What happens when you take ten whisky influencers, provide them with blending kits and set them off to create their own unique blend of whisky?
You get the Master of Malt Bloggers’ Blend whisky competition.
As far as I know, this is the first time that the whisky industry has created a public opportunity for consumers and online influencers to join together to create a new whisky product. And, my hat is off to Master of Malt for being the company to do it. Including influencers and consumers into the drink-making process is not only smart, but is also a great way to build community between consumers and the industry. And from a business standpoint, it’s a hell of a way to drive authentic buzz and sales.
I first heard about Master of Malt’s Bloggers’ Blend from WhiskyCast, one of my favorite resources for whisky on the web. Mark Gillespie is the voice behind this weekly podcast, and he commands a good deal of respect in the global whisky industry at large. He also happens to be one of the selected individuals to participate in the Bloggers’ Blend. Other participants in the challenge include Whisky Magazine, Edinburgh Whisky Blog, The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society and Cask Strength.
For the competition, each influencer was given a kit containing all of the tools necessary to create a high quality whisky product. They were then tasked with the challenge of creating the tastiest and best value whisky they could with the ingredients provided. Once the blends were finished, Master of Malt created tasting kits for consumers – each containing all of the bloggers’ blends in small 3cl samples. The tasting kits were made available to the general public at about $50 US.
Today, the voting system went live on Master of Malt; and I have to say, the platform they created is really sexy. Just drag and drop and place the samples where you think they netted out. The blend with the most consumer votes is the winner and that blend will then be produced in full bottles and made available to the public. Voting will remain open until June 26th.
I think this whole idea is really exciting on a number of fronts. First and foremost, I love the fact that Master of Malt is involving us (the consumers) in the production process. This involvement is creating emotional attachment to the project and is creating excitement about the end product from the get go. The idea is also exciting from a business standpoint. Master of Malt has not only created a concept that builds a cycle of buzz, but also they’ve created two distinct purchase opportunities to maximize profit – the tasting kit and the winning full-size product.
I can’t wait to see the outcome of this competition. And in the end, I think that’s what is really the most fun about it. Even if you aren’t one of the ten elite influencers who were chosen to blend, you can get involved, taste, cast a vote and follow your favorite bloggers as they make their way through the process. My money is on Mark Gillespie for the win. Let’s take home the crown for America!
Did you try the sample kit? Which blend was your favorite?