His blog post was inspired by an exchange he had with Dr. Whisky on Dr. whisky's blog. Sam Simmons, a.k.a. “Dr Whisky,” a.k.a. Balvenie Brand Ambassador for William Grant & Sons USA, reviewed the Bernheim Wheat Whiskey on his blog, and noted that he thought it was “boring and inconsequential.”
Hansell suggested in the comments section that since it is a wheat whiskey, that he might consider "blend[ing] it with a little straight rye whiskey to give it more personality, depth and complexity."
Dr Whisky considered this presumptuous, adding:
Who am I to judge professional whisk(e)y makers with 45 years of nosing experience, 3 generations of blending in their families, 10 year apprenticeship training, etc.?
Do you bring a paintbrush to an art gallery in case you find Renoir missed a spot? Do you add salt, Tabasco sauce, and ketchup when dining at a friend’s house?
There were over 40 responses, all intelligent, and mostly all in agreement. Here was my two-cents:
I’m with you and the gang here on this one. You buy it, you enjoy it in any way you like. That’s how it works. As for Dr. Whisky’s take, I think he’s actually way out-of-line. Whisky is a beverage, first and foremost. YES, there is often real artistry involved, and YES, some whisky expressions even achieve true artistic greatness, but it is still a potable product sold for consumption.
Strictly speaking, whisky is a luxury product. Enjoyment is, in fact, what it is all about. If instead of painting Renoir’s medium was the food and beverage industry and his art was served in a restaurant or purchased at a retail outlet rather than viewed at a museum, Dr. Whisky’s analogy would be less off the mark. Besides, mixing or adulterating the purchased product does not necessitate negative judgments against the artistry of the producer, any more than mixing a martini is a judgment against the particular brand of chosen gin or vermouth.
Except for Dr. Whisky, a paid whisky promoter, albeit of a different product, does anyone really disagree?