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I recently finished reading issue 90 and was struck by Tim Forbes' article, "New digital emperors." I believe this article has significantly missed the mark, for the following reasons:

1. The article portrays a doomsday-like scenario in which a tech-savvy whisky novice blogger unwinds years of work and millions of pounds of advertising for a single large brand. While I realise this is a hypothetical occurrence, so is that of a meteor striking Glenfiddich and wiping out its entire supply. I believe both are extremely unlikely, and such speculation is not healthy.

The possibility of a single individual blogger having any noticeable harm on a brand is minimal - there are too many blogs (as the author points out) for a single novice's blog, no matter how well ranked in Google, to have a sizable effect.Currently, the top blogs are ones like the author's, not some obscure novice's, so any newcomer's blog will be immediately diluted. The large brands also have enough momentum to weather occasional bad press - this is part of what it means to have a brand. Moreover, most discerning consumers will read multiple opinion sources about a product, so a single undeservedly-poor review on someone's blog will generally be overturned by the more reputable blogs.

To say that Mr. Forbes' portrayed scenario is even remotely possible is throwing reason to the wind.

2. The author portrays a techsavvy blogger as a "socially inept geek with a vicious inferiority complex." While this caricature may have been written in jest, it smacks of condescension toward skilled bloggers, who undoubtedly make up a portion of his colleagues and his readership.

3. He states that there is "nothing to write about" regarding blended whiskies. This is untrue, look at Compass Box, for example, which is making blends that do change from year to year. Other companies continue to introduce new blends. While this category may not be as perennially exciting as single malts, I don't believe it deserves complete dismissal.

Kevin McComber
Boston, Massachusetts, USA



Heritage project


I am working on a project to record the oral histories and capture still images of Scotland's silent or closed distilleries. Therefore I am writing to ask assistance to try and track down the men and women who worked at the following distilleries...

  • Brora
  • Port Ellen
  • Rosebank
  • Imperial
  • Convalmore
  • Dumbarton
  • Glen Keith

    I don't know if any of your readership can help; but any pointers in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!

    Nick Ravenhall
    Via email