A finely made spirit, has a story, unique to each bottle. This story has chapters of origin, ingredients, terroir, process, outcome, that speaks of the maker, the distiller, the place, giving us the beginning-middle-end, that we seek of a story.

It is rather disappointing that most brands either do a poor job of it, or stay away from revealing too much and the reasons could be several – marketing compulsions, inability to consistently deliver what the first label promised, not wishing to divulge too much due to fear of competitors, or just not aware that this could be a missed opportunity to educate and connect with the consumer, about the journey of the fine spirit in the bottle.

For example in a Single Malt whisky, the transparency around the maturation journey, the terroir of the Peat that differentiates one smoke from another, apart from ingredients and other details, could offer a quick education to an enthusiast or a connoisseur into the world of fine spirits. One of the brands that does it well, is Compass Box Whiskies. If you download their fact sheet, you get to understand the depth of the craft involved in Whisky making, connecting both the spirit and the maker.

In the case of a fine spirit, the label could be the story, a connecting point, between the maker and the enthusiast. Let us hope that more and more brands adapt what Compass Box Whisky, or Wolfburn and few others are doing – celebrating the story of the spirit with the rest of us all.

We at The Vault, have been doing our best to provide the missing information in our Vault Collection, through the Vault’s website, which you can always refer to before buying. I also invite you to write to me with your questions in case you wish to know more about the expression.

If you ever feel overwhelmed with the technical jargon on your favourite spirit bottles, I have broken it down for you visually, using the Wolfburn whisky label, as they have displayed it in an easy-to-understand and visually helpful manner.

Enjoy decoding the labels, so it can help you deconstruct your spirits.

Keshav Prakash

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