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Issue 129 - Mainstream Whiskey

Whisky Magazine Issue 129
July 2015


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Mainstream Whiskey

The news is booze

If you subscribe to this magazine or have even picked it up in your local bookshop, you are likely to have more than a passing interest in whiskey. This magazine falls in the food, lifestyle, hobby and luxury categories for retailers. In other words, you're not opening these pages for news that will impact how you vote, your power bill, oil prices, etc. This is not mainstream media.

Historically, the mainstream media has not covered whiskey. The business media follows whiskey's publicly traded companies and occasionally, political reporters find whiskey-related bills up for vote. But Scotch, Bourbon and Irish whiskey typically do not capture the interest of normal people.

All of this is changing.

Whiskey is beginning to leapfrog the enthusiasts and become interesting to everyday consumers, even those who don't even drink. I first noticed this trend during the Maker's Mark proof-lowering debacle in 2013. The story made above the fold front page news, trended on Twitter and was the No. 1 business story on Google News.

I brushed the Maker's story off as a slow news day, but we saw this repeated with the Tennessee barrel law fight. Then Suntory acquiring Jim Beam, the rise of Japanese whisky and the potential impact of Scottish independence on whiskey. Finally, of course, the Pappy Van Winkle saga from the lack thereof to the thievery that's now become a Kentucky drama akin to the popular TV series Justified.

Another common storyline, I fully admit to playing a role –...

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