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In beer terms in the UK, brewers used to have a basic range and then, once in a blue moon, some of them might produce a special - perhaps for Christmas or for a Royal Wedding. These were usually high strength and high quality. But then, when it became clear that there was section of the buying public who would try anything once, we started to get a lot more breweries producing specials - often one a month or more. The quality of the specials nose-dived because, let's face it, there was little potential for obtaining customer loyalty from specials. At the same time, the number of breweries increased and they started changing names at will, or brewing different beers under different trading names - sounding familiar? The end result was that a lot of the traditional regional brewers went under because they couldn't shift the volume to keep their pub estates open - because the punters were all off trying the latest awful one off brews from the latest fly-by-night micros. OK, I simplify for effect, but I fear that whisky could go the same way. Sudden upturns in popularity can be a mixed blessing.
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