Recently we've had more and more questions from travellers visiting Scotland and Ireland wanting to clarify how much whisky they can bring back to the US, or another country. The same goes for other higher alcohol spirits, such as cognac or armagnac, which travellers want to bring back from Europe.
Although taking alcohol on the plane with you is an excellent way to bring back some great bottles that is not available back in the US or your home country, we've heard our fair share of urban legends disguised as educated answers to this very important question.
A lot of travellers are still afraid to bring back whiskey or other liquor because they simply do not know what the law is on air travel with alcohol, which is what we wanted to clarify.
You can bring up to 5 litre (170 oz) of alcoholic beverages with alcohol content between 24% and 70% in your checked luggage. If going back to the US, the first liter of alcohol is duty free. Anything more than one liter will technically be levied a flat rate duty of about $2-$3 a bottle depending on the type of alcohol. In reality, this almost never happens and you're waved through by the US customs agent. The amount to collect is just too small to justify the paperwork.
Although the 5 liter per person limit (for bottles with alcohol content between 24% and 70%) applies on most domestic and international flights, the duty-free amount, and chargeable duty over the duty-free amount, varies by country. See our Flying With Alcohol 101 guide to see the customs laws in your country.