I’m going to be doing a few scotch reviews soon based on samples from Master of Malt. Four of them are free samples that I got as part of a promotion they seem to be doing with bloggers. Before I start posting these, I thought I’d write up a quick disclaimer to link to from my reviews. I know this is an area (free samples) that can be controversial with some people.
About Master of Malt
Master of Malt (MoM) is a pretty cool online whisky retailer. You can get some insight into the company by reading this blog post/interview from The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society or this one from Whisky Emporium. They also offer a series of whiskies under their own label. What’s especially unique about them is their offering of 3cl samples (packaged themselves from full sized bottles) of many of the whiskies they sell.
I’ve been a big fan of the ability to buy whisk(e)y samples for some time. I was able to blog about the full range of Highland Park (up through 30 year) by purchasing samples from Loch Fyne Whiskies and The Whisky Exchange. These were samples bottled by the distillery. I was also able to try most of Diageo’s special releases last year via WhiskySamples.eu, who specialize in samples of rare expressions. Now we have Master of Malt with their “Drinks by the Dram” try before you buy service, with prices ranging from about $3 to over $100 for a Glenfarclas 1952 family cask.
Here’s the deal
Ok, so Master of Malt is focusing on their internet business, and trying to get the word out about their online store and services such as Drinks by the Dram. One way of doing that is via whisky enthusiasts such as myself who have blogs. I’ve received a few free samples from other sources in the past (and always disclosed that fact), but those were from the distilleries, or their marketing representatives. There was never any kind of stipulation tied to the samples. In this case, the four free samples I received from MoM did arrive with a few strings attached, which is what I wanted to clarify in this blog post.
MoM has requested the following from any reviews tied to the samples they sent me for free:
- A link to the Master of Malt home page
- A link to the product page for each dram
- Links to their social media pages (Twitter, Facebook)
- Mention in the post of who supplied the sample
That’s it. They also stated clearly that they have no expectations for any particular types of reviews – no minimum word length; no time limit; no specific link blocks or anchor terms. They stressed that the reviews should be totally independent and unbiased. Overall, it sounds pretty reasonable to me. I don’t feel any pressure to behave differently when posting about these whiskies than I do with bottles I bought myself, or samples I traded for with other enthusiasts.
As far as I know, this was a one time offer. I’ll plan on buying samples myself in the future (as long as the price point works for me).
If you have any issues with the idea of some of my blog posts being based on free whisk(e)y samples, that’s fine. I get it. I’m not going to turn them down, though. I enjoy having the opportunity to try new whiskies. Most of them will come from my own purchases, or trades with other enthusiasts. Now and then, a unique opportunity like this one will come up, and I have no intention of passing on these opportunities, as long as I’m not asked to do anything “sneaky.” If it makes you feel any better, I have no means of receiving any kind of income from this blog. It’s 100% amateur hour here…no affiliate links, etc. (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
So, with that out of the way, I’m going to proceed with a clear conscience, enjoying as many types of whisk(e)y as I can, and sharing my thoughts, for as long as I continue to have fun doing it.Cheers, Jeff