Are Corks Necessary For Scotch Bottles?

Scotch corkFinally, someone addresses this burning issue. I posed the following question to The Scotch Blog (which EVERYONE should read):

How about an article behind the usefulness (or lack thereof) of corks? Do they serve any practical purpose? Are they only a marketing gimmick? I suspect it’s all about perception, but then you’d think why don’t the bottlers of blends adopt using corks, too? Is there a marketing agreement between single-malts and blend bottlers to permit only single-malts the use of corks? I look forward to reading any insight you can bring about the subject.

And not only did site’s author address the issue, he researched it thoroughly, consulting experts from distilleries like Morrison-Bowmore, Glenmorangie, and others, even consulting one of the largest cork manufacturers in the world, who said:

If you look at the whisky market as a whole, the premium whiskies are all in cork, and the standard blends are all in screw cap. It’s an image thing. I am sure the marketing experts from any large whisky company can give you precise reasons, they probably have market studies to prove this I am sure.

Ian Millar, Distillery Manager and Chief Ambassador for Glenfiddich, says:

Two products sitting on a shelf, one with a screw-top, one with a cork, that might push a consumer to buy one over the other. And that affects their perception of quality. The packaging is all about selling that first bottle. That taste is what sells the second, the third bottle. So you’ve got to get that first impression right. It’s all in the packaging.

There ya go. But go read the two excellent posts about it: Screw (Cap) This [Pt. 1] and Screw (Cap) This [Pt. 2]; don’t take my word for it.

One Reply to “Are Corks Necessary For Scotch Bottles?”

  1. I’d go cork for that reason, cause it’s classyrific! Makes me wonder why there even is a variety. Maybe some companies just don’t care if anyone buys their crappy whiskey.

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