MrTattieHeid wrote:Nick, you complain that they play to the collectors' market, yet their strategy makes their product worthless as collectibles. Which is it? (And for the record, a lot of people think the food is pretty good on this road.)
My fear is that the whisky industry will go the same way as brewing in the UK. Special, one off brews started to become fashionable in the early 1990s with a result that they eclipsed the regular brews. There was also a fashion for "independent" brewers which was initially supposed to target the nationals but ended up taking out the bulk of the regionals too. This was backed up to an extent by legislation, but the initial impetus was consumer led.
Now I'm not trying to say that the state of brewing was healthy in the 1980s - I'm not harking back to halcyon days. Choice was limited and there was pressure to move away from secondary fermentation. But now you go into a pub and you'll never have seen any of the beers before - never have heard of the breweries - and probably never see them again. Every pint is pot luck, unless you are lucky enough to find one of the dinosaurs (e.g. Timothy Taylor Landlord) still plugging away. Quality is variable to say the least - some of the stuff is just revolting. And regional styles are dead - anyone and everyone seems to feel the need to make every conceivable style of beer.
My fear is that whisky will go the same way. Bruichladdich, for example, offer 21 expressions on their website. Speyside distilleries are now offering peat monsters. Distilleries across the land are flavouring whiskies with weird and wonderful wine casks. To me, it looks like the start of a slippery slope and I do think Bruichladdich has a lot to answer for.
And I do accept that some people like some Bruichladdich products - but others seem to damn them with faint praise whilst religiously buying them. Don't encourage them! Please. Support the honest distilleries that don't add flavouring; that talk about their whisky and not the wine that used to be in their casks; the ones who bottle good quality product and not the dregs of previous owners whilst promising record breakers in the future. If you can find any of them left.