Monday, January 21, 2013

Fail-safe distilleries

While it is hard to imagine any production process to work flawlessly, it seems I sometimes come acros distilleries of which it seems hard to find bottlings independent or official that are subpar. And of course this perception is entirely personal. It may simply be a draw of luck that what I sampled of a particular distillery just happens to be great, and that their inferior product just manages to evade my palate. Yet, when I convey these findings to fellow enthusiasts, more often than not they find these same distilleries to be of higher average standard than others. So it may simply not be coincidence too.

Interestingly, and in a sense luckily, quite a few of these distilleries are largely ignored by the general audience.
It is interesting, because it seems to indicate that the general audience, even in a market that is so keen on quality, is still swayed by commerce and marketing, rather than by a product that is consistently of high standard. And I can add, before you'd accuse me of elitarian arrogance, that I am myself not immune.
It is lucky, since a heightened attention would obviously raise the prices of the distillates of such a distillery. As a consequence, among my circle of fellow enthusiasts, we often tell each other to shush about certain distilleries, to keep the secret of which distilleries are almost fail-safe.

So since local protocol requires me not to name them, I will only refer to them in less obvious terms. At any rate you should just as well not advise your friends to try anything of the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, nor point any of your fellows to a distillery that has been distilling the finest highland malt whisky since 1898. One should take care not to utter the name of the distillery behind the swirling mists around the isle of mull. Don't tell any one about what can be found at the misty shores of the Dornoch Firth, nor about that speyside gem that was founded in 1897.