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Consumer complaint case: Talisker whisky with a fly

When I poured a glass of Talisker whisky last autumn and found a partly dissolved fly from my glass, I had a romantic vision about small distillery and scotts and I though that I'd better inform the guys in Talisker that some part of their process is not bulletproof.

After a long search for contact information I managed to get an email address through discussion group in Talisker Facebook group and I sent my mail with these pictures.
After three months of email discussion with Diageo (owner of Talisker) I was requested to send the sample with the fly AND the remaining bottle to UK to be studied.

I have to say that all the romance about Scotland and small scottish distilleries being proud of their products vanished: Diageo representative quite clearly implied that I had put the fly into my glass to hoax a replacement bottle. Any kind replacement was not even discussed, although I would have been happy for that in the beginning.

Conclusion: When you find a fly in your Talisker whiskey - don't even bother to complain.

Final report

Dear Perttu *******,

Thank you for raising your concern with regards to a fly in your 70cl bottle of Talisker. We have received a 4cl sub sample along with the bottle that you had sent back to our Technical Centre for investigation. On receipt we noted that the bottle was 40% full and the 4cl sub sample contained a fly, there was no labelling on the sub sample. We have now completed analysis with the following results: The strength measured = 45.8% (Label strength indicated 45.8%) Higher alcohol congener analysis indicated that the sample in the bottle was a genuine sample of Talisker. Higher alcohol congener analysis indicated that the sub-sample was a genuine sample of Talisker. Sensory assessment found the sample to be similar in character to the control sample of Talisker with no off notes or tainting detected. The sub sample was filtered and was found to contain a fly measuring 2.6mm in length. Conclusions: The sample was filtered and was found to contain a fly measuring 2.6mm in length. As the sample was received open it is not possible to determine when the fly entered the sample. We would like to thank you for taking the time to return these samples to us for analysis, although we cannot ascertain at what point in our process the fly could have entered the product, due to the bottle being received open. The pictures initially provided also showed the fly was in the drinking glass and not in the bottle, again we do not have any evidence to support the claim of the fly in the bottle. Unfortunately we will have to close this concern as we have do not have any conclusive evidence to support the claim.  
Kind Regards,
Customer Account Manager
To complete the story I paste here also my response.
It's quite easy to see how Diageo could have solved this smoothly and hard to imagine why they decided not to pursue user satisfaction.
I was waiting for further comments from you, but thanks for informing that you agree with my species identification.

I wouldn't have needed to ask you that though. I saw it carefully enough to know that it was not part of Finnish fauna.

I actually thought that you guys care and my input would help somehow the quality of your products. I'm quite shocked that you think I went through all the trouble just to hoax you.

I also want to remind you that I asked three times that do you really need also the bottle or would the sample be enough. And you requested to have also the bottle, causing me even higher shipping cost. -In future I suggest that you tell the policy in early phase and save a bit of customers nerves and your reputation.

It is understandable that manufacturing processes have flaws. But when policies and communication have flaws or intentional difficulties, that is totally something else than understandable.

After your latest mail, I'm relatively pissed off and I'm going to publish your response on my blog.
On the meantime, I assume that you send me back the 40% of the bottle that was left. -Not that I'd drink it, but still it's mine to pour into the sewer.

 Perttu ******* 

Couple of weeks after this I received a delivery. It was quite sad moment, but mostly because I felt so bad for the company I felt so strongly before. -Somehow the whisky just wasn't that good anymore..

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