Opinions are like….
Finish that sentence however you like but opinions are very much in vogue just now. If you happen to use Twitter, Reddit or even Facebook you will know opinions can be very strongly held and any differing opinion cannot be tolerated.
So here is my differing opinion.
I like packaging for whisky bottles and I like it to make the whisky feel special and add to the joy of owning the bottle. I like wooden boxes and usual glass bottles not to mention a good story. In fact I just like to have attractive objects to put in my cabinet to display after spending hard earned money and waiting for a reason to open the bottle.
I think its pretty common, given the amount of alcohol in whisky, that people own more bottles than they will ever open so packaging has to be long lasting and well designed. That is why I find the arguments around packaging so frustrating. Increasingly, I hear commentators decreeing whisky is for drinking and cardboard boxes are superfluous and producers can’t help but lap it up. Not having to design and manufacture boxes without reducing the price is to delicious an opportunity to pass up. However, here is the thing if I buy a bottle of whisky for 3 figures it is not for throwing back and it certainly should be something to treasure and enjoy….before you open it and after!
Fun and interesting bottles like the Arran Smuggler Series above utilising cardboard prop books hollowed out for a bottle of whisky make excellent conversation starters. For me starting out on my journey in my 20’s these kind of bottles interest those who have never tried whisky or indeed seen it as “for them”. Relevant marketing which is inclusive widens the market and diversifies the demographic to protect the longevity of the market worth. Something which the stupid number of new distilleries are literally betting the house on being there when their whisky matures and is ready to bottle. I know for me the Aqua marine coloured Bruichladdich bottles were a hook for me to buy another bottle after trying a very disappointing Jura as my first ever bottle from Asda.
To often I think most people want all bottles to look the same with the same label in the same font all neatly lined up on the shelf. Almost something like how cigarette packaging has been (rightly) forced in to. How deeply depressing would that be?
More importantly I truly believe interesting marketing that pings those happy hormones in your brain genuinely adds to the pleasure of having a dram. How often have you been sent a sample in a small bottle with a hand written label and not enjoyed it as much as you thought you might. Yet, the thrill of having the perfect time to open a bottle which has been on display for years is something like being a child at Christmas again. I am sure I am not alone on that but rather than chastise ourselves why don’t we accept it and embrace the odd wooden box or crystal decanter?
At the end of the day we end up where we started. We all have opinions and this is mine.
Except only one of us can be right.