Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Reader Poll Results: A Landslide for Buffalo Trace
The results of our Election Day Reader Poll about which company makes the best American whiskey are in, and the crowds at the Buffalo Trace victory party are jubilant.
Sazerac/Buffalo Trace cleaned up with 18 votes, Four Roses was second with five, followed by Heaven Hill with four, Beam with two and Brown Forman with one. Interestingly, seven of the votes for Buffalo Trace mentioned their sadness at losing Four Roses.
I suppose conventional wisdom (and maybe Nate Silver) would have favored Buffalo Trace, but I was surprised by the lopsidedness of the result. BT makes some excellent whiskey and a wide variety of it, but of late, they've had some criticism for brands that some consider not up to par. Even with those criticisms, though, it's clear that BT is still close to the hearts of whiskey lovers.
I was also surprised that Heaven Hill didn't perform better. They make a wide range of products at a reasonable price, though for the most part, they have shied away from some of the more limited releases and high end offerings of some of the other companies (the exception being Parker's Heritage Collection). Are we whiskey geeks obsessed with bling and undervaluing a solid producer?
And woe is to Wild Turkey, a once beloved brand that didn't get a single vote. My guess is concern over their recent output, including the proofing down of their rye, has turned people away from them.
Of course, people will analyze these results for years to come, considering the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the October Surprise of Dickel Rye, but Buffalo Trace clearly has a mandate. Now let's see what they do with it.