Feeding the Trolls: Scotch Snobbery

As I’m sure a lot of us do, I woke up this morning and first thing I did after saying “good morning” to my wife, was reach for my phone. I’m pretty engaged with social media right now with two online businesses on the go so I’m doing more double-tapping than Fred Astaire as of late. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that with all it’s inanity, it is an effective networking tool for business and a necessary vehicle to generate visibility for my brands.

Social media however, can be a bit of a land mine dotted playground where one plays hopscotch with the personalities of others. Generally, the whisky-loving communities online are a wonderful source of camaraderie and inspiration. Fellow dramsters looking for recommendations, showing off their latest bottle acquisition or sharing a humorous meme or two. It’s mostly all in good fun.

It’s not all heather and honey in the land of fluid Oz though. There’s an unpleasant weave in our tapestry. Frayed and ugly, the thread of snobbery and judgement.

“No, no , no Mr. Steel! Snobbery is the domain of wine drinkers and opera attendees!” I hear you decree. “We’re a far more civilized lot”, goes out the proclamation. Well…not entirely. I’m seeing a lot more posts like this lately: “Wow, you’re drinking that swill?” or “Yeah, I know that dram. I cleaned my toilet bowl with it the other day” (Ah! I knew there was a use for Fireball)

Seriously though, it really is a case of “each to their own”. If you’ve paid for something, anything really, or you’ve been given a gift and it’s now yours, you are fully entitled to do with it what you please. No one should be able to inflict their judgement upon you and it mean anything worthy of attention. Certainly it shouldn’t amount to influencing your enjoyment of something. If you love it then enjoy it unabashedly.  

That’s where social media fails in my humble opinion. It’s the bastion of those who believe their opinion elevates them or matters in the slightest. They don’t see, nor care how that opinion affects the recipient. The bravery of being out of range as Messrs. Waters and Gilmour once put it. Perhaps that individual they’re criticizing is just starting their journey into the world of whisky, has saved up for that bottle of Johnnie Walker Black and is brimming with the need to share the joy of their first dram with everyone. The continuance of their enjoyment halted by some keyboard warrior who’s thousands of miles away and whos elevator isn't stopping on the top floor anymore. 

We’ve all been there. We all start somewhere and nine times out of ten, it isn’t with a bottle of 25 year old scotch collared with a Rolex, flanked by forty strategically positioned Cohibas. Let’s lift each other up and celebrate our passions, even if they are different from our own. If they’re one and the same in the case of a great bottle of whisky, all the easier! Better the journey begin surrounded by encouragement and reassurance, no? After all, greater indeed are the pleasures that are shared.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just seen someone make a Rob Roy out of my Signet…

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