Adventures in Marketing Copy

questionbottleThere are times where you will be wandering the aisle at the liquor store, surfing a distillery online or even just checking out the back of a bottle to see what the deal is with this spirit.  When you see a small block of text on the shelf it’s called a Talker and generally praises the quality and purity of the spirit.

For Example: (I found this one on

“This Vodka is produced from white winter wheat sourced directly from local farmers in the Western Rockies of Canada. After distillation, the spirit was shipped to the Distillery in California where it was cut down to proof with pristine water from a well in Mendocino County. Light bodied with a silky mouth feel, the Vodka is perfect for mixing, with subtle notes of grain, mineral and spice.”

Translation: We bought a tote of 190 proof vodka from our distributor and then cut it down to bottle proof with filtered tap water.  It tastes like wheat vodka.

This kind of thing happens all the time in distilling.  Lots of producers buy their base product from elsewhere or use someone else’s still to get the job done.  It’s not a sin, it’s just how the business operates when you can’t get the approval for a bigger still from the government or your current still can’t produce enough to fill your demand.   I know of a number of companies that hardly own any equipment at all.  Imbue Vermouth for example does not own a still, a vineyard, or a bottling plant but still manages to make a very compelling product that requires both wine, brandy and a significant amount of herbal infusion.

It’s not a big deal when someone does it, it’s when they feel the need to use a lot of adspeak to cover their process that things start to get murky for me.  This could have been their marketing guy, the ad man at or anyone in between, but someone thought enough of their process to polish it a bit and put it out there like they were cutting the wheat by hand.


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