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  1. #1
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    K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    New thread although this may be a natural follow-on to: K&L Fear Tactics?


    K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year: "We have not yet released this whisky. It will be available this weekend and we will have roughly 500 bottles of it - all available at K&L only."

    Ok, even I have to say it. There is such a huge conflict of interest here.

    Two Davids, this is not an attack on you or K&L (as I'm a fan) and I completely recognize that it may very well be the best whiskey you tasted all year, BUT I think there should be a clearer separation of the "Store" from the "Blog." Otherwise you risk a certain loss of reputation/legitimacy from readers. Similar to the separation of the Equity Research/Banking/Sales&Trading areas within a major bank, it is not simply improprieties that are important to control but also the appearance of improprieties.

  2. #2
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    I don't see the blog as anything other than a well-written sales tool. There's no journalistic code of ethics governing what they write about in their posts.

    When you search any decent bottle on Google, K&L's website comes up first. Useful/interesting content is the most effective tool in good search engine optimization/marketing.

  3. #3
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    Rockefeller, I agree with most of what you said, except the part about the blog losing legitimacy. It is impossible to lose something you don't already have. Recognizing the K&L blog as something other than a series of articles that benefits a for-profit retailer (otherwise known as advertisements), would be giving it entirely too much credit.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 12-27-2012 at 09:31.

  4. #4
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    While I don't totally disagree with all the statements made here it's important to recognize that the blog wouldn't be what it is without being so closely connected to a well respected industry retailer. I think there is legitimacy to a lot of what they write about because of their relationships within the industry and their position within it. There wouldn't be the insight, the travel notes, the exclusive barrels and so on that I like reading about.

    And yes, they're trying to sell booze, they make no qualms about it while at the same time trying to provide an appreciated source of information for those of us interested. I think they have a track record that gives them some ability and leeway to say the whiskey they have is the best they've tasted given the criteria they lay out in the blog.

    To me the issue that arises isn't them trying to sell out their booze, I don't think they have a problem with that. It's that nobody else has had the chance to taste it! This whiskey doesn't necessarily deserve to be in the running because while it was found in 2012 and may be officially released in 2012 99% of people who buy it won't really have the opportunity to taste it until next year.

    All that said I also think it's important to point out that David addresses this thread's specific concern in the blog, for whatever it's worth.

    "There’s a lot of weight thrown behind the term “Best Whisky of the Year.” When whisky critic Jim Murray called Old Pulteney 21 the best single malt of 2012, we sold through hundreds of bottles in few hours. That’s fine for Jim to say because he’s not the one selling you the bottle. He can say whatever he wants and no one will accuse him of trying to increase his liquor sales. When we at K&L throw around a phrase like that, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with it. We can’t easily play favorites - especially when it happens to be a K&L exclusive. Clearly, there are many great whiskies on our shelves...
    ...If we would have come out and said, "Best whisky of the year" in August, we would have 1) sold through the pre-order allocation much faster and 2) still had four whole months left to possibly taste something better. Now that it's the end of the year and we're done tasting new whiskies, we're ready to stand by our earlier assessment."
    Last edited by RVTsteve; 12-27-2012 at 09:44.

  5. #5
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by RVTsteve View Post
    "There’s a lot of weight thrown behind the term “Best Whisky of the Year.” When whisky critic Jim Murray called Old Pulteney 21 the best single malt of 2012, we sold through hundreds of bottles in few hours. That’s fine for Jim to say because he’s not the one selling you the bottle. He can say whatever he wants and no one will accuse him of trying to increase his liquor sales. When we at K&L throw around a phrase like that, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with it. We can’t easily play favorites - especially when it happens to be a K&L exclusive. Clearly, there are many great whiskies on our shelves...
    ...If we would have come out and said, "Best whisky of the year" in August, we would have 1) sold through the pre-order allocation much faster and 2) still had four whole months left to possibly taste something better. Now that it's the end of the year and we're done tasting new whiskies, we're ready to stand by our earlier assessment."
    Very fair/good point!

    I skimmed through that portion but a re-read satisfies my need for disclosure of interests.

  6. #6
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    In any case, there should totally be an SB thread with running comments on the KL spirit blog. I mean, I get why the Davids disable comments - the freedom from critique, etc. But come on. It's a major internet publication for all relevant intents and purposes (i.e. those of whiskey geeks).

    Once you publish something, especially once you publish something to the internet, you don't control it or the resultant discussion. If the author wasn't completely dead before the advent of the internet, then he/she is definitely stone-cold dead now.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut

  7. #7
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    K&L Spirits Journal is one of my favorite blogs, not least because there's often something new to peruse - gotta love activity and a slug of retailer viewpoint. Objectivity on a subjective topic is an impossibility.

  8. #8
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    Hey, I like the blog and thank David for taking the time to do it. While I may disagree with his assessment of a particular whisky (and not buy it, my money, my choice) I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his visit to the distillery.

  9. #9
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by CoMobourbon View Post
    Once you publish something, especially once you publish something to the internet, you don't control it or the resultant discussion.
    Spoken like a true Gen X/Y/whatever who thinks everything on
    the net is free and feels entitled to use someone else' material
    as they see fit. Who are you to say an author doesn't control
    material they publish? You might discuss it wherever you want
    but by disabling comments, K&L is exerting some control over
    the "resultant discussion." Contrary to what you may think, the
    entire internet isn't in Public Domain and not yours for the taking.
    John Q.
    Tennessee Squire
    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva
    It won't be any cheaper than it is today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    Someone will pay it. Someone always pays it.

  10. #10
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    Re: K&L Awards 2012: Whisk(e)y of the Year

    I always figured they disallowed comments because when they allowed them they got blasted by spam.

 

 

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