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Whiskey Dick: The Rise of the Craft Whiskey Snob

Posted by Tapped Life on

Just a decade ago, it seems, the craft beer revolution began to gain steam. A few years later, natural wine became en vogue, ushering in an entirely new way to look at wine production and ethos. As positive as these movements have been for the beverage industry, they’ve also spawned their fair share of know-it-alls with less than stellar attitudes. Now, the world of brown spirits isn’t even safe anymore—meet the Whiskey Dick.

Take a close look at America’s liquor landscape in 2017, and you’re bound to notice one thing in particular—the sheer number of new distilleries popping up in every state throughout the country. These aren’t watersheds for huge brands, either. They’re more analogous to the locally owned microbreweries that pepper America, many of which are operated by just a few individuals. Craft distilling is here, and it’s growing at a remarkably fast pace.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the characteristics that embody the Whiskey Dick.

A Thirst for the Unknown

Elitists come in all different shapes and sizes, but there’s one constant that tends to characterize just about all of them—extensive knowledge about things you didn’t even know existed. The Whiskey Dick will tell you intimate details about a distillery you’ve never heard about, including the names and favorite drinks of each employee. He’ll talk of how hard it is to acquire a bottle, how low the case counts are and how every ingredient utilized is handled by at least 37 fingers before entering the mash tun. Oh, and rest assured that you’re going to be made to feel like an idiot because you’ve never heard of “Distillery X.”

No Love for Old Favorites

True whiskey aficionados know that Old Overholt at $18/bottle is the best value in the world of hard liquor. Classics like Overholt are effectively dead to the Whiskey Dick, especially considering the fact that they represent such good value. To him, a bottle of whiskey that sells for under $70 is likely to be sheer garbage, and if the masses are alerted to it, it can’t possibly be good. Chances are that if a whiskey can be purchased at a standard liquor store, the Dick will turn his nose up to it as being sheer garbage.

A Hatred for Mixed Drinks

There are plenty of reasons to believe that whiskey is an extremely suitable liquor for basing mixed drinks on. To the Whiskey Dick, however, mixing the all-important nectar of the gods with soda or even bitters would be a travesty. This is a guy who prefers “two rocks,” and if the ice hasn’t been chipped by hand, forget about it—it’s gotta be served straight. Mixed drinks may be fun to the average drinker, but the Whiskey Dick secretly chuckles to himself every time he sees someone ordering one.

A Lack of a Defined Favorite

Plenty of people, when asked, will call out their favorite whiskey when asked—”Maker’s Mark,” or “Jack Daniels.” The Whiskey Dick? He doesn’t have a favorite whiskey. To him, picking a favorite would be settling, which simply isn’t an option. There are far too many new, exciting whiskeys to try, and choosing favorites would do nothing but cloud the experience. The Whiskey Dick’s search for perfection never ends, and he’ll let you know this in no uncertain terms.

Craft spirits are a welcomed addition to the world of booze, but there’s no getting around the fact that some members of their audience leave a lot to be desired. If you encounter a Whiskey Dick in the wild, don’t bother trying to change his mind—he’s already way ahead of you.


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