Fireball Cinnamon Whisky has replaced Allen’s Coffee Brandy as Maine’s best-selling tipple.

Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy had been the best-selling liquor in Maine for at least two decades.

The syrupy-sweet brown concoction might hold second place in terms of revenue, but it is still Maine’s favorite when it comes to sales volume, according 2018 data from the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

“Allen’s is just an old, venerable brand, but it has been slipping in the past few years,” said bureau Director Gregg Mineo.

Fireball, a popular brand used in bar shots, rose to the top spot last year, with sales of more than $10.1 million. Almost half those sales were in the form of small 50-milliliter bottles called “nips.”

Allen’s sold $9.6 million last year, about $500,000 less than it did in 2017. The spirit had for at least two decades been Maine’s top-selling liquor and is marketed exclusively at the state.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka produced in Austin, Texas, was the third-best seller, with nearly $9.2 million in sales, almost half in large-format 1.75 liter bottles.

In the fiscal year ending in June, the three brands made up almost 15 percent of $177 million in total state liquor sales.

But by volume, Allen’s is still the No. 1-selling spirit in the state, said Gary Shaw, vice president of control sales at M.S. Walker, the company that makes Allen’s and is based in Norwood, Massachusetts.

About 94,000 9-liter equivalent cases of Allen’s were sold in the state last year, Mineo said. That compares to the 56,000 cases of Tito’s and 54,000 cases of Fireball sold, he said.

Still, in terms of dollar value, Allen’s has lost market share, as sales of Fireball and Titos have ballooned. In 2013, Fireball had sales worth $500,000 and Tito’s sales were about $300,000, according to BABLO data.

Both Tito’s and Fireball are hugely popular nationwide, Mineo said.

In Maine, the cocktail fad may lead some people to put aside their Allen’s-and-milk libation in favor of something a little fancier, he added.

“Sales have been slipping in the past five to six years at least. I think a lot of that has to do with people drinking a little better in Maine.”

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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Twitter: PeteL_McGuire


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