Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Education: The Balvenie Whisky Academy

As John Hansell says, “When it comes to whisky, education is key.” And the more I learn about whiskey the more I realize this is true. For someone to truly enjoy the beverage one needs to know about it. Not that a beginner cannot enjoy whiskey on a first time basis, but to continue enjoying it one needs to continually educate themselves on it. When education on any level ends, the consumer becomes complacent and the all of the reasons why whiskey is interesting in the first place is lost. Not to mention, just as Hansell drives home, when “the buyer purchases a whisky he (or she) will like, the retailer is happy, the distributor is happy, and the producer is happy. That’s why I have devoted my professional life to it.”

This is exactly why all striving whiskey enthusiast should be excited about the Balvenie Whisky Academy. At first glance, it is only natural to question any so-called educational experience promoted by a name brand. Yet, as I have delved into the whole experience, as it were, I have found that the Academy has really been made for the benefit of the consumers. The focus, though geared toward scotch drinkers, is not a simple advert to pull you in to drink Balvenie’s products; rather it is to teach people about scotch in general – from the history to the process to actually tasting. If more producers did projects like this, the whiskey world would indeed benefit in large. As as an added benefit to joining Warehouse 24, Balvenie's online site for the Whisky Academy, they will send you a booklet on Balvenie, as well as a pocket tasting notes book for your own use.

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