I realize that this is in danger of becoming a “Stupid Liquor Laws” blog, but that category really is a target-rich environment lately….
Today’s amusing-if-it-weren’t-alarming idiocy comes to us courtesy of the Liquor Control Board of Canada (via The Globe and Mail, via Ed Driscoll). The LCBO has seen fit to ban Crystal Head Vodka from stores in the increasingly benighted province.
Er, the bottle, as you can see above, is in the shape of an attractive crystal skull. And, um,
That’s an image that’s commonly associated with death.
Well, the concern du jour in
prohibitionist government regulatory circles is [spins Wheel of Furrowed Brows] the possibility of binge drinking. And since binge drinking occasionally leads to alcohol poisoning, which occasionally leads to death, a skull bottle of vodka is apparently an inducement to, um, something. But whatever it is, it’s bad! Very Bad!
Oh, but bars and restaurants can still serve it in Ontario, and display this visual inducement to ethanol-induced suicide right there where the children, the children can see it. And you can buy it by the case as well. Because it is always better to sell binge-drinking products in bulk. You know, for safety.
The LCBO might consider that Crystal Head is not exactly in your average binge drinkers target price range. You’ll need to pony up fifty bucks (sixty if your cash has the Queen on it), to buy a bottle.
As it happens, I happen to have a bottle of this dangerous, banned product sitting on the display shelf of my Basement Bar. Dan Aykroyd sent it to me to try. Well, his minions sent it to me, but it is much cooler to use the Transitive Property of Liquor Fairys and claim he did. Why Dan? Because Crystal Head is Aykroyd’s company. He started the brand as a joke, and to ensure he had a ready supply of unique and fun gifts for the holidays. But the bottle is really cool looking, and the product it contains is good, so he has found himself with a profitable business.
And Aykroyd, who has more marketing acumen locked up in his own, personal skull than possessed by the collective rocket scientists at the LCBO, is unfazed by the ban.
I like it, it kind of makes the product more appealing in my view, he told the Globe and Mail.
While Crystal Head may not be terribly inconvenienced, and perhaps may be helped, by this ban, the problem is that every ban like this that slides through makes the next, possibly more damaging one easier to put in place. If this stands (and it will) you may turn around in five years and hear the LCBO say that Creme de Violette is pretty, and has flowers in the name. And little girls like pretty things and flowers. So they are banning Creme de Violette because it might induce little girls to drink. (I have more realistic examples to offer, but I refuse to give the ninnys any ideas.)
If you are interested, I do like the vodka. As I demonstrated in my last post, I’m no anti-vodka cocktail snob. And I damn sure can tell the difference between brands. Crystal Head is every bit as good as most other premium vodkas, and better than some. But let’s face it, at this price point, you are buying it for the bottle, not the liquor. True to Aykroyd’s initial idea, it makes a cool, distinctive gift. Also, it is fun to pour from when you have guests over and you need a conversation starter. (Careful when you show off with this bottle, it is lovely, but not ergonomic.)
I’ll throw the Liquor Fairy disclaimer down below for disclosure’s sake. But I go the bottle a while ago, and chose not to write about it because everything I had wanted to say about it had already been said (with better photographs) by lots of other blogs. It’s very irritating when other bloggers write what you want to say before you can say it, leaving the choice of sounding like a copycat, or not writing about an interesting product. So I guess what I’m ending with is a thank you to the LCBO, whose cranio-rectal inversion gives me an excuse to finally write about Crystal Head.
The following product, Crystal Head Vodka, was recently provided to me as promotional consideration to encourage me to discuss it.
For a complete disclosure of my policies regarding promotional items and all other financial interests, please click this link, or follow the
Liquor Fairylink in the header of this page.