So…how many ways can we tackle the issue of feeling like the industry is taking the piss out of us?
It is, I must admit, getting tiresome being the squeaky wheel. I’m sure it’s equally irksome to hear it all the time. Some, like Saint Serge over at Whiskyfun.com, seem to have struck a nice balance between saying what needs to be said and still having fun at the same time. Serge is an anomaly, though, and his access to whisky is unprecedented. That certainly changes the game. Ergo, his issues are not necessarily ours. Having said that…even Serge buries a lot of his criticisms under humour and plenty o’ words. It’s easy to gloss over the underlying message if one sees fit.
But I digress.
I’ve shared these thoughts a few times over the past year or two, but the situation seems to have become even worse of late. We keep looking for the bubble to burst, and it continues to defy both logic and past trends. I say this from a point of being days away from closing up shop. Disillusion is rampant lately. And running a site like this only perpetuates the machinations of an industry mad with power. I’ve reached a point where I no longer want to publicly promote products that only continue to increase in price and, in turn, price me out of the game. At some point we have to recognize lunacy. Twice this week alone I nearly put up a post saying ‘I’m out.’ It remains to be determined if that will happen.
I took a bit of a smackdown last week in which it was suggested that if I was one of the ones who had helped the industry reach this point, I needed to either swallow it all (marketing/packaging/etc) or walk away completely. Fuck that. I love this drink. I’ve given a lot to it. Financially and otherwise. In other words…I’ve paid for the right to have a voice.
Anyway…before I get heated and nasty…let’s move on.
I’m wondering if anyone else if eyeing grain whiskies lately with as much cynicism as I am. I keep seeing more and more of them on the shelves. Independents, mostly, but all sorts, really. Let’s be clear about what we’re discussing in grain whiskies: spirit made in continuous stills, in vast stringently controlled conditions (i.e. no room for personality-development), generally poorer cask policies (multi-uses, dead barrel syndrome, etc), cheaper component grains (i.e. corn), etc etc. It is as much a blank check as non-age-stated whiskies, when you think about it. If these drinks don’t sell for grossly less than malts, there is something seriously wrong. Just you wait, friends…this is the new NAS.
Appreciate the ongoing dialogues here, as always. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm of late. Perhaps we’ll find it again.