Look, I'm an easy going guy. I live by the motto "don't be a dick." That said, when you've run a site about bourbon for as long as I have, it's hard not to find occasional annoyances in the bourbon world. And hey, I'm human, I get annoyed just like anyone else. Though probably less so...I mean bourbon helps with that too.
1. Brittle or Messy Wax.
I love bourbon. I'd rather have bourbon in my glass than almost anything else. But sometimes it seems that companies are going so far out of their way to fancy up the bottle that they forget that some of us actually want to get into the damn thing. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a knife out to cut through the tough, cheap wax it was dipped in. And if you try to open a bottle of Knob Creek, you will shatter the wax. There will be pieces on your counter, on your floor, in the sink, and maybe in the dog (if you aren't fast enough or they are particularly curious).
As far as I'm concerned, there is one company who does a wax dip correctly, and that is Maker's Mark. The wax is soft and smooth. It tears easily and comes off without making a mess on your counter or floor. Everyone else, just use some foil or something.
I dislike excess packaging. A cardboard and metal tube or box? Annoying. A wooden box where the bottle needs to be glued in in order to keep it from falling out? Super annoying. Not only is it less convenient to get to the Bourbon and less convenient to store, but there is excess trash to throw away. I tend to be super tree-huggy when it comes to trash. I want to make as little as possible.
3. Agglomerated Cork Closures.
Just about a year ago, I wrote an entire post about how much I dislike this type of "particle cork" closure. And I'll sum it up for you now. They break! Damn near every broken cork I've had to fish out of a bottle has been this type of closure. I will say that as of right now, I have zero open bottles that use this. That makes me very happy. But Bulleit? I'm looking at you. You seem to be the biggest offender of the "regulars" on my shelf I keep extra synthetic corks on hand to pop into Bulleit bottles they break so often.
Yeah, this is interesting coming from a blogger, right? But I don't mean whiskey geeks that are enthusiastic on the internet. We are a dime a dozen, and if you were annoyed by them, you wouldn't be here to read this and I wouldn't read the scores of whiskey blog posts that I read each week. I like people who are exploring things and I like reading things from people who really do know their stuff. Those people that I get annoyed by are the ones who tell you all the "facts" they've read about bourbon. The myth-spreaders that tell you Kentucky is the only place you can make bourbon. I try not to let this one annoy me too much. But when they switch from telling people falsehoods about bourbon to telling them how they _should_ enjoy theirs? That's when my hackles go up. How someone enjoys their whiskey is their own damn business. Want it on the rocks? Cool. Want it in soda? Fine, it's your bourbon.
5. Whiskey Cynics.
This is where it goes from sometimes annoying me to sometimes angering me. There are people in this world that seem to think that everyone is out to get them. That conspiracy lurks behind every corner. And the more logical hurdles that they have to go through to get to their conclusion, the more they are convinced it must be true. These people seem to be a minority of the whiskey community, but they are a very vocal minority. And they come at you with guns blazing. These whiskey cynics think every blogger is a shill for the companies. Especially if said blogger has a PR contact for a company or gets samples from them.
And I'm speaking from experience here, these people seem to think that after multiple years of honesty, that people are just willing to throw away their reputations for a sample of bourbon worth, at most, $20. And when you call them on it, they tell you things like "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen." Yeah, that actually happened. I don't tend to publish these comments because I try not to interact with trolls, but I read them all.
And then there are the bloggers who have gone from being fans of whiskey to the "guardians of purity" for the industry. These guys seem to think that being a cynic means you are being edgy or that you are "sticking it to the man." But really, you're just being a dick. And like I said at the top, I try to live by the mantra of "don't be a dick."
Ok, I could go on forever on that last one, but I won't. Instead, if you've made it this far, I want to reward you. I was recently sent a box of goodies by the PR team that represents Bulleit. Some of them, I can't send out because they are alcohol and it is illegal to mail that, others I opened and in the process made them unpresentable for a giveaway. But there were a couple that I thought would be fun to share. I have a winter hat and a mini-flask keychain that I would love to send to you.
You can enter the giveaway using the form below, please only enter once. I’m planning to remove duplicates before I randomly pick a winner so it won’t help your chances. There will be two winners chosen one getting each item. All I’m asking in return is that you answer a question. The answers will help inform future posts and in an anonymized and aggregate sort of way may end up in a future post on their own.
Good Luck! You have until Friday, January 26th to enter (you need to "log-in" so I can receive your email address to notify you if you win, either log-in method gets me that).
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