Christmas. Fast approaching as always.
I’ve noticed the usual offers in the supermarkets – £20 for a bottle of The Glenlivet for example.
This is great. Isn’t it?
What may be good for the pocket and good for the retail giants isn’t necessarily good for the industry and the experts.
I’m a big fan of the small trader, the experts – the people who really care. Not just with Whisky – but with butchers, bakers, brewers and more. If we cave in to the giant supermarkets, we give in to quality and local produce and to expertise which made it what it is.
OK, so we’d all prefer to pay £20 for a bottle of malt whisky rather than £30 – but where is your supermarket when you want some advise and opinion? Where are they when you want to venture into peated whisky to make a change? Do you take your advice from what profit a supermarket wants to make, or do you listen to someone who knows the distillery and may have been there? Do you try to find someone who also has to answer questions about 200 different product lines, or someone who shares your passion for the spirit, and enjoys it more than you.
I know where I’d rather buy from.
I’ve rarely bought Whisky from a supermarket. That’s the truth.
I happily spent time (and money) browsing the independent specialist – what they have, what they don’t. I speak with the staff, i sample what i can. This has led me down some unexpected routes and some more standard; from Caol Ila to Bladnoch, to The Benriach to Sazerac – this isn’t a standard journey, and it’s made all the more interesting.
So, before you stock up on your standard malts this Christmas – have a thought for the specialist; you’ll be needing them more and more in the future.