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Issue 37 - Wow-whathappened?

Whisky Magazine Issue 37
February 2004

 

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Wow-whathappened?

Thelastthreemonthsof2003wereaslivelyasitevergetsinthesedateworldofwhisky. DominicRoskrowlooksathowwhiskyseemedtogeteverywhereforawhile.

IbetthereareloadsofpeoplewhoenjoyedseeingDiageoturngreenlastmonth.Andwhatastrangeendto2003!AfterninemonthsoflivinginabubblethewhiskyworldstarteddoingagoodimpressionofaLondonbusroute;nobigwhiskystoriesforagesandthenthreecomealongatonce.

Cardhuwasandisthebiggestand,dependingonyourpointofview,Diageohaseitherbeenforcedintoamajorclimb-downorithasshownconsiderablematuritybytakingthestingoutofwhathadescalatedintoadisputeofdeeplyseriousproportions.

Itreallywasthestrangestaffair.Wewroteabouttheissuewaybackinthesummer,choosingtotakeanobjectiveandstraightnewsline,thoughourquestioningheadlinehintedatourconcernatthemovetoturnasinglemaltintoavattedproduct.

Wesatbackandwaitedforfireworks.Theynevercame.Infactwegottwolettersofprotest,bothpublishedaslettersofthemonthinIssues34and35.Despitewhatsomehavesuggested,wenevertooktheDiageolineontheissueofCardhu;weacknowledgedthatthecompanyhaseveryrighttodowhatitlikeswithitswhiskyaslongasitislegalandwecouldseethelogicbehindthemove.

ButwefeltuncomfortablewiththeissueofpackagingandwefeelthatDiageohasundonealotofgoodworkandleftitselfopentothesuggestionthatitisnotcommittedtoScotchwhiskybuttoprofitandprofitalone.Thisundoesyearsofhardworktoshowotherwise,andfliesinthefaceofaweightofevidencetothecontrary.

DiageowaschosenasDistilleroftheYearinour2003WhiskyAcademyAwards.Youdon'thavetobeageniustoknowthathaditbeenshort-listedthisyear,itwouldn'thavegotclose.That'sashame.ThepeopleemployedwithintheinternationalgianttopromoteandselltheClassicMaltsrangeandthespecia...

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