This Is Not a Joke: Whisky in a Can

22 Jan

It’s true: I read it online here and here! You can stop cringing (laughing? crying?) now.

Is this a good idea?

Many people have already opined about the pros and cons of this new packaging. I think any alleged impact on flavor is a red herring. The can’s interior should be oxygen-free, so as long as it doesn’t stay on the shelf for long, there should be minimal impact on flavor, not that any “Scotch whisky” destined for a can would be harmed by a little aluminum. Besides, do we really think that anyone who’d buy this product cares about nuances of flavor? 😉

Normally I am strongly in favor of expanding the whisk(e)y market…to make it more accessible to a wider audience appeals to me. As an alternative — to help expand the market — I strongly prefer the broader availability of resealable mini-bottles, where you usually get 50 ml (two servings, the way I drink it!). By “broader availability” I mean MORE: More brands, more expressions, more choices.

In my opinion, there are a few reasons why this “in a can” approach may be a imperfect:

  • Face it, making a cheaper delivery system for more potent alcohol (than what usually comes in a can) is probably a bad idea.
  • Moreover, I feel that when you put this much whisky in a non-resealable container, you’re going to get people drinking more than they want to (or should)…just to finish the can.
  • I’m going to assert that the folks that came up with this idea probably haven’t considered their marketing strategy very thoroughly: Is it a good idea to take what many people perceive as a premium product and deliver it in the same kind of container used to sell cheap beer?
  • Maybe it’s no accident that the “Scotch” here is a no-name.

Size Matters

The article states that 12 ounces is eight shots, and the manufacturer states that 12 ounces is three servings. Let’s parse the serving size a bit, because I think it’s extremely misleading either way you look at it.

  • If we accept the stated “three servings in a 12-ounce can,” that’s four ounces per serving. Holy crap!
    • A single shot (in my house) is 7/8 ounce (about 25 ml). So, a four-ounce “serving” would equate to over four-and-a-half 7/8-ounce servings.
    • At 1.5-ounces per serving (what I would call a “double”), there are still over two-and-a-half generous servings in four ounces.
  • The article also stated that there were eight shots worth of whisky in the 12-ounce can. Ok, sure: But it depends on what size “shot” you use.
    • 12 ounces divided eight ways is eight 1.5-ounce servings. The way I drink whisky, what the article calls a “shot” would be a double. Is this like grade inflation?

Let’s be honest: a 12-ounce can of whisky contains way more than three servings. If you’re really being honest, it’s also well over eight servings. The only way that this “whisky in a can” has three servings in it is if normally people are drinking what I would call a “double double.” (The link is to the Wikipedia page on In-n-Out Burger, the only place I’ll have a “double double.”) If I were drinking 12 ounces of whisk(e)y, I’d get almost 14 servings out of the container.

Writing this last bit made me realize that two 12-ounce cans is almost exactly one-fifth of a gallon, approximately 710 ml. That means that this “whisky in a can” is effectively a non-resealable half-bottle of whisky. When stated that way, I think there can be no question that this packaging method will almost certainly encourage excessive drinking.

Parting shot (get it?)

Wine in a can?

1 Comment

Posted by on 22-January-2011 in Whisky2.0


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One response to “This Is Not a Joke: Whisky in a Can

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