The Schwag Bag

Who doesn’t like free stuff? At the risk of sounding like a cheap ass – I love free stuff. The whisky industry like almost every other industry out there has its fair share of promotional freebies. Just looking in the top drawer of my desk: Talisker pen – check, Balvenie pen – check, Yamazaki pen/pencil/quill/hanko combo (ok, I made up the last two items, but I swear they would do it if they could)- check.

At almost every whisky tasting there is something you can take home for free. There has been a lot circulating around the internet about the propriety of taking free stuff from distilleries and how it might impact a blogger’s reviews.  But I am going to decline to take on such a serious debate at this time and simply write about some of the items I have picked up along my whisky journeys.

First there is the pen.  Who doesn’t have a distillery brand pen?  They are kinda cool I guess, you can display your pension for whisky to the rest of the literate world by breaking out one of said pens anytime a writing implement is required.  Nothing special here though …if the ink were made of whisky or if it could double as a flask…man, sliced bread you better watch the hell out.

Then there are the glasses.  Usually these are handed out at larger whisky tasting events, read ones where you pony up some serious duckets to attend (I guess technically the glass isn’t free), but not all of the time.  Unfortunately, I have been to a whisky event where the ticket price was well over $100 and no glass.  Really? A ticket price that steep and no glass?  That put a damper on the event for me.  The glasses you do get at events are great though.  They are utilitarian, cool looking and most importantly keep me from dramming out of plastic water cups at the office.

T-shirts…what better way to display your love of a distillery than to wear their T-shirt around town?  It might be a good idea to avoid wearing these shirts to kid functions though.  I like the shirt, just never really wear them out.  They are mostly worn around the house.

So what are some of my favorites?  Well definitely one of my favorites is the Laphroaig hip flask.  This bad boy has saved me several times by making many an agonizing kid’s birthday party, family outing, Christmas shopping day somewhat tolerable.  Load it up with some whisky and the reality of the painful task at hand is suspended for as long as you have whisky and as low as your tolerance might be at the time.

Another one of my favorites comes from Laphroaig again.  The black Laphroaig tie.  My uniform for work is a suit.  But truth be told I haven’t had the stones to actually wear the tie to work.  And I really don’t have the proper suits and shirts to match with the black tie without looking like I am going to a funeral – or maybe this is just an excuse.  One of these days though, I shall unbutton my coat and the white stitched Laphroaig logo will be able to bask in its much deserved glory for all to see.

What are some of the freebies you have picked up along your journeys?


Filed under Imbibed Musings

4 responses to “The Schwag Bag

  1. GAL

    nice one chris…

    i have none. no pen, no glass…

    and no shirt.

  2. No pen here either. I do have several free glasses from the whisky live fest. My favourite is free whisky, how could it not be?!

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