I get asked this question a lot. We at K&L have to do business with all these brands, these giant companies that own most of our favorite spirits on the market. How is it that you, David, can be honest about what you think when it comes to writing the spirits blog?
If I don't like it, I don't buy it. I only have to write about what we carry at K&L because I'm trying to help customers make decisions about purchasing. Rarely will I write about anything beyond the products we're selling at the store because it doesn't really concern me. If we have it on the shelf, it means I'm fine with the booze (or at least I can appreciate why someone would like it). If we don't have it, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't like it, but it might. I keep that clarification as nebulous as possible when I'm on the record. If you ask me in the store that's different (the advantage of being a local shopper).
Therefore, if I'm writing about my affinity for a product on this blog it's going to be honest and real. I'll only write about something if I find it interesting or beneficial for people to know about. I'm definitely not trying to guide people towards products I don't like, but the process of focusing on the good while neglecting the bad begins long before the blog. It begins in the office when I'm cutting purchase orders with vendors. I'll always screen and filter our inventory at that stage first. "No, I don't think I'll be ordering any Jose Cuervo for K&L. Why? Because it doesn't taste good to me."
I'll read things every now and again about the trustworthiness of a retailer's blog. Unlike reviewers or journalists, however, I'm only responsible for what goes into our stores. If it's in the store, it's on me. The blog is just extra.