Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

The only reason I bought this bottle, aside from its irresistible price, is because of the fact that it comes with a miniature CD of “Gavin Smith’s Poker Tips.” This is an oddity, to be sure. Imagine you’re walking down the “Canadian whisky/American whiskey” section of your local liquor store and the only goddamn product that sticks out at you is one that has a CD attached to its fucking neck. If you’re like me, you’re enamored with the novelty. Whisky is timeless, but what brand would be so shameless as to ride a trend that is practically already beaten to death via late-night TV and cable? That brand, my friends, is Black Velvet.
I must give props to Gavin Smith’s agent, who saw an opportunity to strike it rich via right-in-your-face product placement on a whisky bottle. While certain liquors, like Sailor Jerry Rum, which has a similar display of product placement—the tag looped around the bottle’s neck actually has recipes and information relevant to the product—Black Velvet’s marketing ploy is nothing but a shill for the poker-crazed-and-thus-youthful demographic; the same demographic that thinks an individual can make millions of dollars exploiting a strategy already in existence by multiple professionals can net them a fortune. I can only imagine how useful these “poker tips” actually are—Black Velvet is fairly ubiquitous in liquor stores. Maybe they saw Gavin Smith and said something to the effect of, “now there’s a guy who can bring a level of class to our inexpensive whisky; by invoking his name we can surround our bottles with an aura of erudition.”
Boom! Whatever subtle connotations of sophistication the name Black Velvet conjures up are now ruined by this balding, obnoxious jerk-off who dresses like a six-year-old.

Ridicule of the demographic-exploiting/kitschy marketing campaign aside, Black Velvet is actually a fairly tasty whisky, and has an aftertaste that (somehow) smacks of vermouth. Damn it, this stuff is downright palatable. Personal research shows that it seems to mix best with your preferred cola (read: by cola, I don’t mean Dr. Pepper), thus it lends itself well to being used in mass quantities. To those in fraternities, this ought to be a no-brainer for you—buy a fifth of this and a two-liter of generic cola and you’ve got yourself a drink that will attract the coveted underclassmen, while simultaneously being economical (for your parents).

Surprisingly decent Canadian whisky that nearly breaks the “enjoyable” barrier. Slight indistinguishable wine-like aftertaste.

$8.49/fifth/80 proof.

- Mike

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