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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

At least two Idahoans would pay $6k a bottle

Idaho’s state liquor dispensary has seen a huge jump in sales since 2002 – 87 percent – but not because Idahoans are necessarily boozing it up more. Instead, according to dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally, the increase is coming from two things: population growth, and customers buying more-expensive liquor. Idaho is seeing new residents who are “more affluent consumers,” Nally said, “people from other areas who had experienced drinking higher-priced products.” So while sales are up 87 percent in dollars, they’re only up 59 percent in bottles. Per capita consumption is generally flat.

Here’s proof of the trend: The liquor dispensary’s priciest product normally is a French cognac, Remy Martin’s Louis XIII, that sells for $1,300 a bottle, earning the state a $547 profit. “We sell a few of those each year,” Nally told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. So it was a risk when the dispensary decided to order in a bottle of special 50-year-old scotch that sells for a whopping $6,000. Would it sell? Surprisingly, Nally said, “We had two people fighting over it.” That was over in the Sun Valley area.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.