006.

Allen's is so popular that its different bottle sizes rank first, second, sixth and ninth on the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations list of the top 25 alcoholic items sold last year. Allen's is the only brand that appears more than once in the top 10.

No. 2 in revenue totals was Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, with $4.7 million worth of sales in Maine and 252,300 bottles sold. Bacardi Light rum sold 253,643 bottles, with revenues of almost $4.3 million.

Other top sellers in Maine in 2006 included Orloff Vodka, which sold 212,000 bottles, and Absolut Vodka, which sold 135,000 bottles. Absolut ranked fourth in terms of revenue with $3.3 million.

Coffee-flavored brandy is something of a New England specialty and is not well-known outside the region. Allen's is made by family-owned M.S. Walker Inc. of Somerville, Mass.

The dark-colored liquor that's been called "the champagne of Maine," while immensely popular, is also associated with the state's substance abuse troubles.

A decade ago, state Superior Court Judge Robert Crowley was quoted as saying the brand "is very prevalent in the criminals who come before me. I don't know whether brandy is more bang for your buck but it runs the gamut. I see it in bar fights, domestic assaults, (drunk driving) and worse crimes."
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com