Thursday, October 25, 2012
Am I Too Hard on Whiskey?
Lately, I've had a few comments suggesting that maybe I'm too negative about whiskey, that there's nothing out there I like. Heck, maybe I don't even like whiskey at all. While I make light of it, it's a legitimate question: am I being too hard on whiskey?
I certainly admit to being a hard judge. I started this blog as recommendations for a small group of readers who were mostly my friends. My feeling was that if I recommended something for them to spend their hard earned money on, it was going to be something I felt strongly about.
Even though the audience for the blog has grown by leaps and bounds since then, I still take that same attitude. I will always honestly say what I feel about a whiskey. That doesn't mean any given reader will agree with me, but it's all I can do. For that matter, there are a number of blogs out there that give mostly very positive reviews. That's not a criticism of those blogs, and I have no reason to believe they are not being every bit as honest as I am, but if you mostly want to hear about how good most whiskey is, there are a lot of people who have palates that will accommodate you.
That being said, I don't think it's all my fault. As I recently wrote, the Golden Age of Whiskey is over, and I honestly feel that the new releases we are seeing these days (and new releases are what most bloggers write about) are simply not as good as they used to be. It used to be that new releases meant a company had something different to offer, perhaps something older, higher proof or a unique mashbill. Over the last few years though, spirits companies have figured out that people like new releases and will buy them, so you get high priced line extensions that aren't really much different from current offerings, though there is usually some story to go along with them (survived a tornado, aged on a boat, named for a felony, etc.).
The truth is that I do like lots of whiskey. In another few months, I'll release my holiday gift suggestions, and I've had no problem compiling them from this year's new releases. While I won't swoon over every new bottling, there's plenty out there that I like and even love, though it's not usually the most hyped new release.