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View Poll Results: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

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  • Yes

    65 91.55%
  • No

    6 8.45%
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  1. #101
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErichPryde View Post
    Why not? It's pretty easy to tell who likes what and why. It wouldn't be hard. Maybe I should make my own whiskey and do it.



    Are you sure you didn't? Two of your posts kinda come across this way. Not that it really matters all that much, I think we're really on the same page, here.
    I see where you're going. But again, I don't blame Hansell for reviewing what he's sent by the producers, I'm just saying that the review does not hold up for me when it comes to various barrels. If he purchased, and reviewed, a bottle off the shelf, and it was barrel #23, I'd give it more credence. He's not a shill, nor does he lack integrity, but it is in his best interest to not question, or have anyone question, the merit of his review of "barrel #1", which I'll never see in the wilderness. I mean, where does the rest of barrel #1 go? Anyone ever seen it?

    Critical examinations need not be viewed as attacks, although they often are.

    As for the second quote, well, Cowdery isn't a "reviewer" for the advocate. My second quote that you used was simply about certain posting practices on SB.

  2. #102
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    At Balcones, we actually send bloggers and reviewers our dog barrels. I mean, we gotta do something with that juice, you know?

  3. #103
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    I can't speak for barrel #1 but I poured myself a glass from barrel #7 and it's a delicious bourbon IMO. I tend to like the EWSB, although I thought the 2001 was a drop in quality.

    As for the 'honey barrels' or 'cherry picked' I believe like any business Heaven Hill wants to present its best products. So the whiskey they send out to reviewers might be what they deem 'best' but again that's subjective to the reviewers. The variation however between barrel #1 and the rest isn't so much so that people expecting a '93 rated whiskey' go buy a bottle only to open it up and it taste like paint thinner. That type of deception would serve nobody, especially the producers. The varying reviews and ratings to EWSB I would chalk up to varying preferences of the tasters.

    As an ad guy it's strange that this is even a topic of discussion. It seems like common knowledge that companies would want to 'put it's best foot forward' and present its best products. Good companies take pride in their work and want it advertised and talked about as such. Not to deceive people into buying their product/services but to show them off.
    I've got more whiskey than I need but not nearly as much as I'd like

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  4. #104
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by ER07 View Post
    ...

    As an ad guy it's strange that this is even a topic of discussion. It seems like common knowledge that companies would want to 'put it's best foot forward' and present its best products. Good companies take pride in their work and want it advertised and talked about as such. Not to deceive people into buying their product/services but to show them off.
    Well that seemed obvious to me also, instead we are all a bunch of conspiracy theorists for even suggesting it..

    BTW for what it's worth John Hansell in comments on the review he wrote for EWSB 2000 (he gave it a 95)..

    "..thatís right. I believe that all press is getting a sample from this barrel. Thatís why I made that distinction in my review. We usually get our review samples before the product is released to the public. I might, however, go and review a different barrel as time goes by and the whiskey becomes more redily available"

    and
    "..you can be sure that, if Barrel #1 is the review sample being sent to the whiskey press, itís going to be a good one!I hope the other barrels are in the same ballpark."

  5. #105
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    If they send a sample that is markedly uncharacteristic, they can be easily found out and will be found out, unless in addition to all of my other flaws I'm an incompetent taster. And if they don't send a sample that is markedly uncharacteristic, then what are we talking about?

    But thank you for saying that, because that's the nub of this thing right there.
    Exactly - it is the point. They essentially have been found out - which is the gist of this topic.

    Of course they send out honey barrels - I know several folks in various consumable industries who have told me as much. As phrased repeatedly throughout this thread: they put their best foot forward.

    In terms of EWSB, they pick these barrels for a profile - as such, since they are professionals, there won't be any "significant profile outliers" - but there is likely to be "quality variations" - they would be stupid to not send the better, more impactful samples to reviewers... doesn't mean ALL OTHER EWSB sucks - just means some is a bit better than others. 10% difference (in terms of an 85 score vs a 95 score) isn't that much in the grand scheme of things.

    Just like in advertising for most perishable/consumables: they put the best looking stuff in the ads, on the reviewers plate/glass, etc.

    In other critically driven industries (art, books, music, movies) all consumers get the same thing. period. A review of "See Spot Run" shown two days early is still the same movie as consumers get to see on Friday. The copy of "How To Pick Up Bourbon Loving Chicks" the critic read a week before I bought it is the exact same scintillating tome on my nightstand.

    But with Single-Barrel themed releases (or consumable/perishables), there's only so much of a given product, and variation is intrinsic to the product as each barrel is a "one of a kind."

    This whole conversation is silly - when a producer has variance in her product from batch-to-batch, release-to-release, the majority have an obligation to their income to attempt to provide the best of what they created to those with a public voice (reviewers, writers, bloggers, tv anchormen, priests, local sheriff, etc.). You want to INFLUENCE - and to deny that fact is the only bald-face lie in this equation. You don't send samples to reviewers to "educate." You want them to say nice things about your stuff and INFLUENCE others to spend their money on it.

    I'm sure there are exceptions to attempting to "overtly" influence - but I'd ask Tmckenzie if he would send a bottle that has a crooked label or chipped glass out for review? Do you make sure the bottles aren't funky with spillage and are properly sealed, etc.? If so - then you HAVE taken a step to ensure a higher quality product to the review than what a consumer might possibly find on the shelf. You've gone out of your way to ensure you represent your product as positively as you can (even if you don't cherry pick barrels/bottlings per se).

    This isn't illegal, disingenuous or even a sketchy practice - it simply is good business. It's only an issue when the variations are extreme enough to raise eyebrows (as EWSB apparently has done - albeit, again, with only a 10% margin of difference between most "consumers" perceived rating vs. the "professional" reviewers' scores...)

    #end of rant#

  6. #106
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    All EWSB are equal but some are more equal than others.

  7. #107
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    Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    All EWSB are equal but some are more equal than others.
    Those d@mned pig barrels!
    °Geaux Tigers! - °Visca el BarÁa!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  8. #108
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    Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    I would say yes. From a pure business standpoint it makes the most sense for them to send the best they have to offer in an effort to illicit a positive/glowing review that will (hopefully) promote sales.

    I have come to the conclusion that almost every whiskey related "conspiracy" question can be answered by keeping just one thing in mind......money. Pappy/SW hysteria, Maker's Mark proof drop, this super sample theory, etc. etc. It all comes down to business and money. Take all emotions out of it and it's like Roger Waters said.....

    Can't you see
    It all makes perfect sense
    Expressed in dollars and cents,
    Pounds, shillings and pence
    Can't you see
    It all makes perfect sense
    Josh

    "The last time I turned down a whiskey, I didnít understand the question."

  9. #109
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balcones Winston View Post
    At Balcones, we actually send bloggers and reviewers our dog barrels. I mean, we gotta do something with that juice, you know?
    Balcones Winston? Who is this guy??? He looks suspicious!
    Jack
    GBS Member #3 (Sorry Dawn!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pieface
    I think i'm god but I'll get a confirmation and go from there

  10. #110
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    Re: Do reviewers get honey barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    900 barrels. One is a honey barrel, and tastes very good. 899 are mediocre? That's what I'm hearing y'all say?
    I voted yes but not intending to mean that I think there is any intentional misrepresentation going on. I think if they churn out 900 barrels, there will be some normal distribution curve going on with 850 being very similar, 25 being perhaps a bit of a disappointment, and 25 being perhaps a bit better. Now someone has to be tasting these barrels to see if they fit the profile, and if it were me, I might flag those that are especially nice to send out for reviews. I don't think they pick the absolute BEST (by their standards) barrel, but I also would be surprised if they picked bottles at random later.
    Gary
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