Good morning folks! I’m on the road traveling with the family to Colorado Springs for vacation so my posts are going to be irregular to say the least until after I get back. In my absence I thought I’d share a quick post submitted by B&B reader Matt Propst. Matt, who resides in the greater Boston area, is one of several readers who have expressed an interest in becoming a regular contributor to the blog. Let’s consider this a “try out” post. Have a read and let me know what you think in the comments. We’ve got several others to audition over the next few weeks so I hope you’ll weigh in on those as well. So without further ado, here’s what Matt had to say in response to the recent article in the Atlantic Wire about flavored whiskey.
What exactly is The Atlantic Wire trying to accomplish by putting out a piece called ‘Real Gentlemen Prefer Flavored Whiskey’? The title alone seems to be a loaded statement. How does one define a gentleman? That’s a topic I’m not going to try to consider. Also worth noting, they used the spelling for the distilled spirit that includes the ‘e’. The article tries to put some sort of logic behind the trend of flavored whiskies. Honey, cinnamon, cherry – all seem to be flavors of whiskey these days. While I cannot say with certainty what all the marketing is about, or if it’s working, I can say that flavored whiskies allowed me to start learning what I liked about whiskey.
When I began trying more distilled spirits a few years ago, I can say I wasn’t too enthusiastic about bourbon or rye. It was the advice of a friend suggesting I try Wild Turkey American Honey that allowed me to soften my opinion of the drink. After working my way through a bottle I realized I was searching for ways to describe what I liked and did not like with the product. For me that searched led to researching different flavor profiles of whiskies, and learning things such as how different mash bills and ingredients create different flavors and smells. Learning that concept made me want to try more varieties of whiskey and find things I really did enjoy.
So what is the end goal for these companies making these flavored whiskies? I’m not sure, but if I were a guy who could help guide these marketing pitches, I’d use flavored whiskey as a stepping stone. Sure you can try to get people who don’t like whiskey to try your product, but that’s just a flavored version of something they know they don’t like. I would target folks who are looking to get into whiskey and don’t know where to start. With that goal in mind, and a focus on user education, companies could increase the number of whiskey drinkers and customers. Educating new consumers, companies have the opportunity to incubate a group of new brand advocates who would be likely to buy the brand’s core products. As the article states it’s important to drink what you like. If companies producing these flavored products are educating their consumers and helping them get into their core products. When the customer is buying the core products I think we can infer they’re finding what they like and enjoying the products, when that becomes the case, I think everyone wins.
~ Matt Propst
Thanks for sharing Matt! Remember folks, let me know what you think about Matt’s POV and if you’d like to hear more from him as a regular contributor to Bourbon & Banter.