Post image for Whisky Website Check #1 – Aberfeldy/Dewar’s

Whisky Website Check #1 – Aberfeldy/Dewar’s

by Oliver Klimek on February 13, 2014

Here is a new project I have been thinking of doing for quite some time now. Whisky bloggers review whisky, of course. But wouldn’t it be interesting to also review the websites of the whisky makers? After all they are (or at least should be) the primary sources of information about whisky.

To avoid any bias, I will do this in alphabetical order. So we start with Aberfeldy.

URL: www.aberfeldy.comwww.dewars.comAge Check: Yes

Both links take you to the main Dewar’s website. After passing the age check you are confronted with a gloomy looking tiled picture based layout under their motto LIVE TRUE:

dewars1

Ah, it’s one of those fashionable picture puzzles, a collage of bearded hipsters, motorcycles, casks and whisky bottles. Some pictures are clickable, some lead to bits of information. The website is clearly Dewar’s oriented, you can essentially see the product range and watch a few promo videos. Interestingly enough there is no trace of the recent campaign featuring Claire Forlani which culminated in the now retracted sexist “Meet The Baron” spot. But there must be something about Aberfeldy too. And there is indeed a tile captioned “Aberfeldy – The Home of Dewar’s”

dewars2

There is a short embedded promotional Youtube video about the distillery with an appearance of master blender Stephanie Mcleod and an endorsement by Charles MacLean. That’s all. Really. Or at least all I was able to find in this puzzle. I was not able to watch the video with Firefox by the way, but that may be an issue with my activated ad blocker. I never had problems with embedded Youtube videos before, though.

Can the distillery be visited? A whisky geek knows that at Aberfeldy there is the Dewar’s World of Whisky visitor centre. But there is no mention of it on the website. But maybe they have a separate site for this which they forgot to link to? Google shows a link to www.dewarsworldofwhisky.com, but hey, this also leads to the LIVE TRUE puzzle. So if you want to check out the exact location and opening hours, you are lost.

The lack of information on this website is staggering. And the snippets that actually are there, you have to hunt down in the puzzle. Even the “Get In Touch” link just leads to the generic contact form on the corporate Bacardi website.

In Summary, I consider this website a near fail. Eye candy is everything here, but for information, especially about Aberfeldy whisky, this is pretty much usesless.

Update:

In a comment it was mentioned that there in fact is a link to the distillery details. But I could not see it on my screen. Following a suspicion I had, I went back to the age check. Germany had been pre-selected for me, but now I chose UK. And voilá, there it is. It links to the “traditional” Dewar’s site with more information. This site heavily relies on Flash, though, and you will be subjected to a host of progress indicators when selecting menu items.

I will not check for which countries the link is shown and for which it is not. Even though this adds a few points on the plus side, this is not a way to design a user friendly website for a global brand.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

David Rowell February 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

You are too kind: it is not a near fail; it has completely toppled over the edge into uselessness. I am nostalgic for the days when the dominant design philosophy was ‘form follows function’ rather than an attempt to create aspirational lifestyles. However to be fair in the top right hand corner (in small type) there is an option to find out about visiting Aberfeldy

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Oliver Klimek February 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Ha! You know what? That option was not available for me because I stuck with the pre-selected Germany at the age check. I re-tried it with UK and now it is there.

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atanas February 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Great initiative Oliver.
Aberfeldy – The site is really a waste of time. I could not even find the form mentioned in the first coment to the post. But even if there is such a link, one should not be looking for it – it should be apparent.

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two-bit cowboy February 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Nice initiative, Oliver. I research distillery sites routinely. You began your reviews with, perhaps, one of the worst. It’s as if a marketing type who doesn’t drink whisky built the site. Pretty awful. Based on my experience you’ll find a few better ones before you leave the A’s. Enjoy the journey.

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