It has been a long time since my last post. I know. I have been sick, and my nosing abilities were off, for quite a long time. But today, i would like to share my difficulties of being an Israeli whisky lover, in a country that discourages the consumption of the nectar.
A few weeks ago, i got an email from Laphraoig distillery manager (which you have probably received too, if you are a FOL) , in which we were all told about some 700 bottles of the Triple Wood, which was formerly only available on duty-free shops. Of course i was thrilled, and as a Peat Head and Islay lover, i knew i had to get this expression.
Israel has a very bizarre taxing regime when it comes to alcohol. it taxes spirits according to their ABV. High Alcohol volume spirits such as whisky suffer heavy taxation. You ask how heavy? well get this : we’re talking 200% tax. yes, your eyesight is good : 200 Freaking percent !!!
this draconian taxation explains why over 95% of all whisky sales are done at the Israeli duty-free shops.
for example: a Yamazki 12 single malt, which costs 40$ in the US stores, costs 900 NIS (250$) in a local Israeli liquor shop. you got this right : SIX times as much as in the USA.
now back to our Triple Wood saga : i ordered the bottle straight from the distillery at 65 GBP including postage. when it got to Israel, our very efficient customs officers held it up until i paid my customs , that amounted to 1200 NIS (300$ tax!!). this is plain crazy.
Of course, i had no options as to not accept the package and send it back to Islay where it came to. i do think that paying around 400$ for a Triple Wood, is a bit expensive… don’t you?
The israeli law is supposed to be reformed in 2010 or sometime in the future, where Spirits taxation should be calculated according to a more sensible rate, which will make them cheaper in local shops.
Until then, it’s going to remain very hard for all of us Israeli whisky lovers, looking for a wee dram at a reasonable price, without having to sell a kidney.
one has only to hope…