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Which distillery runs the best society?

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Which distillery runs the best society?

Aberlour Club Bar
0
No votes
Ardbeg Committee
6
19%
The Balvenie Club
0
No votes
Friends of the Classic Malts
0
No votes
Dalmore Fellowship
0
No votes
Glenmorangie Kindred Spirits
0
No votes
Isle of Jura Club
0
No votes
Friends of Laphroag
25
81%
Old Pulteney Society
0
No votes
Scapa Crew
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 31

Which distillery runs the best society?

Postby Jan » Mon May 08, 2006 8:01 pm

Are you a member of one or more of the distillery societys/clubs/committees and if yes, which one do you think is the best one? (In terms of information level, benefits, etc.)

Personally I’m a Friend of Laphroaig and Ardbeg Committee member. Of these two I find that Laphroaig are doing by far the best job, sending occasional newsletters with information, a Christmas greeting, not to mention a birthday e-card with an offer of discount on my birthday. (I know it’s pure marketing and sent out automatically, but it took me by surprise and I was genuinely happy, that they “remembered” me.)

In contrast, Ardbeg started out very nicely with a little welcome package and a few marketing messages since, but for the past many months; nothing. It irks me a little that I have to read about new bottlings elsewhere, I would kinda expect to receive some information from Ardbeg when they had something new for me to spend my money on.

What are your experiences?

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Mr Ellen » Mon May 08, 2006 8:49 pm

Nice poll Jan and by the way, Congratulations to the Goldmember title. :D

I am a member of the following "societies":

Aberlour Companions
Ardbeg Committee
Friends Of The Classic Malts
Friends Of Laphroaig
Glenmorangie Kindred Spirits
Isle Of Jura Club
Scapa Crew

I agree that Ardbeg started out with a riot. Over the first 1-2 years I received lots of promotional stuff and offers to buy exclusive bottlings and different invitations. But for the last two years I think I have received in total 2-3 letters from the Committee. I don't know whether this is due to lack of time or interest from the Ardbeg Committee Centre. It's really frustrating though. First they spoil you with newsletters etc. and then they fall asleep and forget you completely.

Glenmorangie sends out a newsletter once in awhile. Not too often and in comparison with Ardbeg or Laphroaig no special stuff for members.

Aberlour is pretty good. Plenty of information and regularly. Special invitations to Aberlour Dinners and tastings, Competitions etc.

From Scapa Crew I received a Certificate and so far (it's still a rather new Society) a couple of newsletters.

Isle Of Jura - So far only a couple of newsletters and the chance to win bottlings if you participate in their competitions.

Friends Of The Classic Malts - They, too started out with fantastic newsletters, invitations and the possibility to buy exclusive stuff for members only. But the last 2-3 years they have become a "Silent Still" too, just like Ardbeg.
It makes you wonder if they still exist!! :? They used to send mail regularly from each and every distillery, one at a time.

Laphroaig is the one to celebrate. They seem to "remember" you by sending out Distillery News, Christmas cards and Happy Birthday notifications. You also get the chance to buy special bottlings at a fair price and for members only. I came over a special 11 year old Laphroaig bottling this way. Exclusive to Friends Of Laphroaig to commemorate its 10th Anniversary and limited to only 750 signed (by Robin Shields) bottles. Now, that's classy!!! :D . Regularly you get the chance to buy limited bottlings like this.

I think many of the giants try to save money by reducing their postage fees and printing costs but that shouldn't keep them from sending you regular newsletters by E-mail.

I hope they read this and start spoiling us again... :wink:

Cheers
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Postby Lawrence » Mon May 08, 2006 9:59 pm

I belong to several including many fo the ones listed and also the Glenfarclas group but find Laphroaig and Aberlour to be the best. Laphroaig does a great job in keeping you informed as does Aberlour. Aberlour has even sent me various sets of glasses. I've not heard from Ardbeg in a while but they've been pretty good, I think the enormous demand on their resources took them by surprise.

Both Laphroaig and Aberlour have ALWAYS answered my emails, Aberlour regarding issues about product and Laphroaig was absolutely top flight when I bought a faked 30 year old off ebay (they gave me and all the other victims replacement 30's even though Laphroaig had nothing to do with the sale.)

I even met up with the fellow in charge of anti counterfeiting and he drove me to a meeting where I swore out a complaint against the seller. In any case this doesn't relate to the website directly except I initiated contact through the website.
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Postby rthomson » Mon May 08, 2006 11:34 pm

I'm not in a position to vote on this poll as I'm only a member of the Ardbeg Committee. I joined last August and received my welcome packet about two weeks ago. It's clear, though, from the previous posts that they have been more active with the committee in the past and perhaps they'll return to that.

When I visited Laphroaig last October I saw the patch of field where members place their flags. It must have been knee-deep with water. They have fun with it and offer rain boots for those who want to plant a flag during the watery times. They seemed to take pride in their members and in the little flag field.

Congrats on Gold Member status, Jan!

Cheers,
Ron
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Postby MGillespie » Tue May 09, 2006 1:20 am

Congratulations, Jan...your postings indexing tasting notes will be used for years to come!

As far as the societies...I'm a member of many of them, and would have to rank Laphroaig as the most communicative, followed by Aberlour, Dalmore, and Jura. As far as the US distilleries go, Maker's Mark's Ambassadors program is the best of the bunch...with regular e-mails and the occasional goodie in the mail.

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 09, 2006 9:28 am

Friends of Laphroaig is surely the greatest, but it was even better in the beginning (I am member 2899). They sent me a video of the distillery, and a mousemat as Christmas presents. When Prince Charles visited, they sent friends an original copy of the Islay and Jura magazine that covered the event. The plots was a brilliant idea and I never tire of telling people about it.

Now it is all electronic, but I suppose it is unrealistic to expect them to offer the same service for so many members. I suspect that all membership schemes start out with high ideals but soon get swamped by the numbers.
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Postby Frodo » Tue May 09, 2006 2:58 pm

I'm only a member of Makers Mark and Jura, but of those, MM bombs me with E-mails. Nothing in terms of promotional material, but it looks like they want to keep in contact. Jura seems to run their society more...haphazard by comparison.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Tue May 09, 2006 3:13 pm

I only belong to Friends of Laphroiag, Classic Malts and the Ardbeg Committee, whilst Laphroiag seems to come out on top for what they send, I found that wearing the Ardbeg Committee badge at tastings and other shows can get me an extra tasting of something from 'under the counter'.

Cheers, Paul
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Postby parvus » Wed May 10, 2006 12:34 am

I joined the Ardbeg committee earlier in the year, I saw no mention of a package being sent, is this something they don't mention, as a bit of a surprise?

Now i'm all excited for something in the mail!
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Postby rthomson » Wed May 10, 2006 7:01 am

When I joined the Ardbeg Committee I received no mention of a welcome packet either. In fact, I had forgotten that I had joined. When it arrived eight months later it was a great surprise and I was quite excited to open it! Maybe that was their plan all along :P :P

Ron
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Postby bamber » Wed May 10, 2006 11:28 am

Wow Laphroaig sounds great. Shame I'm not so keen on their whisky (save the 15yo and 30yo, which I've only had 1 dram of) :( Just hearing about their society makes me want to but a bottle.

Maybe I'll pick up another bottle of the 15yo when it is on special offer at the supermarket again.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed May 10, 2006 3:45 pm

Bamber, you've never had the chance to try the Laphroaig 10?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed May 10, 2006 5:06 pm

I assume that's exactly what he's not so keen on.
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Postby bamber » Wed May 10, 2006 5:23 pm

I've had a couple of bottles each of the 10yo 10yo CS and 1 of the QC, and for some reason I've gone off them all.

The 15yo, which I initially thought a little feeble is the one that grew on me.

I don't often speak of this as it would appear I'm very much out on a limb both with friends at home and friends on the forum :) :oops:
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special?...at the supermarket?...

Postby Muskrat Portage » Wed May 10, 2006 6:22 pm

bamber wrote:Maybe I'll pick up another bottle of the 15yo when it is on special offer at the supermarket again.

Wahhhh, :cry: not fair!
I am pleased to be a FoL (Plot No: 258087) and someday hope to visit my piece of the land and collect my rent. Too bad it doesn't accrue from year to year. I too appreciate the fact that Laphroaig sends out updates by email. M.P.
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Postby Jan » Wed May 10, 2006 7:59 pm

Thank you Anders, Ron, Mark.

Cheers
Jan
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Re: special?...at the supermarket?...

Postby Jan » Wed May 10, 2006 8:01 pm

Muskrat Portage wrote:...and someday hope to visit my piece of the land and collect my rent.


Yes me too, I plan to build a house there some day :wink: :lol:

Interesting feedback, all. Seems Laphroaig is just doing an outstanding job of it.

Cheers
Jan
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Postby MacLover » Fri May 12, 2006 9:51 am

I am a member of the Ardbeg Committee and the Friends of Laphroaig. I like a few others also received my AC welcome package about 1 year after I joined. No complaints as I wasn't expecting one and I enjoyed the unexpected gift in the post.

The FOL is by far better as it feels a more personal (birthday cards..) and more informative (newsletters).

Hopefully I will be able to stake my claim on my piece of Islay in the near future.
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Whisky associations

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat May 13, 2006 1:52 am

I have to admit that I hadn't heard or found several of these whisky web clubs. I'll be logging out to do a quick sniff around the 'net, now. Pete
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Postby Admiral » Sat May 13, 2006 11:46 pm

I'm coming in late (as usual :) ) but the poll results suggest Laphroaig is head and shoulders over the rest.

I'm actually a member of all of the groups listed in the poll, with the exception of Balvenie

It's hard to really fault or complain about these groups, given that there's no financial outlay on our part. If we paid joining fees or subscriptions, then you could understand, but since its free to sign on to these, we should be grateful for whatever info, newsletters and the occasional offer we get in return.

Notwithstanding that, I voted Laphroaig, and I agree with most of the other comments....they do seem to go the extra mile.

CHeers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 14, 2006 5:01 am

If you go the extra mile at Laphroaig, you end up at Lagavulin.

I could have sworn I'd joined the FOL at some point, but they had no record of it when I visited, and I haven't received any of the mentioned goodies, so I guess I was dreaming. I am an Ardbeg Committee member and a Friend of the Classic Malts. Get the odd mailing from them each now and then. No vote, I don't feel strongly about it, but I think I'd better take another shot at Laphroaig at some point.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun May 14, 2006 4:03 pm

but I think I'd better take another shot at Laphroaig at some point.


No time like the present. You can sign up on line, go on Mr. T, go for it.
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Postby Mr Ellen » Tue May 16, 2006 12:08 pm

It seems Ardbeg have been following our discussion. Today, (after a very long time of silence from Ardbeg Committee) I finally received a new issue of the "Momentous Minutes" in my mailbox. :)

Cheers
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Postby parvus » Tue May 16, 2006 12:29 pm

You did? That's odd, mine hasn't arrived yet. What month is it for? The latest one I see on their site is October 2004.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 16, 2006 12:42 pm

I get lots of copies. I can never remember my username and password for their website so I have to reregister every time I want to buy something. Each registration gets me another copy of each mailshot. They always arrive in the same post, in identical envelopes.
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Postby Mr Ellen » Tue May 16, 2006 1:04 pm

parvus wrote:You did? That's odd, mine hasn't arrived yet. What month is it for? The latest one I see on their site is October 2004.


It's Issue #7, May 2006. I can't even remember when I received the last issue.

Cheers
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 16, 2006 6:59 pm

There is mention on the website of an MM pending. (Obviously the website is not up-to-the-minute, either.) They are pretty sporadic. I don't mind, it's always a treat to receive it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 16, 2006 8:23 pm

Speak of the devil! Just arrived in the mail. And moments later, the UPS truck.... See "recent purchase".
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Postby MGillespie » Thu May 18, 2006 2:33 am

Mine arrived today, but without the accompanying UPS truck... :(

Mark
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Laphroaig

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:08 am

I'm surprised, and pleased, Laphroaig just sent me an email congratulating me on my 51st birthday, which I celebrate today. And a further discount at the Laphroaig shop! It's the little touches that make theirs the best distillery association. Musky Pete
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Postby parvus » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:43 am

Happy Birthday, Musky.

Regarding Laphroaig, has anyone heard any more on this:
As a result, this year's festival offering will be a special 1994 distillery bottling at full cask strength (non chill filtered of course). The good news for those of you who cannot come to the island is that we will put aside some of these bottles so that you can buy them online. I will give you more details when we have bottled the nectar!


I recieved this in an email a while back, and I was wondering whatever happend to the offer.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:15 am

Happy birthday Musky. Enjoy your day!

Christian
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Postby Frodo » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:42 am

Happy Birthday Musky, and many more...
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Postby rthomson » Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:44 pm

Happy birthday, Musky. That does speak well for Lahproaig.

Cheers,
Ron
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:04 pm

Felicitous salutations on the day, Mr P, you young pup. Wait 'til you're 51 1/2, like me. It's hell, I tell you!
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