Like any niche, the global community of whiskey enthusiasts has its own unique lingo. Perhaps you already use terms like “nosing,” (smelling) whiskey with confidence, and are familiar with exciting tales of hunting for elusive “unicorn” whiskeys.
But while those and many other examples of whiskey jargon are fairly straightforward, there’s one term gaining traction among whiskey connoisseurs that is a bit more confusing. The mysterious term in question is “tater.” Does it sound familiar? Here’s a hint… you don’t want to be called one.
Digital media company VinePair defines taters as “novice drinkers who pretend to be experts in the field.” It’s true, folks who truly love whiskey have little patience for those whose affection for the spirit feels more performative than authentic. While the term’s origin story is unknown, its connotation is crystal clear. Urban Dictionary comes down hard on whiskey taters, claiming they are “mostly driven by fear of missing out…or the need to post ‘impressive’ unopened bottles on social media.”
A Social Media Silver Lining?
Search the hashtag “whiskeygram” on Instagram and you will see hundreds of thousands of whiskey bottle close-ups from all over the world. And sure, some of those folks are just showoffs who want to portray themselves as whiskey experts, whether they know the difference between bourbon and rye or not.
While no one likes a poser, posting about a product on social media helps to grow its audience. Small businesses often encourage (or beg!) people to tag them, and social media has played an important role in the growth of the whiskey industry and many others.
So, to offer a slightly nuanced take on the tater hater conversation, we’d like to humbly suggest that taters are not all bad. While some of them are probably only posting to build their street cred, they’re actually helping to raise awareness about the wonders of whiskey culture. And that’s a good thing!
Check out how some of our RackHouse partners have harnessed the power of social media (taters and all) to build vibrant communities of whiskey enthusiasts. You’ll find powerful storytelling, bite-size educational posts, and lots of inspiration to help fill your home collection with unique and innovative spirits.
It’s What You Know
The reason taters get such a bad rap in the whiskey world is the perception that their boastful claims and glamorous photos are nothing but hot air.
And while you don’t need a PhD in whiskey to enjoy its mouth-watering complexities, it’s not a bad idea to have the basics down. Around here, we welcome whiskey drinkers at any point in the journey, and we’ve tried to make it easy to learn everything you need to know. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite guides:
- Whiskey for beginners: everything you need to get started
- An all-in-one guide to whiskey
- How to drink whiskey: a go-to guide from novice to expert
- Whiskey 101: Breaking down the different types of whiskey
- Whiskey storage 101: What’s in a barrel?
There’s no better way to earn your bona fides than becoming personally acquainted with a range of the best craft whiskeys in America. Rackhouse Whiskey Club scours the U.S. looking for the best distilleries with the most interesting stories to curate a unique subscription box filled with full-sized bottles of hard-to-find small batch whiskey. We’re building a community of premium craft whiskey drinkers. And you’re invited! Join us!