Whisky Magazine Issue 86
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I could hardly believe my ears when I heard that the three-man Whiskey Professor team had been given the chop and not just because we gave them the Icons of Whisky awards last year.
For those that don't live in the US, the Whiskey Professors were Beam Global's education team. They travelled across the country giving tastings and organising debates to highlight the differences and similarities between Scotch and Bourbon. We felt that this was an innovative approach to consumer education, hence they won the Global Whisky Ambassador award 2009.
Really we have to ask ourselves what is the price of education in a recession. I know that we have been going through one of the hardest economic times since year whenever, 1929 actually, but sometimes I do wonder about why these decisions are made.
The consumer surely needs more guidance and encouragement to part with their money when things get tight. We all like a drink and want to feel we are getting value for money.
I assume that the main rationale is to save money, but does that do the public any good?
What Beam had was a three man hit squad, an education team par excellence. While by getting rid of them the company saves money, where does that leave the consumer who wants to know more about bourbon and who, by being given an educated choice, may buy Beam's products and increase the firms profits.
Being a curious journalist type, off went a swift email to see what the company line was.
The response was fluffy: “As we work t...