Recently there has been a few bloggers raising issues about the honesty and begging for samples in the blogging community. These are my thoughts on the issues raised..
Firstly the issue of ” honesty” from certain bloggers and the community in general. This is a subjective issue, what we write should be what we feel is the truth ! Does this mean everyone will agree ? Of course not ! but there is a difference between what we feel is truthful and what we feel others want to read. We as bloggers can not just write things in order to please the company’s, this is just dishonest, this is not what people want to read, and of course this is not what blogging is really about ! The blogging community is getting massive now and everyday there are new blogs appearing, so we all need to do whatever to ensure our blogs remain relevant and on top but this does not include being dishonest ! Are some tasting notes over the top ? You bet they are ! Are some notes unbelievable? Again you bet they are ! Are these notes dishonest? NO! Not necessarily, if someone writes they have tasted ” engine oil” or ” soggy worms” or ” furniture polish” then that’s fine, if of course they know what these actually taste like and smell like, otherwise it bloody dishonest, don’t do it!! Don’t write it just because you have seen it somewhere else. My notes are generally quite simple and often look similar, this is because I don’t know what certain things taste like, others may very well know what it tastes like so they are entitled to write it ! There are some bloggers that write very extravagant notes, and what’s wrong with that.. Nothing… unless its dishonest ! Every blogger and anyone that writes notes can write what they think they get, it’s all relevant to them.. It’s personal to them and it is what they believe they smell and taste ! Who are we to say they don’t know what licking an oak sideboard tastes like .. They might just do it regularly !! Again it comes down to honesty.. Just don’t write notes in order to please someone else !! It is not just the company’s that read our notes, it is also people looking to buy bottles, if we lie to them we waste their money if we say it’s great but it is really crap, someone will go buy that bottle because they feel we have given an honest opinion.. Fortunately ( in my opinion) there is not very many bad bottles of whisky out there..
So next we have the issue of bloggers begging for samples.. Any approach to a company/distillery is begging ! It does not matter how you ask.. it is begging… Of course most of us still have to do it, we can not afford to buy every bottle of there ! and of course it does differ how we ask, we should be polite, we should understand that they receive hundreds of approaches every week.. I don’t know which approach works best but in my opinion being polite is the best way.. It is then up to the company/distillery who they want to send samples out to.. This is where the next issue arises, do the company’s only send to those that over exaggerate tasting notes ? I would hope not ! Some people think they do ! I personally don’t believe they do, therefore there is no need to do it !! Yes I do believe the company’s are very selective in who they do send samples to, and that is fine.. They want to use those blogs with big followings.. My only problem with the company’s is when they either totally ignore you and many do ! or they blatantly lie to us.. I have been told by a couple of company’s they don’t send out samples to bloggers only to see bloggers posting pictures of the samples they have received… Please be honest !! Just say No or you don’t meet our criteria!
The whisky blogging world has hundreds of great blogs, all are very different and offer a very personal thought process, some are more popular than others, some receive hundreds of samples and some get none.. Some are very honest and some not so honest, each of us bloggers know which category are own blogs are in.. And if we are happy with that then that’s fine.. I know my little blog is written with what I feel is my honest opinion.. If I like a whisky I will tell you ! If I don’t then you will be told so too.. It is my opinion and that is the point.. It is an opinion !! I have approached company’s for samples and I have received samples, these have then been reviewed with honesty… As long as it is honest then I don’t care if others agree or not..
My message to anyone reading this is ..
JUST BE HONEST TO YOURSELF AND THOSE WHO MAY READ YOUR BLOG AND TASTING NOTES !!