Whisky producers: Surprise! Your new whisky isn’t the best thing since sliced bread
Yet so many times they think it is.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many talented whisky-makers out there. I have great respect for what they do, and they’re putting out some very nice, enjoyably diverse whiskies. But they have to be pretty naive to think that every whisky they put out is a classic.
Still, many producers, distributors, retailers and marketers in the industry feel this way. They get upset with me when I don’t give them a great rating.
In some ways, I can’t blame them. They’ve been conditioned to believe all their whiskies are great. These days, it seems like even “average” whiskies can win a medal (for a fee!) and there are recognized voices in the industry reviewing whiskies whose ratings average over 90. It’s no wonder that they get upset when I only give them an 86 (gasp!) which, in my view, is a very good whisky.
But, the really smart whisky producers take off the rose-colored glasses. They learn from constructive criticism, rather than dismissing it or being upset by it. They actually go out and try their competitor’s whiskies–especially the highly rated ones–in attempt to understand how they can improve their own product.
In the long run, it’s the producer who is constantly striving to create the perfect whiskey, although deep down inside they know that such a thing may not exist, who usually comes out on top in the long run.