It is a strange old world

It is a strange worldThis is likely to be the first in a series of articles about the oddities of life for bourbon whisky enthusiasts. You know the sort of thing – like it is illegal to sell alcohol in the town where the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is located.
This month we learned the Governor of the US state of Virginia wants to sell the state’s hard liquor stores. At the moment all 332 shops in Virginia selling whisky, vodka or other spirits are government owned. For us in the UK that is almost incomprehensible – imagine your local off-licence being run by whatever Tory or Labour government is in power. It is even more unusual given the US is the standard-bearer for free-wheeling capitalism.

The Virginia Governor, Bob, McConnell, wants to use the money from the sell-off to fund transport plans. He told the Patch: “Government’s supposed to do a lot of things well, but selling … Jack Daniels is not one of them.”
If the change in the law goes through, shops that sell alcohol will become more like those selling guns, which can be set up by anyone with minimal regulation and control.
The perception of “hard liquor” in America is very different to the UK or Europe. This example - of the law controlling the sale of alcohol being stricter than the law controlling the sale of guns - is not unique, and with the increasing global nature of business, the UK is affected more than many people realise.
Take the biggest Internet company - Google. It does not allow websites about “hard alcohol and spirits” – like us at Bourbon Whisky – to run advertising campaigns. We are not necessarily complaining - Google can implement whatever policies it chooses. It is interesting, nonetheless, that legal products like bourbon whisky, vodka and gin, are treated the same as things like bombs, prostitution and drugs. The anomalies are also interesting – for example, if you own a website selling cannabis seeds you can run an advertising campaign on Google, but if you want to promote Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s, you cannot.
It is a strange, strange world.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:36


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