I get in trouble every time I use the term 'scotch snobs.' Maybe I should say 'whiskey snobs,' since there are bourbon snobs too, but scotch drinkers seem to be the worst offenders.
Let me be clear that I do not consider all scotch drinkers to be scotch snobs. That would be ridiculous. Scotch snobs are people who aren't satisfied with choosing for themselves what to drink and how to drink it, they have to tell everybody else the correct way to do it too. (See 'know-it-alls' and 'busy-bodies.')
Scotch snobbery went on rare display after John Hansell posted a press release from the makers of The Macallan, announcing that they are introducing ice ball cutters in bars in London, Scotland and Yorkshire. The Macallan is one of the most highly acclaimed of all single malt scotches.
Ice balls -- molded, not cut -- have recently become popular here in Chicago. They originated in Japan, where apprentice bartenders carve them by hand from blocks of ice. The Macallan device is a copper press that instantly trims a block of ice into a flawless ice ball.
Ice balls, an ice cube the size and shape of a tennis ball, look slick but they have the practical benefit of chilling a drink fast while diluting it slowly.
From the comments to Hansell's post, you would think that parliament had made the use of ice balls mandatory. "Blasphemy!" wrote one. "With an every day blend, maybe. With a Macallan, no way," wrote another. "The entire text is apologetic marketing newspeak for disguising their real motivation: Finding a way to sell their whisky to more people than before," as if "finding a way to sell their whiskey to more people," is the most unspeakable kind of evil.
Here's how to tell if you're a whiskey snob. If you berate other people about the way they enjoy their whiskey and you berate producers when they stray from your idea of whiskey purity, you just might be a whiskey snob.