The Tater’s Insider: Branding Notes and Learnings from a PR Professional and Whiskeyphile

Jeff Lutz – VP, Corporate Communications & Content

[Tater definition

The infamous “tater.” In the world of liquor, the term “taters” takes on a different meaning, referring to avid and discerning consumers who have a deep passion for premium and rare spirits. Liquor brands find themselves in an ongoing tango with the tater community and consumers find their bottled hopes and dreams slashed by the allocations already cornered by a more aggressive consumer. 

Taters do, however, play a crucial role in shaping brand perceptions, as their reviews, recommendations and preferences can significantly influence the purchasing decisions of other consumers. A tater’s impact extends beyond immediate sales, as their endorsement can elevate a brand's reputation and contribute to long-term success in the dynamic and evolving world of liquor. As such, creating the currency of “the insider” by building relationships with tater through exclusive releases, personalized experiences and engagement on social platforms is paramount for brands looking to thrive in the competitive landscape of premium spirits.  

Here are five key learnings that can be leveraged from how taters operate.

About Me  

I must confess, I’ve been called a tater, but the term does not accurately define my passion for the whisk(e)y space. Yes, cabinets throughout my house are stockpiled with the work of master distillers, but they are to be consumed and enjoyed with others. I have also been known to sprint out of the house at the sight of a social post on a hot tip – consider it part of the hobby. 

For liquor brands, my consumer profile may not be the one that is cited as the target, yet I’m surely on their radar. If the COVID-19 pandemic had taken place with a static liquor community and leveled off consumption, the power of the American tater would have been left to the corners of the internet, hoping to get a like or two on social media. However, the trend was much different.

Translation: increased demand for a product that takes time to age in a cask means there’s a classic supply/demand challenge. This produced more emphasis on an American whiskey market that wasn’t used to such rapid change, and shazam, you get a sector of booze-crazed nuts that have a full sense of the liquor distribution supply chain in their county. 

That said, taters do provide a great deal of insight for the brands to which they profess their transitory love. For liquor brands looking to engage with their most passion followers or detractors, there are five key learnings that can be leveraged from how taters operate.

The Five Ramifications for Brands

1. Your loudest detractors are simply loud – they do not represent the most engaged evangelists. 

2. You don’t control the conversation around your brand on social media. The social dialogue happens in the corners that your most active consumers choose. Embrace the chaos and seek to influence the conversation. 

3. Every brand has its blind spots, and in the liquor space, that happens when your evangelists become liquor store and bar/restaurant staff. 

4. The consumer wants to feel like they’re on the inside of the conversation. This comes from relationship building and a dedicated process to news/information distribution. 

5. Exclusive/FOMO remains the gold standard. Your most swayable detractors live for exclusivity.

To chat Whisk(e)y or to gain additional insights into your brand, contact me at:


For more in the distilled spirits space, check out our insights and work.