2014: The Year of the Whiskey Consumer and Fake Whiskey


December 30, 2014

In American whiskey, 2014 will go down in history as the year consumers dictated to spirit companies. Whether consumers filed federal complaints, class-action lawsuits against brands, or created online crowd-sourcing support for a brand founder, U.S. consumers flexed their muscle and made their voices heard. Social media allowed a once silent minority to become a feared audience that often treats whiskey companies more like a never-to-be-trusted enemy than a booze manufacturer.

The bourbon shortage, flavored whiskey and Pappy Van Winkle likely fueled this angst. But nothing, and I mean nothing, gets their whiskey-soaked tempers flaring quite like a fake backstory. So, in the spirit of the consumer power, I gave my Twitter followers this task: “You’ve been given 500 barrels of bourbon to create your own brand. Create a fake bourbon name and back story. Go…”

While these answers are fiction, I can see these stories actually being slapped on a label. Here are a few of my favorites. You can see them all by clicking on the Twitter link.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.54.21 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.54.59 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.55.08 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.55.12 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.55.16 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.55.22 AM


Here’s to a great 2015. May your whiskey glass be filled with sweet russet nectar and your whiskey distrust softened with a believable story. Cheers!


Fred Minnick is the author of Whiskey Women.