A Salute to Whisky Clubs; A Profile of The Bureau of Malt Sippers (BUMS)


A Salute to Whisky Clubs

The phenomenon of Whisky Tasting Clubs is burgeoning hobby group throughout the Midwest and other areas of the US.  One such group, the Bureau of Malt Sippers (BUMS) was recently featured in a local St. Louis news article;


regarding the club and a recent trip to Maker’s Mark Distillery taken by BUMS representative, Mark Friedman, to taste a new release, Maker’s 46. Friedman was one of 15 whisky journalists who were flown down to Loretto, Kentucky at the invitation of Kevin Smith, Master Distiller, and Bill Samuels, Jr., President of Makers Mark, to tour the distillery and taste the new whisky with the Maker’s 46 team.

As part of a viral marketing campaign he was contacted through the effort of Maker’s Mark’s marketing agency Evins Communications in New York.  In viral marketing, part of the campaign to spread the good word about a product is done through non-conventional channels in lieu of TV and Print advertising.  Instead, part of the effort to get out the marketing message is to contact “influentials” in your target market who may be able to influence public opinion in favor of your product.

Friedman and others received a VIP tour and access to the folks responsible for creating the new whisky. If all went well and the whisky and treatment at the distillery favorably impressed the writers, they wrote about their impressions in their magazines, blogs and elsewhere.  In Friedman’s case, in addition to blogging about the experience on the BUMS website, www.scotch-tasting-bums.com he also shot and posted a video on that same site.

Another aspect of contacting Friedman, who is primarily a single malt whisky writer, was to get out the world to Scotch drinkers about a new Bourbon profile in hopes that it might appeal to their palates.  Friedman did give a favorable review, rating the Maker’s 46 in this way, “This new expression is a cousin to the standard expression with the same wonderful roundness of flavor but with a nose that has cinnamon and nutmeg upfront with the vanilla and berry components subordinate. On the palate is caramel, cinnamon, vanilla and a slight but pleasant woodiness. The finish is a gentle decline to a low level of spiciness. I give this an 85-90 but tending towards the high end.”

John Hansel, of Malt Advocate, rated this same whisky a 90.

Whisky Clubs all over are increasingly sophisticated which is reflected in some of their sites such as the outstanding, L.A. Whisk(e)y Society, http://www.lawhiskeysociety.com/


which can be contrasted by the grass roots effort of clubs such as The Old Snots (Old Scotch Nosing or Tasting Society) a group in rural Illinois with a basic but fun site at


Whatever their level of sophistication, this phenomenon only supports the efforts of all those who toil away to make their tastings and their websites a destination for fun, camaraderie, information and drams to delight the senses. A salute to them all. Slainte!


Article provided by www.scotch-tasting-bums.com


  1. het kompas says:

    over 2000 different Scotch Single Malt Whiskies, over 80.000 hits a month greetings willem ham

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