aback by its beauty you can almost not believe you made it yourself. But you did make it yourself. While it may not be representative of your everyday releases, it is representative of your skill. You always need to put your best foot forward. That’s the stuff to submit to a competition. Let’s say that you have that absolute ringer of a single barrel. You have a large enough supply in your warehouse to substantiate some rapid growth. A well-timed entry and win in a notable competition could be the exact catalyst to get meetings with new and larger distributors in new and larger markets. Everyone wants to have the next “big thing.” We can also look at a scenario where your whiskey is still in its infancy as a viable product for the mass market. You have some other products in distribution, but your whiskey is distillery only. Getting excitement for the future of your whiskey being hitting the market can be beneficial too. Many whiskey drinkers also drink other spirits. Hardcore whiskey enthusiasts also like travelling for whiskey.
THE BAD — DRAWBACKS There could be some drawbacks to winning big with a single barrel. The first being that, as mentioned before, you may be unintentionally misrepresenting yourself. The people who get a whiskey that isn’t quite at that same level could be very disappointed in your product. First impressions are everything. Winning back someone let down by the hype is, while not impossible, incredibly difficult. You could also end up having serious issues keeping up demand and you don’t want to over-extend yourself. It’s never good to have to pull back your products in an existing market to supply a new one. Empty slots on shelves get filled with new products if left empty for too long. Don’t give up your spot.
A SPIRIT THIS WELL-CRAFTED DESERVES AN ARTISANAL GLASS.
IN THE END IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s ethical or not to be submitting a single barrel whiskey to a competition. There isn’t a right or wrong answer to that question. The spirit is judged by how it sits in the glass. It’s an opinion about that spirit in that moment. If it’s good, it’s good. That being said, I personally would be quite thrilled with larger competitions further segregating single barrel entries from whiskey that is prepared with the distillery’s normal methods. But that’s just one man’s opinion.
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1/29/19 9:16 AM
George B. Catallo is the “Whiskey Guy” and Floor/Social Media Manager at Parkway Wine and Liquor in Rochester, NY. He has been in the beverage industry since he turned twenty-one and has worked as the Bar Operations Manager of a wine bar, an Assistant Distiller and Supplier Rep for a craft distillery, and has even hosted a spirits review web series on YouTube under the moniker 'Just One Dram.' WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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