DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Ben 'n' Jerry's of Whiskey

Just picked up a bottle of Jon, Mark and Robbo's whiskey, "The Smokey Peaty One". Following the same marketing philosophy as Nantucket Nectars fruit juices and Ben 'n' Jerry's ice cream, these three "regular guys" are trying to change the face of scotch. First off, who the hell doesn't like fun-lovin', whiskey-swillin' lads who decided to make their vice, er, hobby, into their careers? Second, it gives the whiskey buyer something that every other scotch has failed to do: be unintimidating to the novice. Genius. And their company was only launched in June of 2005! Wait, how long has scotch been around with its complicated regions, agings, labels and descriptions without doing this?

What can I say. I got exactly what I thought I'd get. There's no mystery involved, unlike buying a Lagavulin or Oban for the first time. The labels say it all. You have four choices: 1 - Smokey/Peaty, 2 - Rich/Spicy, 3 - Smooth/Sweet, and now---god help us--- 4 - Fresh/Fruity. Not sure if the average whiskey buyer (me) would purchase that last one, but maybe it's geared toward the wine cooler set ...

These pals have taken the mystery out of scotch buying. But isn't mystery part of the excitement of it? The feeling like you're about to put some kind of rare jewelry up to your lips? Jon, Mark and Robbo want to take that away from us with their delicious, inexpensive ($26), easy-to-understand blends, for fuck's sake.

Part of me wants to rant but another part wants to celebrate. I remain conflicted. Let me have another couple of glasses before I make my final decision ...


At 5:31 AM, Blogger The Jeff Next Door said...

It looks as if these are blended whiskeys? I think that's part of the reason that such straightforward marketing makes sense; that, and the price range they're playing in.

Don't get me wrong, there are far too many pretentious, overpriced scotch whiskeys out there these days -- my beloved Macallan sadly having fallen into said category. Yet, I have to temper my natural enthusiasm for iconoclasm. Just as there are some wonderful wines out there available at table-wine prices, it doesn't mean that there isn't still some wonderfully delicious complexity to be had for a little more money.

I guess that's judgemental enough for someone who hasn't tried them yet! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


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