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LCBO bans Dan Aykroyd’s cool-looking vodka-filled skull

Former (and possibly future) Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd has offered a drink to Ontario liquor stores, only to be turned down like an old man at a Queen’s University bar. Crystal Head Vodka—which comes in a clear skull-shaped bottle—has been banned for sale at the LCBO because, apparently, mixing skulls and alcohol doesn’t convey the best marketing message. “The image of the human skull is the thing that’s really problematic for us,” LCBO spokesman Chris Layton told the Globe. “That’s an image that’s commonly associated with death. It’s especially problematic at a time when there are concerns around binge drinking by younger adults, which in some cases, unfortunately, has resulted in alcohol poisoning.”

Aykroyd sees it a little differently: “This is a decision that’s been made reflecting the appeal of the product, because the board is rightly concerned that underaged drinkers may go to illegitimate means to obtain a bottle of Crystal Head, maybe steal it or whatever.”

At around $60 a bottle, teenagers would almost have to steal it instead of, say, getting someone to buy it for them (giving three $20 bills to the skittish dude hanging out in front of the liquor store isn’t the best idea). So we’re not all that surprised that the LCBO would take this hard stance, especially since the province has OK’d the vodka for restaurants and on-line sales. We are shocked, however, that Dan Aykroyd is involved in something marginally cool.

• Ontario bans Dan Aykroyd’s skull-shaped vodka [Globe and Mail]

  • Salanth

    Oh, but Caramilk liqueur is okay?

  • Dana

    Oh, fer crissakes. Why has the Ontario Government suddenly developed the audacity to think they can become the devil on the shoulders of people who consume alcohol in this province? This idiotic decision plus the application of the HST to liquor as an additional “sin tax” (in a feeble attempt to control drinking) is pretty bombastic.

    Seriously – I would’ve bought one of these ridiculous things for the damned bottle. And no, I’m not a teenager.

  • Robert

    What ridiculous nonsense from the Ontario police/nanny state. If there is valid concern about teenage binge drinking Crystal Head, where is the data? BC sells the stuff for $59.99. Where are BC’s teenage Crystal Head binge drinkers? Answer: They don’t exist. Statistics in the US have long established that college age binge-drinking is a media myth. Read here:

    I quoth therefrom:

    “Binge” drinking is down and abstinence is up among American college students. Yet in spite of this and other overwhelming evidence, the false impression persists that drinking is increasing and that “bingeing continues unabated.”

  • eleleth

    In Nova Scotia we had to search everywhere for the two bottles we did find. I complained to the NSLC about the availability and it was shrugged off. This is unfair marketing practices! This is a Canadian product ( and a damn fine one too) and we should be able to buy it, it is about choice. It was so hard to find, that when I did – I actually did feel like Indiana Jones. Bring it back and let us buy it if we choose to, we are older adults BTW!

  • mattagascar

    Thank you LCBO for looking out for me. Without you I’d have to use my own judgement and who knows where that would lead?

  • Scott Howard

    The LCBO is being silly – it is nonsense like this that undermines its credibility.

  • b-rock

    but has still sold a million bottles, and racked up 50 mil in sales, AHntario!

  • starettie

    This is an excellent example of why the Ontario government should not be in the retail business. Governments are elected to govern, not act as merchants of a monopoly. Why Ontario voters allow it, is beyond me. Do the people really believe that booze is safer in the hands of corrupt politicians and power hungry bureaucrats? Shocking. The LCBO is a sluggish company rife with incompetence. Secure on its mountain top, it acts without consequence or financial accountability. Our government needs to let go of this monopoly and focus on issues of governing. It needs to give the cash cow to the people, where it belongs.

  • Jamie Browning

    Well… Personally, I can’t help but ask what this is supposed to mean:
    “We are shocked, however, that Dan Aykroyd is involved in something marginally cool.”
    Because you know, I hadn’t noticed that Toronto Life was cooler than:
    The film industry in general,
    Paranormal research,
    Blues music (and the promotion and performance thereof),

    Dan also just donated wine to the Canadian troops (beer was already being donated and therefore already free but wine was not), re: the troops’ allowed 2 drinks per month, and I also think that is pretty cool.

  • Robmal

    Chris Layton is an idiot!

  • Designergirl

    Once again, who said that Ontarians had any say in anything…Big Brother is doing MORE than watching… time for a change-

  • Lorraine Matson

    It’s okay — we just went over the Buffalo to buy this cool bottle! Might has well help the U.S. economy if Ontario doesn’t want our money! The great, generous Dan Ackroyd will get some of the profit anyways, so that makes us happy!

  • Kate

    I would have purchased it as well….. Thanks for nothinf LCBO…. PS> I’m 30

  • Jackie

    Wow, yet Jolt, Rockstar and all those other caffeine induced drinks are at the corner stores for youth to consume, please Ontario, get out of the 50′s!!!!!!!!!

  • Jackie

    Last time I checked, I lived in Canada, not China

  • Nate

    This isn’t the first time the LCBO has pulled this crap & it likely won’t be the last. They yanked a beer called Delirium Tremens (acute delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal) due to the NAME!!!! Apparently, it was deemed “politically incorrect”. Luckily, you can find it on the SAQ shelves in Quebec.

  • m

    where can you buy liquor online?

  • Kim
  • Ursula

    Hey to the comments about “last time I checked, I lived in Canada, not China”

    Well Bro – wake up and smell the fumes – if you had China remove ALL its products, from let’s say – a simple store like No Frills, 70% of the food products would not be on the shelves…ok..maybe 67.5 but go check and see- then think about what you said.

    You live in China…trust me.. you just don’t know it.

    Check next time you by garlic or canned mushrooms…and a plethora of other products.

    Or books…thats another biggie..printed in China.

    Get real man..the communism you snipe at has had more millionares in their economy in the last 10 yrs than Canada has.

    Do your research before you pull the “We’re better than they are” card.

    They have no welfare in China,and to get a first class university education costs between 400.00 and 2200.00 A YEAR.

    Sincerely, you better do your research, as with that attitude you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Have a nice day and don’t let the door at Walmart whack you on your way out.

  • Corey


    You obviously have never been to China. I do business in Wuhan, have also been in Shanghai, Hongkong and a bunch of smaller cities. China is the POOREST crud hole of the world I’ve ever been too. Rampant poverty, child gangs runnign streets, no infrastructure. Sure, half our products come from china, but the quality is crap. Even ask them about it and they laugh and agree. SO before you too your little horn saying the world is a great place, visit somewhere in china that isnt a tourist destination and you will see shit that shocks you. The only place Ive been worse than china is India.

  • AndyB

    They have warning labels on cigarette packages of the potential health effect so why not put alcohol in a skull?

  • Ben Dermer

    Calling Dan Aykroyd uncool really just shows how uncool you are.

  • George P

    lol was in Emonton last week for a day. Picked 2 bottles up
    and for less then what they pay in B.C. Very cool bottle,
    don’t drink, but a nice centre piece

  • SMC0815

    I bought one as SOON as it came out with the box signed by Dan himself … he actually did a personal appearance in the store close to my home. I used to live in TO but recently moved to the USA (MA) to be exact and I RAN to the store to buy this once I found out it was for sale. It’s was $50 US and I am the proud owner of the skull created and marketed by a Canadian. It’s a shame that his own country won’t allow others to buy this. Stupid, really. Hey, maybe I can ship it up to all who wants! hahahahaa

  • SMC0815

    oh … and the bottle is signed too!

  • John Roach

    “We are shocked, however, that Dan Aykroyd is involved in something marginally cool.” Really? Aykroyd, who gave us the Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Dragnet, Spies Like Us, the peak of SNL genius, and most recently, spent time and effort to bring us as eccentric and exotic a project as vodka in a freaking crystal skull!!

    You, on the other hand, write a food and drink column for Toronto Life. I’d lay off.

  • Amanda

    This vodka is the best vodka ever!!! So clean, so good!! We discovered it on a trip in New Brunswick….I have a thing for skulls and having a such a smooth vodka was just awesome….we went back to the store and bought another one for our friends to try at home in Ontario. Everyone thought the bottle and what was inside was awesome even the people that don’t drink vodka wanted one just for the cool bottle. We are getting a few friends a bottle for Christmas and I was going to make a trip to Quebec for them, even thought of getting them shipped)….but thank you Lorraine…Buffalo is way closer!!!

  • MC Boouie

    LCBO are completely outdated and a thing of the past.All they care about are profits,surprised they wont sell this product,profits would have skyrocketed,lets give the profits to someone else since LCBO dont need them………

  • black night

    so allow liquor/beer to be sold in convenience stores and you will have less binge drinking….we binge drink because of last call.
    their a union -f*ck the lcbo……I use the beer store and wine rack. (their open later)

  • David

    Touche starettie!

  • Heather

    I wanted to purchase for myself & as Christmas gifts this year, but guess the human skull has become taboo in Ontario. Maybe if the powers that be at the ole LCBO had one under their scalps, they’d realize what a fool, over-zealous, decision they made by banning it. If they’re so concerned about sending a bad message to youth, or having spirits sold in amazing bottles, it’s time to get out of the business perhaps! By the way, I’m over 50.

  • Erin

    So… A skull signifies death, and death can be (very unfortunately) the result of alcohol abuse. Of course, the logical next step must be to not allow the association in our retail outlets!

    Thank you Ontario. Let’s sensor our lives so we don’t have to actually address the real issue at hand.

  • EvoSero

    You can get it at the Duty Free for $45 for anyone in Ontario not wanting to order it AND pay $60.

    What I noticed is the bottle itself is not very big (though it comes in a box). I think Aykroyd is right in that it’s not the skull image, but that it’d be both appealing to steal and easier to steal as far as $60 products go.

  • Dave Burns

    The LCBO cries foul and promotes election-like rhetoric as soon as they’re industry/monopoly is threatened. Perhaps we would be better off with privatized liquor sales. After all, the LCBO’s track record reads more like a balance sheet. As long as they continue to write black ink on the right side of the ledger they’re happy; the province be damned. Another example of a bloated bureaucracy. At least this skull has something between it’s ears to be proud of while we Ontarians get to be proud of ineffectual, incompetent, petulance in the guise of moral rightousness.

  • Teresa

    Why does the LCBO think that they have the right to control how a liquor is marketed? Isn’t that the responsibility of the producer? With such a respected person as Dan Ackroyd, I can’t believe the province has banned it. What next prohibition?

  • Brad Jay

    That has gone against my CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to freedom of choice …
    Put it on the shelves and let US decide ..When did our
    Government become my parent and tell me whats good for me or not ? please tell me ….

  • daKid

    In the day and age kids love the cheap beer/liquor, Im 17 and don’t have the money to be spending extra dollars on quality. I really don’t see why they banned it. I wouldn’t of bought it anyways.

  • Jessica R

    The govt (and those who work for it) have failed to surprise me with their dogmatic stupidity and determination to not turn a profit -or in general, make sense.
    Yet they say they’re for Canadians…mmm-hmmm. All but Dan Ackroyd, I guess. Thanks for doing my thinking for me, Ontario, that’s just fabulous. I think my IQ drops 50 points when you do that.
    I’d buy the Vodka (in the US, apparently), enjoy the award-winning beverage and then use the skull as a fishbowl.
    I wonder if the govt would ban skull fishbowls for some reason? After all, what bad message would that send to an innocent domesticated, underage fish?
    Oh, and SNL/Ghostbuseter is way cool. Just ask my husband, who is singing the theme song in the shower RIGHT NOW. ;p

  • Paula

    “We are shocked, however, that Dan Aykroyd is involved in something marginally cool.”

    Fuck you.

  • Jacobus

    Isn’t this just typical of the gestapo mentality of the LCBO. It really makes me furious when time and time again the narrow minded governing body of alcohol in this province takes it upon themselves in demi-god fashion to make decisions on my behalf. Get over it LCBO it’s my judgment my decision NOT! yours. Where the hell do you get off making decisions for me, you are not qualified to make rational decisions on my behalf. If the alcohol is available on this planet it is your soul responsibility to make it available to me and I will make the decision as to whether or not I wish to make the purchase NOT YOURS!

  • Gavin

    “We are shocked, however, that Dan Aykroyd is involved in something marginally cool.”

    If you wanted to provide credentials for being lame and not getting anything at all about what cool is, you just did it.

  • bob

    If the skull represents death, then it’s the perfect bottle. people would then know that you can die from drinking too much