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Total pages (inc covers) - 88
Pages devoted to rum - 14
Classifieds, ads, promotions pages - 24
Non-Scotch whisky related pages - 9
Food and cocktails - 9
Leaving Scotch-related pages at 32, some of which are full page pictures. Also, the cover story on Ardbeg is only 4 pages, the first of which is a full page picture - it can hardly be considered in-depth......Scotch articles therefore feel a litle thin on the ground in this issue. I haven't gone back through previous issues as life is too short, so maybe I'm being a bit unfair with this analysis but it was quite striking to me in this issue.
I fully appreciate the need for ads to help with costs and accept (if not agree with) the view that the whole world of whiskies has to be covered.....but 13 pages on Rum and 24 pages of ads does feel excessive. Most people I know buy the magazine to read about Scotch first and foremost and the rest is of passing interest to a greater or lesser extent.
I know I am probably straying into dangerous territory with this post but I just feel that it is worthy of comment. This is not a rant and is just my humble opinion.
What do other readers feel ?
Rosebankfan (currently with a CS Highland Park in hand)
I've not received this issue as yet so cannot comment specifically, however I am interested in seeing what information is presented in reference to rum. That being said, I trust this is a one off pertaining to rum, as I am subscribing to a Whisky publication.
I'm not interested in cocktails, food, a staff member's latest jolly, etc. There are plenty of magazines and publications out there covering such subjects.
The "Ardbeg" article - which was showcased on the cover - was pretty weak. Short in content and in quality info. I'm a relative novice and there was little new to me.
I'd assumed that the "Rum" section was going to focus on rum-finished whiskies. But not a bit of it. Don't get me wrong, I like the odd drop of rum now and then. But I don't want to read about it in this magazine.
There's so much going on in the whisky industry right now. Surely, enough to focus on the subject. Why not in-depth features on independent bottlers (say feature one or two per issue)? Why not more on the background to new releases? Why not more on personalities and locations? There's endless scope without straying off subject.
"The Malt Advocate", although not a whisky-dedicated publication, often has much more detailed articles on single malt. If it can do it, so can our favourite magazine.
Perhaps time for a "Whisky Magazine" focus group. Readers get together over a few drams and discuss what they'd like added and removed.
Willie JJ wrote:You have every right to comment Scott. I think that has to be one of the functions of this forum. Also, if I were the editor (and I saw this) I would regard it as useful feedback, which can often be hard to obtain by other means.
I always appreciate feedback from the forum. I may not have time to respond but I always read, listen and take on board.
ps apologies for my mug appearing twice in 74.
I enjoy many things in life but should a specialist magazine try to pander to all? I know there are many here that like rum and I too have nothing against it but I feel that this is out of bounds for a whisky magazine. I can understand the want to be fresh and new but is this the way for a WHISKY magazine. Are we going to have major coverage of tequila or vodka next ?!?!?! Maybe wine, I do love a glass of wine but is this the place for it....
74 issues and it has been looking for a while that Whisky mag are struggling for ideas. I was ready to give up my subscription a while back but decided to support the magazine as there is not much else for me to get. Why is the magazine struggling????? Could there not be 2 distillery focus per issue there are plenty of them still to have an indept look. Do a Scottish Distillery and a some where else in the world Distillery every issue. How many distilleries have not been covered yet or on the other side 3 Irish Distilleries have been covered at least twice. Now I should not complain but there is certianly an imbalance there in my view. With this approach it would not look like the magazine is trying to promote a single product (distillery) every issue instead of just writing about it.
I have had supported the Magazine as much as I can and aplaud the Forum which is a great community but after the Rum issue I am sadly reflecting on whether I should renew my subscription which is up very shortly.
1. Interviews/profiles of enthusiasts/collectors.
2. Profiles of whisky clubs and their activities.
3. Articles on the various tasting events eg Cadenheads regular tastings in Edinburgh.
4. Profiles of independent whisky bars and pubs.
5. A selection of posts from this forum (a single page of letters from readers is not enough in my opinion).
Come on WM, it shouldn't all be about your travels and interviews with the senior figures in the industry - get to the users and enthusiasts - we don't bite honest.
While I feel your criticism is harsh - there is a staff of three putting this magazine together under tight schedules (this is not a plea for mercy by the way) and we do the up most best we can which what we are given - it is certainly bordering on the fair.
As editor it is a fine line to appeal to the wannabe mavens and those who already have a great knowledge.
In the coming months Dave and I are sitting down looking at direction and tweaking a few things, what what has been said will be taken on board.
To take a few of the criticisms of WM74 in turn:
Cocktails: They are part of the whisky culture, we do one big cocktail story a year - out of eight issues thats not bad in my book.
Rum: Is a premium brown spirit with historic and production links to whisky. Therefore it made sense to do a special written by Dave (lets face it who else knows more).
Staff trips: Specifically my trip to Macallan. Occasionally I get to do something cool like the En Primeur and figure it would be nice to share the experience. No one has written out this particular scheme before so I thought people might want to know about it.
Whisky/Whiskey: We are an international magazine and therefore cover the whole world of whisky, be it Swedish, American, Scotch and where ever. We try to balance each edition but sometimes good stories come from other places in the world other than Scotland and we want to cover them.
I hope that makes sense, and I do appreciate the comments - and do keep them coming.
Content can be a very hard one to balance and I agree that too much anorack stuff can become mundane, after all it is a narrow field. In all fairness this issue is actually quite diverse and interesting with a wide appeal but I still fail to see the relevence of discussing Rum in the Whisky Mag whether historically linked or not. Just my opinion and I'm sure there are plenty others that enjoyed it being included.
We'll watch this space
I'd be very surprised if it was just 'casual' whisky drinkers wanting to understand the basics.
I'm guessing that it's more individuals - like myself - who've a thirst (excuse the pun) for more details on distilleries, personalities, new expressions, etc.
Personally, I don't like highly scientic articles. But I do nevertheless want good detail on the industry worldwide.
There are some magazines out there which try and 'cover all the bases'. Inevitably, they often end up as bland 'surface scratchers.
Not our beloved "Whisky Magazine" please!
Thanks for posting back on this. Having started the thread I'm now feeling just a wee bit mean but it was with the best of intentions and heartfelt. WM is good and is pretty unique but I stand by what I have said. Detailed coverage of whisky regattas and cocktail mixing events in the US are fine and have their place but most ordinary enthusiasts will find it a bit difficult to identify with these type of events - I feel you could go a long way to finding a more common touch whilst still being informative by getting down and dirty with the guys like ourselves (the ideas suggested previously as a start) - these could be done really cheaply and easily, which sounds like an important factor given what you have said about staffing and deadlines at WM. Some of the regulars on this forum that I have met have superb knowledge of Scotch (guys like Willie JJ, Nick Brown, Mark Davidson at Cadenheads etc) and woud no doubt have some great stories to tell - try a "20 question" type format and see what you get - I'd be pretty certain that would make for some interesting copy.
Only my humble views - maybe I'm way off the mark.
Anyway, nuff said - I won't post again on this subject and appreciate you taking the time to reply.
What I do object to is fluff pieces with large photographs, many short paragraphs, and little real information. These are what occasionally make me feel as though I've wasted my money.
MrTattieHeid wrote:What I do object to is fluff pieces with large photographs, many short paragraphs, and little real information. These are what occasionally make me feel as though I've wasted my money.
I could not agree with this more. Like the others here, I don't want to turn this into a WM bashing session (I enjoy the magazine for the most part and it has been a staple in my bathroom for the last two years) but I do often feel like I am reading an 80 page advertisement.
Has any consideration been given to less frequent publishings?
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