Our story “Corruption at Your Local Virginia ABC Government Store” has received significant publicity, thank you all for sharing on social media. Since reading the actual blog entry, my friend who was the source of some of the information has clarified the events slightly, and apparently I misunderstood an important fact in my original story. While the thrust of the story remains the same, I wanted to make certain that the most accurate information is put in the public in an unvarnished way and receives full and equal placement and emphasis to any clarifications to my previous entry. As such, the previous entry will be corrected and the full account will receive its own posting here:
My friend went into the ABC checking once again for his favorite bourbons while picking up a bottle. As is both of our habit, he asked about Elmer T. Lee and some other Buffalo Trace bourbons. There was a distributor representative in the ABC store giving tastings of another liquor. The distributor mentioned that he thought he saw some Elmer T. Lee in the back. At that point the store clerk confirmed he thought they had some in stock in the back. My friend then inquired as to why it was not on the shelves, and at this time a store manager who had overheard intervened and said that the cases in the back were held in reserve and not available for sale. My friend then asked the manager if there was a way to reserve bottles, because my friend would like to get on the list. The manager would not say how one could reserve a bottle or why these were being held in stock, but eventually agreed to sell my friend one of the bottles in the back. My friend then purchased the bottle of Elmer T. Lee.
After the purchase occurred the distributor representative told my friend about how ABC managers hold the bottles in the back for liquor stores in other states. The distributor told my friend that as a distributor has access to the stockrooms and can see what stock is being held back. He then personally gets kickbacks from northern liquor stores for letting the northern stores know en the ABC stores get stock in from certain distributors, including Buffalo Trace. The northern stores make arrangements with the ABC managers in Virginia to hold the liquor until they can come down and purchase it, reselling it at a large profit up north. My friend had no specific knowledge of whether or not the ABC manager received an additional specific kickback. That was merely inferred from the information given to him by the distributor representative.