Is It Now Legal to Buy Fireball Whisky at Colorado Convenience Stores?
A friend of mine was very excited to find that she could buy a shooter of Fireball at the 7-11 she was at, while out enjoying a Saturday. 'Whisky? At a 7-11?' The investigation began.
In 2019, it became legal for grocery stores and convenience stores in Colorado to sell full-strength beer, after years of being held to only 3.2% beer. Liquor stores weren't thrilled about that, but they still are the only places to get hard liquor, like whisky.
That's why this shooter of Fireball that my fiend had purchased had me so puzzled. She'd gotten it at a 7-11 in Longmont, so I thought maybe is was some sort of Boulder County exemption to the Colorado law. That didn't seem right, either, even with it being Boulder County.
My thinking was that, if they were selling whisky, where's the tequila? Where was the wine? How about some vodka for a Saturday? It just didn't add up. I'd stopped into one 7-11 after work, and only found beer in 'alcohol' coolers, and no "Fireball display" like my friend had seen at the front counter:
My friend and I teamed up on the following Saturday to find 'Fireball' whisky at a Loveland 7-11; there had to be a logical explanation.
Our first stop was a complete mistake, as it was the one off of Eisenhower and Monroe, right at across from Monroe Elementary; they didn't even sell beer because it's in a school zone. Whoops.
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Our second stop revealed that they had, indeed, had two of the displays full of shooters, but one got stolen, so the owner pulled the other. 'We need to find one of these shooters,' I declared.
We finally did find a 7-11 that had a display of shooters, behind the cashier area, away from where somebody might steal a shot or the whole display.
It certainly had the Fireball labeling all over it; I guess I'd expected some copycat marketer of some sort. The label did say 16% alcohol, as opposed to full strength 33% Fireball. We immediately went an actual liquor store to get one of their Fireball shooters.
What's the Deal with the 7-11 Fireball?
The Fireball you're buying at Colorado 7-11's (and possibly other convenience stores in the state) is actually..... flavored Malt liquor - a.k.a. strong beer.
Though it does taste a lot like the whisky (minus that real 'burn' bite at the finish,) it's just a way for the makers of Fireball to make a quick buck or two off of impulse shoppers. These seem to have hit the market in 2021; though they've only been spotted around the Fort Collins area recently.
So, there you have it. The Investigation was concluded: Read the small print and you'll find that you are not buying whisky at all, just another beer.