Wednesday, July 30, 2014
More on the Complete List of Distilleries and Brands
I have a lot of new readers thanks to Eric Felton's excellent article in the Daily Beast about sourcing whiskey which kindly cited my blog and flatteringly quoted me along side such luminaries as Chuck Cowdery and Clay Risen. Felton's article was one of the best pieces on sourcing whiskey that I've seen in a mainstream (i.e. non-whiskey) publication, and anyone who hasn't seen it (if there is anyone in that category by now) should check it out.
One result of the article is that I've received a lot of emails about my Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries and Brands, which Felton mentions. As per usual internet practice, some have been very kind, some have been very snide and many have been in between. As a result of all of this attention being paid to the list, I thought I'd clarify a few things.
It's Not Perfect
My list is something I do in my spare time for no compensation whatsoever. I try my hardest to be accurate and do a tremendous amount of research on my listings, but it's still a daunting amount of information and there are bound to be some errors (and if you see one, please let me know). Calling it a "complete list" may be more aspirational than accurate, but I'm pretty confident that it's the best list of its type out there...heck, if I found a better one, I'd gladly retire and stop spending my late nights and early weekend mornings looking at the TTB database and searching distillery websites for information.
I Love Hearing from Whiskey Makers
I always appreciate hearing from producers about their products and upcoming projects. For instance, after the Daily Beast article came out, Arizona Distilling contacted me to let me know that while they did use MGP whiskey for their first release of Copper City Bourbon, their next release will be their own distillate. Keeping the list up to date is much easier when I hear first hand from the folks making the whiskey.
Where do I Find the Information About Which Whiskey is Made by the Company Selling it?
I covered this topic in a recent post on How Do You Know It's Sourced Whiskey.
The List is Only About Whiskey
The title of the list is "The Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries and Brands," but you would be surprised how many emails I get saying I forgot a distillery that makes great rum or to please include our distillery that makes absinthe. I would love to cover the entire world of American distilling, but whiskey is what I'm interested in, and it's quite enough work to cover just whiskey. I honestly don't think I'd have the time or energy to include all of the distilleries and bottlers making brandy, vodka, rum, chestnut liqueur and whatever else is being made out there. Sorry vodka makers.
The List is Hard to Use
I'm perfectly aware that the list could be more user friendly, and I apologize, but I'm a lawyer, not a programmer. With the help of a good samaritan, it did get an update recently that allows for better navigation, but until it gets bought by Facebook or Google for $16 billion, you'll have to settle for that.