Need A Whiskey To Boycott? Comment Count

Brian February 25th, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Reader Nick Walstra provides a picture of this enormous Columbus-area billboard analogue for your general disgust:


Next time you're strolling the aisle looking for a libation, suggest you skip the Maker's Mark.


Yinka Double Dare

February 25th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

Single malts are not a substitute for bourbon. They taste completely different.

And yeah, they're more expensive, so unless you don't like the delicious slight sweetness of bourbon and would rather have something with a load of peat in it, bourbon is a better buy. Really good bourbon is at a similar price point to some of the entry-level single malts from some of the well-known distilleries.


February 25th, 2009 at 11:29 AM ^

So what is the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey then? I thought Bourbon was a sweeter blend that came out of Bourbon county, Kentucky, but is that just a myth?

Essentially, aren't Scotches, Whiskeys, and Bourbons essentially different variations of the same alcohol? I know there are differences in the ingredients in Scotch, etc, but are they truly different spirits.

To put it another way, when it comes to beer, Stout and IPA are very different but both come under the umbrella of Beer. Is this true for the Jack, Jim, and Dewar's as well? (for example)


February 25th, 2009 at 12:23 PM ^

Although there are certainly regional characteristics that accompany whiskey from different regions.

Bourbon is whiskey from Kentucky. Jack Daniels has certain characteristics in common with Bourbon, but it is not from Kentucky, so it is not Bourbon. Jack is Tennessee Whiskey.

Scotch is whiskey from Scotland. Whiskey from Ireland is referred to as the more staight-forward Irish Whiskey.

Yinka Double Dare

February 25th, 2009 at 2:08 PM ^

Bourbon and Scotch are both kinds of whisk(e)y. But I really don't consider bourbon and scotch, especially the Islay and Campbeltown single malts, to be comparable drinks. For example -- next time you hit a bar, have a Pappy van Winkel or Woodford Reserve, and then have a Laphroig or Ardbeg. They aren't even remotely close to the same taste, you'll see why I don't really consider them the same beverage even though they're both whiskey.

The similarities are they are made of malts of some kind. However, bourbon must have corn in it and is aged in virgin white oak barrels. Simgle malt scotch is all barley, and they use used barrels (typically purchased from the bourbon distilleries, actually), and the local water sources they use have a significant effect on the flavor profile, along with the amount of peat smoke they introduce.

Some of the Highland and Speyside (subset of Highlands, really) single malts do have some noticeable sweetness, but that peaty flavor is something that distinguishes them from bourbon, and really I've never had one that has a similar sweetness to bourbon.

Personally, I enjoy the ridiculous smoky peaty flavor of the Islays and the one Campbeltown I've been able to try (there's only three distilleries left there) - we jokingly referred to Laphroig as "liquid bacon". The Highlands and Speysides have more subtle flavor. The Islays are in-your-face, much like bourbon is, but with totally different flavors.

chitownblue (not verified)

February 25th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

I don't know the geography of my Scotch, but I can cosign the general observation that Single-Malts are generally smoother and more subtle, while bourbon packs more of a smokey, hard, punch. The only single malt that I've had that can hold it's own in pure punch to bourbon is Tallisker 10-year, which is a crazy glass of liquor.

In general, I prefer bourbon.

AND, not that this episode should be what stops you from drinking Maker's, but you shouldn't be drinking it anyway - at it's price point, it's about the worst bourbon you can buy.

Yinka Double Dare

February 25th, 2009 at 2:58 PM ^

Talisker isn't in any of the 5 "regions" (Lowland, Highland, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown), actually. There's several distilleries on islands that are not part of the regions (Highland Park is another famous one). I think Talisker is on the Isle of Skye? Anyways, its flavor is more like the Islay single malts -- big peat and smoke, kinda salty. If you liked that one, try some of the Islays. I really like pretty much everything of Ardbeg's that I've tried.

Wikipedia actually has good info on single malts if people are interested.


February 25th, 2009 at 3:00 PM ^

I generally agree that single malt scotches are smoother, but if you want something very different, try a bottle of Laphroaig out of Islay. In my amateur experience, that is a very smokey, hard punch single malt scotch.

Blue Durham

February 25th, 2009 at 8:37 PM ^

The only scotches I've ever been able to drink are single malts. They are smoother; the best I've had in my limited experience Balvenie and Ambassador's Royal Salute. These have been described (correctly, IMO) as being so smooth they taste like cognac.

I prefer bourbon as well, and do not at all like Maker's Mark. It gets high reviews, and is often compared to scotch (the blends); hence why I never cared for it. Scotch lovers seem to think its the best bourbon.

Jack Daniels has always been an "outlier" for me; its a sour mash, and that just comes across differently than the more traditional scotches and bourbons.

Six Zero

February 25th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

However, the bigger problem is that by specifically targeting one group, they are automatically alienating a separate market segment.

I hope the management of Maker's Mark has done their homework. If their market share in Ann Arbor was even close to the same percentages of what they enjoy in Columbus, the idea is a failure... because there WILL be a fallout. Either that or they should experiment with a reciprocate outdoor to appease the maize and blue.

Dey made a funny sign for us but da DickRods up nort' aint gonna like it.

I hope da booze peeple figgered out if dey sell as much licker in Ann Arbor as C-Bus cuz if dey do, dem Bitch-Again fans won't buy da wiskey anymore. Cuz a' dat sign. Eeder dat or dey hafta build a sign in Ann Arbor (is a whore, teehee) dat says sumtin' bad about da Buckeyes to make dem happy.


February 25th, 2009 at 11:19 AM ^

I can't imagine this would hurt them that much. The number of Michigan fans who will see that sign are negligible and Ann Arbor itself is a tiny market. The wider Detroit market is not going to be effected by a drop in sales amongst Michigan fans, especially if they mount a similar campaign that might bring in State, Lions, Tigers, Pistons or Red Wings fans.

chitownblue (not verified)

February 25th, 2009 at 1:53 PM ^

I realize that you're joking (and I laughed, FWIW), but what if your criteria was whether the bottle read "Maker's Mark"? Would you really stop buying it?

This ad is a joke at our expense. That's it. We should suck it up and take the joke. Seriously.

Six Zero

February 25th, 2009 at 7:21 PM ^

I commented on this thread purely in terms of marketing. At no point did I ever play a part in the whole "THIS IS AN OUTRAGE" thing.

Although I did grumble with Pogue a bit-- I'll stick to my suspicions of any damn Buckeye here in our clubhouse, thank you very much.

By the way-- catch my post to you on that Threet post?? If it were my call, the Best Invented Term of the Week goes to you.


February 25th, 2009 at 11:26 AM ^

I would wager this ad campaign will bring them many more customers in Columbus than they will lose in Ann Arbor. I love MGoBlog, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say there are a lot more eyeballs seeing that sign than this post.

The real question is whether or not a more neutral campaign would bring them the equivalent number of customers in Columbus without losing the AA customers. Given the degree to which central Ohioans seem to identify with the team and consequently U-M's failures, I would say no. That's pure speculation on my part.


February 25th, 2009 at 11:32 AM ^

what a pathetic town columbus is. Over 1 million people in the metro area, and the life of every individual in the city revolves wholly around the football team. There is no culture, no class, and certainly nothing else to look forward to. They have to pick on Michigan right now because they no longer matter in the national scope after three straight bowl losses and a schlacking at USC. As someone who grew up in that toilet bowl excuse for a city, I can honestly say that no proper thinking person would allow themselves to live their by choice. However, Buckeyes probably find it hard out here in the real world, so they stick to their disgusting little bubble that we call columbus, and I used to have to call home. They are really the worst people in the world.


February 25th, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

what part of my rant was ill-informed? Do you have better information on Columbus? Did you grow up there as a die-hard Michigan fan? As a 6 year old kid, did did adults tell you that Michigan sucked and about how this was OSU's year to beat the snot out of "that school up north?" Ill-informed? I don't think so. Perhaps better informed was what you meant to say.


February 25th, 2009 at 12:22 PM ^

I think you need to go outside and get some air if you're this worked up over a fucking liquor billboard that is some far-off city. But for the record, this was what I felt was ill-informed:

"There is no culture, no class, and certainly nothing else to look forward to."

That was a massive overgeneralization, and no matter how long you lived there, you are nowhere near "informed" enough to make such an inevitably inaccurate statement.


February 25th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

did my sweeping generalization of Columbus really offend you that much? Or surprise you rather that someone would do such a thing on an internet blog? Yeah I said it, and I meant it. Maybe it's not true, but I will believe it till the day I die based on what I know. Try not to get your panties in a bunch.


February 25th, 2009 at 12:48 PM ^

I've always loved the "don't be so sensitive" jab. It implies in a non-direct way that someone is a woman or gay and that they are less of a man for being sensitive. It's even cooler on the internet when you actually have no idea what the persons true disposition is like. The panties line is great too. I love the internet insult, you can yell as loud as you want, be completely wrong and go to bed at night convinced of your amazingly well hung internet endowment.


February 25th, 2009 at 1:35 PM ^

Fact: I grew up in Columbus and feel that OSU fans are by and large assholes who focus on little more than OSU football.

Fact: Not every Columbus resident is a football loving nut-job.

Therefore, it is inaccurate of me to say that the whole city revolves around nothing more than football. However, it is also accurate for me to say that most of the people I know from that town are Buckeye football crazy and can be pretty ruthless if you don't fall in line. Therefore, I am speaking about my personal experience. My experience in Columbus may not be the universal, but what I found. Do you see how that works? I can make a judgment off an experience that I had, however, it may not be true all the time. That does not make my experience or opinions on the experience wrong.

chitownblue (not verified)

February 25th, 2009 at 1:56 PM ^


The IRONY is here:

Someone, horribly offended by both a Bourbon advertisement on an office building AND someone still scarred by someone being "mean" to them when they were 6 is calling someone else too "sensitive".