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Silent Pool under fire for gendered whisky comments

UK-based Silent Pool Distillers faced backlash after commenting that whisky is a “more male-centric liquid” on a Sky News podcast.

Silent Pool Distillers
Silent Pool Distillers recently released Transatlantic Rye Whiskey

On 2 September, the latest episode of Sky NewsIan King Business Podcast, titled ‘Going nuclear, slowing footfall, Surrey whisky‘ was released.

Ian McCulloch, founding director of Silent Pool Distillers, sat down with King to discuss the producer’s recent launch of a limited edition blended whisky.

Forty-seven minutes and 55 seconds into the podcast, McCulloch said of the whisky: “It’s different to other offerings that are out there, it’s the first time that Surrey has come up with a whisky offering.”

He continued: “We had a lot of people visiting the site… gin tends to appeal to ladies often, and you get the guys standing there going: ‘Yeah, gin – great. But if you ever make whisky, do let me know.’

“And that’s one of the reasons we’ve done it. There’s something for everyone. I don’t want to end up making an inappropriate remark but it is a more male-centric liquid; we’ve got a lot of customers we can now satisfy.”

Becky Paskin, founder of the Our Whisky Foundation, posted on Twitter: “Cannot believe the founder of @SilentPoolGin has publicly said today they only launched a whisky to appeal to men.”

Paskin continued to explain her reasoning in subsequent tweets: “Gendering drinks is such dangerous territory. Brands should lead with purpose, not gender. Drinks gendering is the root cause of so much sexism in the whisky (and beer) industry. Hey @SkyNews @IanKingSky I’d love to come on and set the record straight about this issue. Name the day.”

Paskin then posted a quote reading: “Gin is not just for women. Whisky is not just for men.”

Silent Pool apology

McCulloch posted an apology through Silent Pool’s Instagram in response to the backlash.

He said:  “I wholeheartedly apologise for my misjudged comments in a recent live interview. It was never my intention to alienate or offend anyone and it doesn’t reflect my own, or Silent Pool Distillers’ values.

“I appreciate how these words have been interpreted and I’d like to state that we create spirits to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of gender.

“We have always valued feedback and will continue to innovate our brand and products for our customers.”

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