A competition / reward for most tasteless new packaging?
I would boldly suggest that at the end of the year 2007, whisky enthusiasts should nominate the distillery (read:their marketing division) responsible for the most tasteless repackaging scheme of the year, amongst other such categories (most ridiculous wood finish comes to mind).
We already have two prominent candidates, these being the Morrison Bowmore, and Highland Park. Both are well respected and loved distilleries, with fabulous whiskies, but, it seems, also with marketing divisions that should be publicly flocked at sunrise.
The new bottle styles and designs are, of course, a matter of taste. Poor taste if you ask me. They reek of cheapness and lack of finesse. Certainly they will make these products stand out on shop shelves, but not in a positive way. Call me old-fashioned, but no - even the younger crowd cannot like these bottles and packages more, can they?
Perhaps this sign of times should be read as 'easy money floating around for poorly skilled product designers'. Was I a young, starving designer of such objects, I would certainly now make the pilgrimage to a few whisky companies, laugh out loudly at the bottles presented and then march straight to the manager's room ridiculing their lack of being hip, claiming that their product looks outdated, and that I could assist them in their hour of need, all for a mere £150.000 fee.
Disgust, utter disgust. If it is not broken, do not try to mend it.
PS. As for wood finish, I would 'love' to see an Edradour mezcal finish, complete with the worms - or a Bruichladdich reverse armenian brandywood finish QC (young Armenian brandy, aged in a thoroughly soaked Bruichladdich whisky quarter cask)..