Whisky-filled capsules – a marketing stunt or a whole new way to drink?
Scottish whisky company Glenlivet has created shot-sized capsules. Not everyone thinks they are a great idea
The edible capsules, which contain 23ml of Glenlivet whiskey cocktail, were likened to the Tide Pod Challenge of 2018
The Glenlivet, one of the biggest whiskey companies in the world, unveiled its “Capsule Collection” to coincide with London Cocktail Week
Scottish whiskey company Glenlivet created something on a social media storm this week, garnering 7.5 million views and plenty of comment. The item in question is the Glenlivet Capsule Collection, three small shot-sized capsules, each featuring a cocktail based on Glenlivet Founders Reserve.
The short clip on Twitter says “no ice, no stirrer no glass – we are redefining how whisky can be enjoyed”. To which the question might be, are glasses and ice such a huge problem? Apparently they are part of London Cocktail Week, with recipes created by Tayer Bar in London.
Online, it was compared to the Tide Pod Challenge controversy of 2018, when individuals filmed themselves gagging on washing tabs. Just to be clear, the whisky cocktail capsules are not poisonous and, as they come in a seaweed-based material, are arguably are more sustainable than bottles and glasses.
The pods are “a first of its kind for a spirit brand”, according to the promotional material issued by the company. “The edible capsules are 23ml in size, fully biodegradable and provide the perfect flavour-explosion experience. Enjoying them is simple, the capsules are popped in the mouth for an instant burst of flavour, and the capsule is simply swallowed.”
In Ireland, a pub measure of spirits, is 35.5ml.
Ally Alpine of Celtiic Whiskey said the pods may be aimed at the US market and were unlikely to take off in Ireland. “I did check it was not April’s Fools Day first, but it appears to be real. It seems to be like a shot, and drinking cocktail shots is huge in the US, so it might work there. But I wouldn’t see them being big in Ireland, were we don’t really drink that way. Or maybe it is just a marketing ploy to gain publicity. In which case it has worked!”
The reaction among some scotch and whisky enthusiasts was. well, not so enthusiastic.
“Surely this is a sick joke,” wrote Julia MacFarlane. ABC’s foreign affairs reporter in the UK. “Glenlivet is not a tide pod. This is an abomination. What is going on. Somebody do something @NicolaSturgeon”
“Ummm, whisky cocktails are for sipping & savouring, not exploding in your mouth all in one go,” wrote another poster.
I accidentally washed my clothes with a Glenlivet Whiskey pod and now my t-shirts are slurring and telling me what they *really* think of me.— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) October 5, 2019
Some evil genius marketer produced advertisement that just destroyed the carefully cultivated mystique of The Glenlivet brand.— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) October 5, 2019
Think Goizueta’s New Coke disaster times 100.
These are perfect for driving. Stuck in traffic? Have a Glenlivet! Kids in the back seat getting on your nerves? Have two! Road trip? One for the road, one for the ditch! What could go wrong?— mdflip (@mdflip) October 5, 2019
No. No. No. No.— Bad Leaf (@bad_leaf) October 5, 2019
Who looked at a glass of scotch and was like, you know what. Tidepod.
So someone is going to swallow like 20 of those Glenlivet pods whole in a minute on a dare and there will be a moral panic about them next week, right?— Casey Mattox (@CaseyMattox_) October 5, 2019
That Glenlivet piss pod thing is some fake-ass Russian Internet Research Agency assault on the very foundations of our civilisation for sure.— John Birmingham (@JohnBirmingham) October 5, 2019