Distillery Bottlings

Posted 28 January 2019

In the space of a single evening I flew over Dufftown like a bird, submerged myself in a bubbling washback, and admired the London skyline from a roof-top garden. Sounding more like a flight of fancy than an evening of whisky tasting, my near 600 mile journey was made possible through a VR-powered Glenfiddich/Nicholson’s Pubs brand experience. Virtual and augmented realities are now regularly utilised ‘tools’ for brand activation – designed to engender both engagement and word of mouth – whilst being a little bit cool along the way. Even though whisky is a tactile consumable VR is becoming increasingly common – Ardbeg, Glen Ord, Jura and Macallan have all explored experimental experiential experiences (try saying that after a few drams). But, how much virtual can the realities of the whisky world feasibly handle?

Posted 07 November 2018

At times, the wine world is not far removed from that of whisky. Whilst the term “reserve” has no real (or legal) meaning, some wineries will set aside a quantity of their best liquid to mature in expensive old oak. Others will add some fancy gold leaf to the label, hike the price and call it reserve. Many will just put the word on every single bottle they produce and hope that consumers take the bait. Whisky is no different – reserve and other hackneyed phrases such as “select” are increasingly utilised to entice consumers, but at the same time offer no actual useful information. Indeed, in many cases they suggest a level of exceptionality and uniqueness that simply doesn’t exist.

Posted 13 July 2018

Glenfiddich 12 year old is a whisky that everyone recognises - you’ll see it in supermarkets and liquor stores throughout the world, and your dad probably has a bottle in his booze cabinet right now regardless of whether he drinks whisky or not – it’s just always good to be prepared right? It’s a bottle that many experienced enthusiasts tend to write off all too easily - ‘too basic’ and ‘not flavourful enough’. But, this is not a whisky designed for the enthusiast – it’s perhaps the most iconic single malt brand for the casual drinking market – and it’s influence and significance should not be underplayed.

Posted 16 August 2019

Regardless of how passionately you enjoy drinking (and many prefer the drinking to the thinking), if you’re going to put yourself out there as a whisky writer, you should endeavour to offer some analysis and critical thinking. It’s not easy. It takes time. But, whether you’re a keyboard warrior or a seasoned pro, doing the research and offering an objective view allows your audience to make up their own minds based around the facts presented. It’s simply good journalism. And that’s dying.

Posted 17 June 2019

Big age-statements turn heads. They always have done. There’s something innately appealing about exploring a whisky whose maturation has straddled several generations. There’s not all that many distilleries out there who can reliably release (and maintain) 30+ year old age statements from their inventory. But, there’s always been a part of the market who craves these older expressions. Big age-statement whisky has a cachet. A growing one given that the upper end of the market is where prices seem to be rising the fastest. But, whilst fond reverence for whisky’s history is a good thing, there’s also a part of human nature which tends to assume that bigger numbers always equate to better whisky. And that’s a misguided thing.



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