As discussed last week, the time has come to figure out a solution to the fact that whiskey has gotten expensive enough that I can't keep going the way I have been. I received a lot of lovely notes both in the comments and via other means. The gist of most of them was that a big majority of you do not have an objection to reviewers accepting review samples if the trust is there and that I have sufficiently built up that trust already.
Other comments said they would be ok with ads, the issue for me is that ads are ugly and more importantly, they don't pay very well. I think I am already making more from my patrons than I would via ads. I love my patrons. I hope more of you will consider signing up!* The more of you there are, the more I often I will create the "bonus content" that they get.
To that end I've made a couple changes to the Statement of Ethics for the site. The changes are in bold-italic type below. I still plan to buy most of what I review, but will no longer feel that I shouldn't take samples if offered. I will still disclose that acceptance. Both because it is the right thing to do and because I don't want to get fined by the FTC. I love going on distillery tours and will pay for those that I go on. If however I see a good article coming out of it, I have no qualms setting up a private visit.
That's it. I still believe in transparency. I will still end up buying most of what I review, but since the policy has changed, I thought it would be a good idea to call out the changes.
This is document will be kept up to date. Things will be added to as things come up. Edits will be made if circumstances change.
- I do not accept advertising.
- I will not allow a comment that disparages women, men, minority groups, or homosexuals (or anyone else for that matter). I will not allow xenophobic or racist comments on the site.
- I try to buy a lot of what I review, but will accept review samples.
- If I do accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article.
- When I visit a distillery or whiskey event, I pay for my ticket and take the same tours everyone else can. If this is ever not the case, such as a Media Event or a “Sneak Peak,” I will disclose that fact at the beginning of the article. This does not mean I won't set up a private tour/visit if the distillery agrees and it will make a good article.
- There are spirits industry people who I consider friends. If I ever review one of their products, I will disclose that fact at the beginning of the article.
- Beyond the sample policy above, I do not accept trips, gifts, or other compensation in return for posts or reviews.
- Though I try very hard to get my facts straight, errors happen. If I make a factual error in an article, I will happily update it if notified and will make note of the change at the end of the article.
- In return for the above, I ask that you respect the license that the reviews/posts/images were released under. I release all works on this site under a creative commons license unless otherwise noted. This means you are basically free to do whatever you want with them provided you do two things: use it for non-commercial purposes and give credit back to the site/leave on the watermark. Commercial uses are anything that make money such as a blog that accepts advertising or a presentation that people pay to attend, etc. If you want to use it for purposes outside the license, just send me an email and we'll work something out. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
If you have any questions, click the contact icons in the main navigation to get a hold of me via email or your favorite social medium.
*At the time of this post I was running a campaign on Patreon.com, that campaign has since been disabled. BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!