Yamazaki, Macallan and Redbreast lead the inaugural HfS Premium Whisky Blueprint

April 01, 2017 | Phil Fersht

We've talked long and hard about the extent of digital disruption of traditional business models, so we decided to extend our research coverage into growth markets where the impact of digital is always positive.  When you look at the premium whisky, for example, our research shows its impact promotes new ideas, helps foster greater team collaboration and can even provoke new Design Thinking principles. Let's have a look at how the leaders in this space are positioned, based on our Blueprint Research Methodology:

At HfS we are expert analysts at peering into markets and evaluating the performances of the major players, so we thought "why not extend our coverage into adjacent markets where some of our analysts have years of practical, hands on experience?".  Personally, I have had more innovative client discussions comparing the various merits of single malt whiskies than which automation tools vendors have better control features.  

So let's talk to a few of our contributing analysts to understand how this market played out:

Bram Weerts, COO, HfS Research:

"I've tried each and every one of these buggers and you can't beat the old Yama 18.  I do love the Mac, but Yama hits the spot everytime"

Tom Reuner, SVP Intelligent Automation Research:

"I believe I've sampled all of these whiskies, especially when I am out at analyst conferences. I haven't a clue which is the best, but wanted my name on the report, so I endorse whatever Bram and Phil came up with."

Derk Erbé, VP Research:

"I believe the whisky market is ripe for digital transformation.  Emerging brands like the Walmart Fireball are poised to rip the bottom out of the market"

Jamie Snowdon, Chief Data Officer:

"There's no way I could get through our quarterly forecasts without sampling a few of these first.  And the way the industry's going, the old Walmart Fireball will only increase in popularity"

Phil Fersht, CEO:

"We may worry about robots stealing our jobs, but those bastards will never be able to drink our Scotch."

Bottom-Line:  This is only the beginning, HfS is going to extend into new markets everywhere as digital disruption takes hold

We believe we are qualified to become experts on any market where money changes hands and greats ideas emerge. Stay tuned for our forthcoming blueprints:

"Tequila Transformation - it can really change things"

"The least disgusting low-carb beers of 2017" and

"Organic wines that you really want to avoid As-a-Service" 

And of course... this was an:

Please, please don't tell me you fell for this again!  ...And I know some of you did =)


And while we’re reminiscing about falling for April Fools’ gags, here is 2016's classic:

HfS launches new unDigital magazine

And 2015's 

HfS announces its entry into the outsourcing advisory market

And 2014's 

HfS and Blue Prism partner to develop automated analyst solutions 

And 2013's 

Phil Fersht steps down as HfS CEO

And 2012's

Merriam-Webster to remove the term Outsourcing for IT and Business Services

And 2011's

Painsharing exposed: HfS to reveal the worst performers in the outsourcing industry

And 2010's:

Horses for Sources to advise Obama administration on offshore outsourcing

Oh, and here’s 2009's which I really hope you didn’t fall for too (and many did):

Horses Exclusive: Obama to ban offshore outsourcing


Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyDigital TransformationHfS Blueprint Results

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  1. Graham Russell
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 10:56 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil, brilliant piece of research. Thanks for making available on freemium! Any truth that you are rebranding as Fools and Horses Research? Graham

  2. Alastair Bathgate
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 10:57 AM | Permalink Reply

    Wonderful to see two Japanese whiskies in the winners' circle. No digital whisky report would be complete without Caol Ila and Ardbeg, however. A howling schoolboy error I'm sure you will correct in next April's report.

  3. Ramesh
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 10:57 AM | Permalink Reply

    Love the shout out to India's own Amrut!

    Great analysis =)

  4. Paul Smith
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 12:20 PM | Permalink Reply

    "The least disgusting low-carb beers of 2017"

    which of your unfortunate analysts will have to research that one?

  5. Shantanu Ghosh
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 12:29 PM | Permalink Reply

    This research is a win win for everyone - the process of experiential analysis is by itself rewarding for the analysts. For the readers, there's a couple here I haven't tasted despite years of focused unrelenting investment in developing this personal competency and that needs immediate actions ,. And then a list like this will invoke "spirited" discussion and debate about relative placement and exclusions (Carolina, Talisker, Ardberg, Jura, Bowmorre etc) anytime we get together which can only be settled though live experimentation. So I am looking forward to those debates. Congratulations on a pioneering effort.

  6. Dennis
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:01 AM | Permalink Reply

    How long was the escalation process with the Johnny Walker folks...

  7. Walevska Herrera
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:07 AM | Permalink Reply

    Brilliant. Next stop: premium chocolate.

  8. Jordi
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:37 AM | Permalink Reply

    Please, Phil, no automation on whiskey drinking!


  9. Georgina Grosso
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:53 AM | Permalink Reply

    Brillant, still laughing!

  10. Steven Skinner
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:59 AM | Permalink Reply

    No Kentucky Pappy Van Winkle? Ay chi mama. You have ruined April 1, 2017 forever...and I don't drink! I am such a fool. What a way to start April????

  11. Kapil Manaktola
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 12:14 PM | Permalink Reply

    Simply amazing ! Great choice of segment - given the whisky lovers we are :)

    Surprised not to see a few of the smoky ones up there - ardbeg, laphroaig , taliskar

  12. Sinan Gurman
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 01:59 PM | Permalink Reply

    Are you saying doing nothing, sitting and waiting for a good 8 years in a dark place is the key to transform from being worst to best in Innovation and Execution? (See Yamazaki 10 vs.18)

  13. Malcolm Frank
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 12:25 AM | Permalink Reply

    Ha! So foolishly fantastic. But no Highland Park? A travesty!

  14. Narayan Bharadwaj
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 01:05 PM | Permalink Reply

    Just like aging whisky this is getting better by the year. If you know what I mean;)

  15. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 02:03 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Sinan - whatever the Yama guys do to it, the transformation is quite phenomenal. I wouldn't even put the 10 in my lawnmower...


  16. Ari Srinivasan
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 02:12 AM | Permalink Reply

    I found this report to be the most useful for my long range planning!! ????

  17. Jon Simmons
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 03:38 AM | Permalink Reply

    ok. this is cool

  18. Michael Luckett
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 08:57 PM | Permalink Reply

    whistlepig? Boss Hog?

  19. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 09:38 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Michael - is a terrific drink, but sadly we didn't cover the ryes...!

  20. Gaurav Aggarwal
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 10:35 PM | Permalink Reply

    Awsum????- Whiskies as a service - Tequila Transformation - Liquor in cloud - came across one such startup aswell - Hipbar Startup https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/yourstory.com/2017/03/hipbar-startup/amp/

  21. Soumitra Rathod
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 02:38 AM | Permalink Reply
    This is rigged Phil. I need to be on the evaluation panel next year to ensure objectivity.
  22. Allen Shaheen
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 04:36 PM | Permalink Reply

    This is likely the most valuable analyst report I have yet to see.

  23. Sangeetha S.
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 03:08 AM | Permalink Reply

    I look forward to reading Cider As a service

  24. Eeti Sharma
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 04:10 AM | Permalink Reply

    Single malts - promoting new ideas, team collaboration and design thinking for centuries now :)

  25. Apurva Chamaria
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 04:38 AM | Permalink Reply

    Awesome! I'm sure the analysts writing this one enjoyed the "spiritual" content of briefings ????????

  26. Anirban Sanyal
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 05:23 AM | Permalink Reply

    hehehehe... I couldn't believe my eyes, and then I saw the date of publishing

  27. Peter Ryan
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 11:08 AM | Permalink Reply

    Love it!!

  28. Sanjeev Arya
    Posted Apr 01, 2017 12:11 PM | Permalink Reply

    majestically delicious Phil

  29. Eric Legrand
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 04:49 AM | Permalink Reply

    Love it! My preferred one is the impact on Design Thinking outcomes! ????

  30. Amit Mehra
    Posted Apr 02, 2017 02:24 AM | Permalink Reply

    This was a good one...April fool! Really?

  31. David Hogg
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 03:31 AM | Permalink Reply

    Walmart Fireball thankfully not available in the UK although ASDA dose some fine own brand!

  32. Hormazd Dastur
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 04:42 AM | Permalink Reply

    The perfect start to April - and to think you guys have been pulling this off for nearly a decade now - best one to date and provides an excuse to stock up

  33. Simon Boardman
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 06:26 AM | Permalink Reply

    Well done Phil - hilarious and nice to see folks NOT taking themselves too seriously!!

  34. James McGovern
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 07:08 AM | Permalink Reply

    Game to help contribute to rankings of Rum, Sake and Wine (Malbecs of course)

  35. Joe Johnson
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 08:03 AM | Permalink Reply

    Disappointing to not see Lagavulin in the top quadrant. There must be something we can do to help elevate its position. Suggest broader focus group participation.

  36. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 03, 2017 06:00 PM | Permalink Reply

    @David - I believe this is the stuff... just failed to make it, but not far off some bad Johnny Walker =)

  37. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 04, 2017 05:39 AM | Permalink Reply

    I love the way people are much more willing to criticize openly an analysis of booze preferences than service provider performances! Tells you what you need to know in this business =)

  38. Ed Susman
    Posted Apr 04, 2017 02:13 PM | Permalink Reply

    Phil...nicely done but like any new venture it needs time to mature :). Check out Auchentashen triple wood for the Gets the job done at a nice price category

  39. Tapati
    Posted Apr 04, 2017 03:12 PM | Permalink Reply

    You expected otherwise? - that's like "Surely you're joking Mr. Phil Fersht" ! :)

    On a 'high' note, am glad my top 3 coincide - Laphroig, GlenFiddich and the forever-there GlenLivet...

  40. Violaine Galland
    Posted Apr 05, 2017 03:18 PM | Permalink Reply

    Congratulations Macallan!!

  41. Kevin McPherson
    Posted Apr 05, 2017 12:15 PM | Permalink Reply

    Finally an analyst chart that is "not dry". Next April I want to see the growth in IPAs.

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