No review today but as I was going through the week’s worth of marketing blasts from K&L* it occurred to me that it may be important to preserve for the sake of future generations the impressive body of work of David Driscoll Esq. in the area of shameless hype. However, as much as he has contributed to this genre in a short period of time he is far from alone. Others have paved the way, and yet others continue to fill the spaces around his work. For this reason future iterations in this category may occasionally feature other luminaries, and I encourage my readers as well to share instances of marketing hype that I may have missed or to nominate challengers to the belt currently worn by David D.
Well, let’s get started with some of the recent entries that inspired me to finally create this category of posts. First up is this relatively innocuous claim for their most recent Glendronach cask:
“I think this cask will be the best received Glendronach yet.”
It goes without saying that every cask of X they get is going to be the best/best received whisky from X yet. But this by no means diminishes the power of this endorsement. It can’t, of course, be seen as representative of David D.’s gifts as it employs two unexpected qualifiers: “I think” and “best received“. Come on, David, don’t lose steam at the end of the year. Eat some raw eggs, man, and go for a run on the beach.
To see what he is capable of we only need to turn to an effort from a few days prior that takes us up a level or three. This sentence is on behalf of the Bowmore Devil’s Casks:
“The Devil’s Cask series is the best new thing from Bowmore since….well….since maybe they started making whisky.”
Yes, those of you who were foolish enough to purchase bottles of the Black, Gold and White Bowmores should pour them out now and make room for the Devil’s Casks.
He also adds:
“Not usually known for risky or edgy marketing maneuvers, this is a huge stride for the historically conservative distillery.”
Yes, please ignore the entire Bruichladdich-style Dawn/Dusk/Surf/Mariner/Enigma/Voyage releases or the long list of wine-cask matured releases over the last decade and more. It’s only when K&L needs to plug Bowmore that their history begins. Or maybe those were from the Bowmoor distillery.
As good work as this is, however, it cannot compare to the claim made last week for K&L’s own Funtunesca Tequila. The subject line of the email proclaimed it:
“Perhaps the Greatest Tequila Ever Made.”
Now you may quibble and say that in the body of the email he seems to walk this back by ascribing the claim to other people and adding, “I can’t go that far in my own praise,” but don’t forget that the sentence finishes with:
“I will say that there is nothing else like this on the tequila market and I don’t know that there ever will be.”
There you have it, folks, David Driscoll is the King of December, and maybe of all of 2013. Or do you have other challengers/pretenders in mind?
Edited to Add:
STOP THE PRESSES: WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Don’t worry, it’s still David Driscoll. Since I made this post my attention has been directed to this post on Spirits Journal announcing K&L’s Islay exclusives for next year. There’s so much high quality hype in that post but the best is saved for last. This is the clincher in the description of one of their upcoming single casks of Kilchoman:
“This DESTROYS Ardbeg Uigeadail. It makes Lagavulin 16 look like a sick joke. It makes Laphroaig 10 irrelevant. It makes any standard Islay release look boring and out of date. Kilchoman is the future, my friends. Everyone else is living in the past.”
Go on David Driscoll, you are the Sergey Bubka of spirits retailers, breaking your own records a bit at a time. I salute you!
*I’ll add again that as much as I am wearied, and frankly, increasingly amused by the hype that emanates from K&L I do appreciate the work they do to bring some interesting whisky to the US–often at good prices–and I do continue to purchase from them.