After somewhat more than a month, 21 visitors have cast their votes about that controversial issue. Here are the results:
I support colouring and filtering: 1 vote
I reject colouring and filtering: 13 votes
I reject colouring, don’t care about filtering: 2 votes
I reject filtering, don’t care about colouring: 3 votes
I don’t care about neither: 2 votes
About 60% of the voters are opposed to both chill filtering and caramel colouring, almost 25% reject one of the two. Only 15% support it or don’t care.
Of course, this poll is by no means representative. But nevertheless these results speak a clear language. Due to the character of this site, it is fair to assume that the average visitor is a single malt afficionado. And it seems quite obvious that a majority of these whisky lovers wants to enjoy their whisky as pure as possible, without something added or removed.
My personal conclusion is that colouring and chill filtering should be restricted to blended whisky where achieving consistency among large batches is a legitimate goal. But for single malt whisky the industry should head for as much authenticity as possible.
There are already positive signs, as quite a few distillieries have started to bottle even their standard drams without colouring and filtering and with an appropriate ABV. And so far I have not heard any reports about negative impacts on sales after the introduction of these measures. I am convinced that very little single malt drinkers would feel repelled if their whisky turned a bit cloudy after adding water, or about slight colour variations between batches. In contrary, I think that a larger number of happy customers will outweigh those who might be put off.