On behalf both of distillers and reviewers, I would paraphrase what the president of Coke said after the New Coke debacle. we are neither that stupid nor that clever.

This is an interesting study in conspiracy theories, why they happen, and why some people believe them, but it has nothing pertinent to do with bourbon, producers, reviews or reviewers.

Consider this. Only one person in this discussion has tested this theory. Me. My conclusion is that it's false. The rest is either cognitive dissonance or flaming.