Cultural standpoints

Did you know that in Colonial America, women were the primary whiskey distillers?

Or that Maker's Mark and Bushmills trust the palates of women more than men to taste test the quality of their whiskey?

Or that women make up about 35% of whiskey consumers today?

But I bet you know what Don Draper orders at the bar. Or what Ron Swanson keeps behind his desk. Or the preferred beverage of "forgetting her" in country songs. 

This podcast is about how women and cultural drinking standards have influenced the whiskey industry. 


Other theories

The darkness of a drink affects its cultural perception. Many people believe dark liquors and beers are stronger than lighter ones, which is not necessarily true. 

  1. Most of my interviewees thought of dark beers, like stouts and porters, as masculine. 
  2. Vodka, which is clear, has become the de facto feminine spirit. 
  3. The color of a drink actually has nothing to do with its abv (many vodkas and whiskeys have the same abv). 

Smaller craft whiskey brands will have an easier time attracting women consumers than larger established whiskey brands.

  1. They do not have the preexisting, masculine brand equity like larger brands.  
  2. Visiting a distillery creates a new environment for trying whiskey, an environment free of judgement. 
  3. The experience of visiting whiskey distilleries is becoming similar to that of breweries, which have become degendered.

Wine, particularly red wine, is a gateway for whiskey appreciation. A distillery and a winery could both benefit from a partnership together.

  1. Many people I interviewed found an appreciation for wine before an appreciation for whiskey. 
  2. A partnership between a distillery and a winery could attract new people to whiskey.  
  3. Many wineries and distilleries already share their aging barrels with each other to create new wines and spirits. 

Very special thanks to Andrew Jones (art director) for creating the intro jingle, and Jessica Sugerman (art director) for making the Cultural Standpoints artwork. 


This is my recording studio, it also functions as a closet.