I will be flying to India via South Korea from SFO. I was wondering if it would be better (cheaper) for me to buy alcohol (specifically Scotch, Whiskey) at a place like Bevmo or at the duty free shops within the Airport.

I dont mind paying a little bit more 5-8% in taxes if I can have the luxury of adding it to my check-in luggage. I am not sure how safe would it be.

Also, are there any issues if I am going to be in-transit in South Korea with liquor?

  • 2
    Are you after a specific high-end whisky, a specific lower end one, or just something cheap to sling in a cocktail / with a mixer?
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 26, 2013 at 11:16
  • 2
    From personal experience with US(Multiple)/Frankfurt/CDG and a couple of others. You're better off buying alcohol in the US and putting it in your luggage. More options and prices for some might be a lot better.
    – Karlson
    Jun 26, 2013 at 15:55
  • I'm buying it fit my dad and would like to buy something that's in the medium range. I was planning on getting JW gold label and Glenlivet 18.
    – Null
    Jun 26, 2013 at 15:55
  • Thanks Karlson. My research on the internet also suggests the same.
    – Null
    Jun 26, 2013 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


I am told, the problem with them Indian customs is, you can read them boys all the rules from the book, but if they see you with more than 2 average sized (750 ml ?) alcoholic bottles, you have had it. By the book, you can carry 2 liters of alcohol :


3. What are the norms for the import of Alcoholic drinks /
Cigarettes as baggage?
Following quantities of Alcoholic drinks and Tobacco products
may be included for import within the duty free allowances
admissible to various categories of incoming passengers :
- Alcoholic liquors or Wines upto 2 litres
- 200 Cigarettes or 50 Cigars or 250 gms. of Tobacco.
The rate of duty applicable on these products over and
above the above mentioned free allowance is as under :
(i) Cigarettes BCD @100%+ educational cess
@ 3%
(ii) Whisky BCD @150% + ACD @ 4% + education
cess NIL.
(iii) Beer BCD @100% + ACD NIL + 3% education

The best option in experiences of people I know and as others here have suggested, it's best to buy in US, pack well and put it in the check in luggage. Many liquors are way cheaper in the state run package stores than what it is in any other package/beverage store. In case it helps, I think last time I bought a Gelnlivet 18 year old 750 ml was 95 bucks. But you have to also keep in mind, the bottle weight of such liquor can get very heavy.

There shouldn't be any problem all along the way. Just my personal suggestion; You get all the GLENLIVETs and GLENFIDDICHs in India for reasonable price. How about taking something exquisite which isn't available in India at all ? May be a Tequila 1800 ?

  • Thanks. My dad would not like tequila but your answer helps.
    – Null
    Jun 29, 2013 at 6:40

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