Poll Result: Caramel and Chill-Filtration on the Whisky Label

by Oliver Klimek on February 2, 2011

A record number of 173 readers have voted on the latest poll. Such a high number definitely reflects the “hotness” of the topic. And the results speak for themselves.

  1. 124 votes (72%) – Both should be mandatory
  2. 31 votes (18%) – Only E 150a (caramel) should be mandatory
  3. 7 votes (4%) – I don’t care
  4. 6 votes (3%) – None of the two should be mandatory
  5. 5 votes (3%) – Only chill-filtration should be mandatory

Almost three quarters of the participants would like to see both caramel colouring (E150a) and chill-filtration to be mentioned on the label of a whisky bottle. A non-neglectible minority of 18% doesn’t care too much about chill-filtration but still thinks that colouring should be mentioned.

The Industry Should Listen to Their Customers

The readership of this site is certainly not congruent with the demography of whisky drinkers worldwide. Admittedly most visitors of this blog are likely to belong to the small group of whisky geeks with a preference for higher end bottlings whereas most of the global whisky production is consumed by casual drinkers.

But even if the poll might not be representative for the entire whisky market, it certainly is a decent enough indication for the sentiments among the avant garde customers who are prepared to spend serious money on a bottle of booze. Most of them clearly want to know what they are drinking, so it is important for them to learn about post maturation treatment – either substractive like chill-filtration or additive like colouring – from the whisky label.

Sentiments as expressed in this poll result may be found neglectable by major blend producers. But yet I am doubtful if an industry can safely ignore the desires of their top customers in the long run. The market for Scotch single malt whisky has been continuosly growing, so it becomes more and more important to keep the buyers content, even if bar-goers in Singapore or Sao Paolo don’t give a damn about caramel in their mixing blend. And there are quite a number of distilleries who have been focussing on single malts. Those in particular should think twice before deciding to ignore their customers.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc February 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Why can’t they just put it on the back of the bottle in small print? It will never hinder sales, but for those of us who want to know, at least it will be available on the label.

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Mary February 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

And…we whisky geeks love to talk about whisky among our friends. I always end up talking about E150 & Chill-Filtration & explaining why they should buy brand X (non E150/non CF) over brand Y (who doesn’t mention either on their label & are therefore suspect unless I know they don’t).

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