The Scotch Single Malt Store of Distinction
Introduction | Basic
Requirements | Services &
With the international proliferation of
the Scotch single malt beverage, and new ones being offered
almost every day, the following is an effort to help provide
some guidelines concerning the positive characteristics of
the major sources of single malt for the discriminating connoisseur
of the Scotch Single Malt Whisky. Guidelines are hereby recommended
for the "retail store" of the Scotch Single Malt Whisky. The specific single malt recommendations will be based
on my personal research, input from members of The International
Order of Scotch Single Malt Whisky Connoisseurs, participants
that have attended my numerous international tastings and
seminars entitled, "Scotch Single Malt Whisky: The Taste,
History and Mystique" and data gained from additional
research in the field.
A venture by the novice imbiber into a reasonably well-stocked
liquor store can be overwhelming. If his/her shopping objectives
include the purchase of a "nice" Scotch single malt,
the experience can be most confusing. To further complicate
the consumer dilemma is the fact that some liquor retail establishment's
sales personnel are absurdly unqualified to deal with the
subject of the Scotch Single Malt Whisky -- at even the most
rudimentary level. Fortunately, those establishments that
hope to remain in a competitive posture in the liquor retail
market are rethinking their positions. They now understand
that there is more involved in this specialized market than
simply maintaining a large inventory of Scotch single malts.
They realize that the "type" of client that regularly
purchases these unique spirits is usually of a special intellect.
As a result, they are becoming sufficiently educated to deal
with this more diverse and sophisticated client.
In addition to the variety and quality of beverages in the
liquor store inventory, the knowledge level of the individual(s)
dispensing these complex beverages and relating to the clients
is also important. It should be remembered that, in most instances,
the Scotch single malt aficionado is an "intellectual."
The objective of this shopper is more than to simply satisfy
a thirst or to become inebriated. His objective is to investigate,
learn and appreciate the many unique characteristics and nuances
that are inherently a part of the character and pedigree of
the Scotch Single Malt Whisky. Indeed, not only is he an intellectual
but he is a gastronome of a higher order. He does not "drink"
the Scotch single malt. To the contrary, he "experiences"
this unique and ancient nectar.
The objectives of the liquor establishment that is willing
to expend the time and allocate the space and financial resources
to qualify for, and maintain, a "Scotch Single Malt Store
of Distinction" Award is, indeed, special. Such objectives
- The basic, innate desire to have a
liquor retail establishment that provides the inventory,
customer service and client education that is required by
the Scotch single malt customer.
- The ability to favorably "impress"
the clients and customers who choose this store for Scotch
single malt purchases.
- The desire to present an image of distinction
and exceptional product taste.
- To create a lasting "image"
and provide a "service" that will cause the client
to return frequently and recommend the establishment to
- To be included with the international
"Who's Who" of Scotch single malt establishments.
- To have an international listing on
an advertising medium that caters, specifically, to the
Scotch single malt connoisseur and which is frequently visited
by such individuals and hotel management staff.
Whatever the motives of the proprietor
of the "Scotch Single Malt Store of Distinction,"
more than an accumulation of bottles of Scotch Single Malt Whisky is required. In fact, a random hoard of alcoholic beverages
is not only crude and crass, it is the first indication of
an establishment that is uneducated in the nuances of the
alcoholic beverage and the skills of inventory management
and quality customer service. It should be remembered, however,
that a large, intelligently-selected collection of Scotch
single malts is not a hoard. To the contrary, it is a smorgasbord
and gastronomic library of alcoholic beverages selected to
represent the broadest range of pedigrees of the most complex
and culturally entwined alcoholic spirit of all. With an investment
of a few hours of time and study, the other associated investments
will pay exceptionally higher dividends.
There are hundreds of Scotch single malts currently available
to the consumer. They are most commonly identified by the
distillery from which they come, their proof and their age.
With the ever-increasing astuteness and interest level of
the connoisseur, however, knowledge of several other characteristics
of the Scotch single malt is required. The well-motivated
retail store owner and staff will, therefore, desire to be
able to address questions pertaining to the geographical location
in which the Scotch single malt was distilled and they will
have a knowledge of the "types" of casks in which
the malt was matured. There may also be an interest in being
able to discuss the "size and shape" of the "pot
still" in which the malt was distilled. Questions pertaining
to the general flavor characteristics that are imparted and
influenced by the environment and geographical region in which
the Scotch single malt was distilled, and/or matured, and
other such questions may also be of interest. A storeowner
of a "Scotch Single Malt Bar of Distinction" is
more than an individual who can only provide a bottle of Scotch Single Malt Whisky. He/she is able to host knowledge-based
conversations for clients requesting such information.
Introduction | Basic
Requirements | Services &
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