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20151022_181654“Congratulations! You have been selected as a woman of outstanding leadership!”

Wait. What? Really? But I’m a man.

This was the title of an email that landed in my inbox with the purpose of soliciting my participation in some sort of “Who’s Who” type volume being published. As you can see, they missed the capturing of my interest by about a mile and a half.

Sometimes people just get the messaging wrong, and when that happens, the effort is either doomed to utter failure, or to suffer a significant setback at the least.

We’ve seen this before. Take for example Victoria’s Secret’s 2014 advertising campaign for women’s lingerie entitled “The Perfect Body,” which was calculated to sell a product designed for any woman’s frame, and yet the campaign slogan was superimposed over the images of scantily clad supermodels. Again, the intended message was that the clothing was perfect for anyone, but the message received was that in order to be considered perfect, you should look like the model in the image. No one looks like those models. Not even the models. A lot of photo work is done to get those looks. There was an uprising. Victoria’s Secret heard the noise and pulled the campaign’s plug, ultimately changing the tagline to “A Body for Every Body.”

Now you may be thinking that I’m about to rip into the folks at Tomatin for doing something really stupid with their messaging, and I guess in one sense, I am. And they are.

Really, I see the problem as two-fold.

First, Tomatin, you have a really great line of whiskies. I should be seeing more advertising. You need to get the word out. I should see more advertisements in the likes of “Whisky Magazine” and “The Whisky Advocate.” I should see liquor store posters and cardboard stand-up promos communicating the character of your whisky bottles’ contents. I should be seeing table displays and meeting distillery ambassadors in duty-free shops.

Second, while knowing what I know, I’m certainly glad to get these gems for an insignificant dollar, but you need to know that your price is sending the wrong message. You are selling whiskies for half of the price of lesser competitors. Believe it or not, most guys like me work from the premise (whether it is valid or not) that when it comes to whiskies, you often get what you pay for. You are communicating that your whisky belongs on a shelf below Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, nearer the blends, when it really belongs on a shelf well above. And I dare say that if you get your prices up where they belong, any future advertising goals may be more easily attainable.

I’m telling you right now that I did not pay enough for the Tomatin 14-year-old edition. I think I paid $45 for this beauty and it is by far a more splendid dram than so many others of the same age.

The nose is crisply sweet. At first it almost smells like a cola. A second nosing and a little more concentration gives over a delightful track of malt-drenched fruit. I thought I sensed honey, but was too eager to sip to think much more about it.

The palate is well calculated. The bourbon cask hits first with a bit of sour spice, but then the Tawny port wine comes along near the end to add some sweeter syrup to the mash. Marvelous and incredibly unique.

The first sip’s finish was shorter than I expected, although the second sip seemed to linger into the medium range, carrying along a gentle caress of the palate’s port.

So, Tomatin, get with it and set the record straight as the quality distillery that you are, especially before you start receiving congratulatory notes as a “brewery” of outstanding leadership.