Stateways March April 2011

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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Page 42 of 55

SCOTCH FOR THE TWENTY- FIRST CENTURY The lowdown on the latest expressions and traditional favorites to help intrigue old and new Scotch customers. By Robert Plotkin W hen it comes to marketing Scotch, intrigue sells. A superior malt with a compelling story line sells better than one draped in medals. Consumers have become jaded to marketing superla- tives such as oldest, rarest or most expensive. Most people would rather be intrigued than impressed. Tempting clients with some engaging insights into a particular whisky and the decision to purchase is a foregone conclusion. It’s all tied-up with the sense of discovery, of which intrigue is an essential element. Sharing insider information with a whisky aficionado is an irresistible hook, instilling the person or customer with a sense of ownership in the brand that won’t soon be forgotten. Offering your clientele a discriminating offering of blends and single malts requires that you market a bal- anced selection, one that best represents the varieties of styles of each Scotch-producing region. First, a little background information. The term single malt Scotch is often misconstrued. It is a whisky, produced in Scotland, at a single distillery using only malted barley, and no other grain or fermentable mate- rial. Blended Scotches are comprised of various whiskies from an unspecified number of distilleries. The heart of any premium blended Scotch are single malt whiskies. For instance, Johnnie Walker Gold Label is made according to a 1920 recipe created for the company’s 100th anniversary. It contains fifteen different 18-years- old single malt whiskies. This past year or so has featured the release of new and exciting blends and malts, each nudging the envelope and expanding the Scotch inventory. The following overview of the top single malts and blends available – and their many attributes - might help you in fleshing out your Scotch selection. Robert Plotkin is a judge at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and author of Secrets Revealed of America’s Greatest Cocktails. He can be reached at or by e-mail at StateWays   March/April 2011 43

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