Navigation
Search This Blog

Return to KLWines.com

Spirits Journal Podcast Archive

Spirits Journal Twitter Feed

K&L Uncorked Blog

K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

7/9 - San Francisco: No Tasting

7/9 - Redwood City: Ron Zacapa Rum

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


1998 Laphroaig 15 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1983 Caol Ila 30 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW


1992 Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1988 Balmenach 26 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Dailuaine 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


1995 Glen Elgin 18 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glenlivet 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1981 Glenlivet 32 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1996 Bowmore 16 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Bladnoch "Young" K&L Exclusive Heavily Peated Single Barrel #57 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Bladnoch 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Lightly Peated Single Barrel #303 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2005 Glenrothes 8 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glengoyne 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel #172 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel #74 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2013 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky Still Available

2005 Island Distillery 7 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Royal Lochnagar 10 Year Old Faultline Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glendronach 18 Year Old Single PX Barrel Cask Strength Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1994 Benriach 19 Year Old Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1989 Cragganmore 23 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1992 Longmorn 21 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1987 Mortlach 25 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1983 Miltonduff 30 Year Old Faultline Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750m IN STOCK NOW!


« New Stuff | Main | Podcast #9 - High West's David Perkins »
Wednesday
Mar022011

The Power of Marketing

I don't have the strength or the time to put these ideas into a long, well-written, cleverly-organized article right now, but here are some things about booze that have been on my mind over the last day or two:

- I participated in a blind tequila tasting last week where we rated five premium tequilas and gave our thoughts.  Using the dreadful 100 point system, most of us gave medium to low scores for all of the tequilas involved, but one of the judges gave all 90+ ratings.  Because we knew which tequilas were involved in the competition, her rationale was that these were all ultra-premium tequilas so they should all be in that range.  That blew my mind because the term "ultra-premium" is a self-designated label.  The point was that this minute bit of marketing was enough to influence a professional taster, so it must be influencing millions of other drinkers around the world.

- Yesterday I met with Belvedere Vodka's brand ambassador and we talked about the brand's role in the category.  She mostly talked about how it compared to other premium vodkas and how it was great for bartenders wanting to make great cocktails.  I said that trying to convince SF bartenders to use vodka was a lost cause because it doesn't fit in with what they're doing.  It isn't about snobbery, it's about taste and vodka doesn't add anything to these recipes.  That doesn't mean, however, that vodka doesn't have a place, but no one is marketing it appropriately for people who like craft spirits.  Don't talk about luxury or purity, talk about tradition.  Belvedere vodka should have two marketing teams: one schmoozing it up with Usher and Lil Wayne in the club, and the other preaching the tradition of vodka.  White people like myself love co-opting other people's cultures as our own!  Every hipster in SF is looking for the taco place that doesn't speak English and makes the "real" comida.  Show me a picture of a group of Poles from the 1800s drinking vodka in a warm cabin while eating a potato stew!  Romanticize the tradition of vodka in Eastern Europe!  That's the way to get the other side interested.  Make vodka cool again by showing people a rich heritage! That's free marketing advice vodka companies!  The craft movement has single-handedly made vodka uncool.  No one wants to admit they like it, but this is one way around that.  Make it cool again and everyone will come right back.

More on this subject later.  I've got a million things swimming around in my head right now that I need to consider first.

-David Driscoll

Reader Comments (7)

Nice post, David. Though I'd ask you to consider whether absence of flavor is precisely what might make vodka a more attractive commodity for professional mixologists? It can be valuable when used a catalyst for flavor, not unlike salt, really. Think of how Karlsson's Gold markets their vodka ("just grate some fresh black pepper on top"). I was trying to conjure up a peach-basil martini the other day but the gin I was using brought too much to the table. I admit to being a novice when it comes to concocting, but I also think vodka could have done the trick much better -- I just wouldn't call it a "martini" :)

It's fun to imagine a marketing campaign based on an fabricated pan-Eastern European past, but I think there's a less clever solution to the problem of selling vodka in our area, which is simply using vodka as a base for other ingredients to shine. Thoughts?

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisha B.

Plenty of people still drink vodka for that reason, but they're marketing their new vodka as a sipper - for straight martinis or just alone on the rocks. Saying that it's ultra premium or luxury won't do it with our crowd. We need a story I think

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

The problem with 'heritage' marketing for vodka is that it doesn't allow for the $30 price tag the premium brands are getting away with.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNW

Celebrity endorsements have less cred than barbed wire tattoos. And beverage conglomerate produced YouTube infomercials thematically co-opted from MTV Cribs at South Beach during Spring break, blow. But the built-in cost of all that weak chichi sauce is what really turns me off pop-culture-vodka. And even if Belvedere were also pitching its provenance as lovingly hand-crafted from the ancient soils of a previously unknown "vodka belt" shire, where a hobbit-like people had organically farmed and distilled for sustenance and communal pleasure since the 13th century, I still wouldn't take the hook. That said, I would never grimace with aversion at a bartender reaching for Hanger One. I've always had a soft spot for Hanger One because it tastes nice, it's domestic, and their modest marketing is off the reservation. But that's all the enthusiasm I have for vodka.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRN

For career, dare not say what improvement. Because have been jobs, and although some of his about go hard, but not really is successful, recently came to a new company, is very hard, I went for business, and then give me the opportunity to learn, also let I good effort. vslmgd vslmgd - bieber supra shoes.

October 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheautr heautr

Love those! I enjoy following your posts on facebook and rss! xyrhwq xyrhwq - mulberry alexa bags.

December 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterxeyzgp xeyzgp

Liked you on Facebook, too. =) syhpgm syhpgm - Belstaff Outlets.

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrnyubj rnyubj

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>