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


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 Comedy, Digital Transformation, HfS Blueprint Results



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

  2. 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. “The least disgusting low-carb beers of 2017”

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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????

  6. 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

  7. 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)

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


  9. @Michael – is a terrific drink, but sadly we didn’t cover the ryes…!![](/storage/app/media/cropped-images/whistlepig_the_boss_hog_spirit_of_mortimer_straight_rye_whiskey_1-0-0-0-0-1491097463.jpg)

  10. This is rigged Phil. I need to be on the evaluation panel next year to ensure objectivity.

  11. Single malts – promoting new ideas, team collaboration and design thinking for centuries now 🙂

  12. Awesome! I’m sure the analysts writing this one enjoyed the “spiritual” content of briefings ????????

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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


  16. 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 =)

  17. 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

  18. 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…

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