Disappointments in whisky in 2010December 13th, 2010
I’m looking back on 2010. Indeed, there’s plenty to be thankful for. But I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and I’m feeling a little grumpy, so I thought I would save the “giving thanks” post for a happier time and focus on my disappointments today.
I can think of several things that disappointed me this year.
Social media abuse
The first one was the regular misuse and abuse of social media by whisky company employees. On several occasions this year, I discovered whisky companies (from the smallest to the largest) artificially pumping up their brands with their “anonymous” comments here on WDJK. I addressed each abuse as I discovered them, so I am not going to rehash it here. (Plus, some of the companies I caught now have implemented policies to ensure this doesn’t happen again.)
But the fact remains that this kind of stuff is going on. And if it’s happening here, then it’s happening on other social media sites too. It’s not right, and the whisky companies should know better.
False or misleading statements
A second thing disappointed me: False statements by whisky companies. I’ve addressed this here earlier this year. For example, if it’s NOT your first new whisky in more than 50 years, then why are you telling everyone that it is? Sure it sounds nice, and it’s a great marketing tool. I’m even thrilled that you came out with a new whisky, and I like it too! But it’s not your first new whisky in more than 50 years, and it shouldn’t have been promoted as such.
Paying to play
Another thing that disappointed me: How many times must I say that you can’t pay for editorial exposure in Malt Advocate ? Just last week, someone in the business asked me how we determine what gets written in our New Products section. The person wanted to know if they had to pay to get one of their whiskies written up there. No, you just have to send us a press release and a review sample. (I guess I have to say it a few more times, which is why I am listing it here today.)
And now to the last one. This one isn’t as much disappointing as it is sad. So many craft distillers are putting out new whiskeys right now. For most, the potential of the whiskeys are there, but they’re being released too soon. They’re just immature, and they need more aging. (Okay, some of them probably won’t get better no matter how long they are aged in wood, but I think this is the minority, not the majority.)
Look, I understand the need for some of these small craft distillers to get returns on their investments to pay mounting bills. (And I am also aware that young whiskeys can be great in cocktails, but I am speaking from the point of view of a whiskey drinker here, not a mixologist.) I would rather you make gin or vodka or unaged rum and let your whiskey mature a little longer, than sell your whisky before it is mature.
What do you think?
How about you? Do you agree or disagree with me? And please explain.
Finally, is there anything that disappointed you this year? If so, what?
P.S. I promise to not be this grumpy every morning.