Liquor store shelf collapse in Whitehorse spills $50K — mostly fine scotch

Brace yourself if you’re a fan of scotch. A shelf collapse at a Whitehorse liquor store this summer took many a wee dram to the floor: about 1,000 bottles, to be exact.

New shelving has since been approved by a structural engineer

A shelf collapse at a Whitehorse liquor store last summer sent about a thousand bottles of liquor  mostly fine scotch  crashing to the floor, creating a pool of fine drink mixed with shards of glass.

Security footage of the event, obtained through Access to Information legislation, shows the sudden movement of a heavily laden shelf. 

An inventory of the damage shows the loss included 17 bottles of Talisker at a retail cost of over $1,400, and eight bottles of Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve that would have retailed for more than $1,100. 

Also among the damage: bottles by Macallan, Dalwhinnie, Lagavulin, Glenlivet and some Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt, a liquor that has received five-star reviews from connoisseurs and retails for $180 a bottle. 

A few months later, a new sturdier shelving unit is up, complete with the approval of a structural engineer called in to examine its sturdiness.

“It looks a lot better,” says Mark Hill, vice president of the Yukon Liquor Corp., “but it's also a lot more secure.”

Documents show that the total retail loss was $50,873.05.

But the government claimed less than half of that in insurance, because the markup for liquor is more than double the wholesale price.

"Our intent is to destroy the bottles that were not actually broken as we will not be able to ensure the products are totally clear from glass shard contamination," Geoff Dixon wrote in an email at the time. Dixon works in the purchasing and distribution section of the Yukon Liquor Corp.

According to Hill, the episode is now safely in the past. 

“It’s not something we ever want to see happen again.”

He says shelving units across the territory have been checked to make sure no more scotch hits the floor.