Admittedly, I understand that I am not the typical whiskey drinker. I’m in my mid-twenties, and my typical street clothes involve some kind of Philadelphia Flyers apparel. Surely I wouldn’t enjoy two fingers of Knob Creek, let alone know anything about the brand! Yet, that’s the impression that I get from time to time.
Just two weeks ago, I was shopping for my wife’s birthday. Like me, she is a huge fan of whiskey – Scotch specifically. I went to the local state store and was browsing the Scotch section. I picked out a Macallan Fine Oak 10 Year Old and a Glenfiddich 12 Year Old. When I got to the check-out counter, I was asked by the clerk if these were gifts. Okay, so they were gifts…for my wife…that I would be enjoying with her. Needless to say, his question had me thinking that he had assumed I knew nothing about what I was buying and was simply doing something nice for a friend.
Recently at Whiskey Fest Philadelphia, I noticed a similar pattern of profiling. I went with my dad, who fits the demographic of a whiskey conniseour. However, I must point out that he is not a big fan of Scotch – more of a bourbon man. When we visited the booths of brands like Balvenie and Glenmorangie, I quickly noticed that I would ask the questions, and the vendors would look my dad in the eye when they answered. How rude, I thought!
I suppose I’m a bit idealistic to think that this type of behavior wouldn’t be the norm. Then again, as a businessman I sort of see where they’re coming from. From a numbers point of view, I’m not the money-maker for the state store employee or the vendor representative. Either way, it’s tough being profiled.