Whisky Advocate

Whisky reviews “Shelf Talkers” now online for printing

February 4th, 2011

This is more for the whisky companies, importers, distributors, and retailers. But, if you go to our online Buyer’s Guide (click on the link above in the header), you can now print a shelf talker of a review you are interested in. The link is below the review.

Retailers, you can now put them on their shelves below the the whisky to help guide consumers on a whisky they will like. (And it just might help you sell more whisky too!)

It just went live yesterday, so if you see any glitches, please let us know.

12 Responses to “Whisky reviews “Shelf Talkers” now online for printing”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    I love shelf talkers. My only problem with them is that sometimes they don’t talk about what they’re supposed to. Instead, they talk about one which might be confused with it. They talk about and anejo, when they’re sitting next to a reposado, a first edition cask strength special edition, when they’re sitting next to the more run of the mill fourth edition, an ’08 vintage, when they’re sitting next to the ’10.

    Retailers, take notice and make sure that the shelf talker you are printing out actually corresponds with the product on your shelf. Sometimes little details of the name edition or packaging are all there is to signal that what you have in your store is a different product than the shelf talker you’re printing out.

  2. Keith Sexton says:

    I think the review for Old Pulteney 17 must be a review for something else (grain whisky?).

  3. JR says:

    I hope it will be abundantly clear when the tasting note was written. At least that way consumers (alert ones, at least) will be able to decide whether that 5-year-old tasting note has any validity. With wine you can at least compare the vintage. I used to gather up all the shelf talkers that referred to previous vintages, bring them to the register and with utmost courtesy hand them to the person there, pointing out–oh so politely–that they were out of date. It’s the rare retailer who will keep their talkers current (I suspect it’ll be distributors who bring ’em around more than retailers printing them out).

  4. two-bit cowboy says:

    As a retailer, I don’t use them. A gal at one of our tastings told me the store in her town uses them and asked why I don’t. I told her it’s my job to guide folks to the whiskys that agree with their likes. Talking “whisky” is more fun than having somebody read a third person’s views (although your views are spot on in my book, John). Of course I must add that I’m able to be biased because we don’t have employees that we have to train and trust to pass on the information.

    I looked through a few of the shelf talkers on MA yesterday: The GlenDronachs and The BenRiachs. I agree with JR @ 3; the talkers — to be useful — must include a date or year of the whisky being reviewed. If folks aren’t paying attention to the issue in which the review appeared, confusion and misinformation about a particular expression will follow. For example, reviews of two distincly different GlenDronach 12s contradict each other. The older one says the 12 is better than the 15, then you look at the newer 15 and it says it’s the best of the bunch (12, 15, and 18 all reviewed in the same issue of MA). A ton of work to get those things sorted out, but …

    • Scribe says:

      Two-bit, I applaud your approach. I’m not a retailer, just a consumer. As I got into the world of whiskey/whisky more than five years ago, there were two influences I could count on: One was John and “Malt Advocate”…and the other was a retailer I found nearby whose tastes mirrored my own, Pat, at Bayway, who John has referenced before. While I don’t have the “big budgets” others might for high-end purchases, there’s nothing better for me than stopping by Bayway…referencing one of John’s reviews…and then asking Pat his opinion. The discussions that ensue are far more valuable to me than reading a “shelf talker,” which is especially true as the prices for our “hobby” continue to rise! In my years of working with him, there’s only been one bottle where our opinions were in disagreement…not a bad track record! In the end, it’s about tasting and defining what you like…but like any hobby, it sure is helpful to have others around who know more than I do! 🙂

    • Scott says:

      Two-bit the two contradictor GlenDronachs are from two different bottlings. The older Pernod release and the newer one under BenRiach company. The proofs are the way to tell them apart, but I agree it is hard to catch something like that unless you are knowledgeable and paying attention. I’ve had plenty of salemen bring in shelf talkers that I put up to make them feel happy then chuck out the next day because of stuff like that.
      I like shelf talkers because they appeal to different customers. I personally love to talk scotch and if I see a person browsing the talkers I’ll strike up a conversation. But there are some that prefer the talkers. Not sure if they think that the staff isn’t knowledgeable because of how most retail stores are today or if that is just their preferred learning method. One thing I do know is those talkers can be a life saver during the holidays when everything is a rush!
      Thanks for making it easy to print them off John, that’s a pretty nice new feature.

  5. MD says:

    I find shelf talkers a little helpful but so many times the ST doesn’t match the bottle. When I see that, I take out my pen & cross out what is wrong so it doesn’t deceive other shoppers. It really ticks me off to see the wrong ST.

  6. John Hansell says:

    We’re looking into converting the Volume and Issue information to a date (e.g., Fall 2010). Stay tuned.

    Thanks everyone for your comments.

  7. DavidG says:

    is it possible to add a function where we can search by bottler, not just distillery?

  8. Scott Ferguson says:

    I just found these shelf talkers and i’m so impressed with them…how nice they will be when hosting montly meetings / tastings just to at least have them hanging around for guests to see and read. Great idea.

  9. Matt MacLean says:

    LOVE the shelf takers!!! What individuals will begin to realize that from concept to the printed page, there’s room for adjustments. I am not in the retail industries and all the techinical aspects of marketing, however when your buying scotch of any high rating typically I have found there are some reasonable and some more, lets say obtainable to save for. Look forward to see the shelf taker for the “Legacy” edition from John Ramsey. Hint, Hint, John:)

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