Sunday, February 18, 2018

Here Is What You Need to Know About WNS

For the last ten years, I have been trying to raise awareness about Whiskirexia Nervosa Syndrome, or WNS.

WNS is a whiskey buying disorder characterized by a false whiskey inventory image and an obsessive fear of running out of whiskey. Individuals with WNS tend to already own more whiskey than they can ever drink, even as they continue to buy more. News about whiskey shortages and out-of-stocks aggravates the condition, leading to imprudent case lot purchases. Persons with WNS have been known to empty store shelves of particular products they fear will soon be scarce, thereby producing the very scarcity they dread.

A typical WNS sufferer can be told repeatedly that he or she (although most sufferers are men) has plenty of whiskey, really more than enough, by persons who they ordinarily trust, and they may even in moments of clarity acknowledge that fact intellectually, but still they can't stop buying.

Many marriages are at risk.

Whiskey manufacturers have not addressed the problem. Instead they release more and more line extensions and new brands, more than ever before. New producers are proliferating. WNS, which had only a few sufferers when my campaign began a decade ago, has reached epidemic proportions.

As WNS takes hold, sufferers tend to seek comfort from other similarly afflicted individuals, but rather than supporting recovery, these groups tend to enable the condition.

What can you do? If you do not have WNS yourself, find someone who does. Help them drink their whiskey. It's the least you can do.


Harry in WashDC said...

I have WNS, and I'm not ashamed. I have learned to live with it. I no longer chase the brands named in the latest rumor, but it is a daily struggle. I no longer buy cases on a store visit following a rumor. Well, I no longer buy cases of one brand on a store visit. Well, I never buy more than one mixed case of six on one visit. And, YES, sharing is a great way to work down a bunker-full of "just in case the rumor is true" purchases, especially if your friends have collections of their own they want to work down.

Jim Laminack said...

Thank you for shedding light on this serious affliction. I was exhibiting all the classic signs of WNS. Luckily for me my sons became of age and to this day, they voluntarily remove from my bar any inventory they deem excessive.

Anonymous said...

I found the cure, drink more Bourbon!

Unknown said...

I love bourbon!
To producers: keep making it and I'll keep buying it!

Anonymous said...

AKA whiskey acquisition disorder, or WAD. WAD is just one of many such disorders that afflict the dedicated (or obsessed?)enthusiast. Show me a pastime with cool product and I'll show you many adherents with AD, pick your product. We all need help, don't we?

Unknown said...

Although I have a love for whiskey I don't have WNS but have few friends who do... but I have noticed that most people who suffer from WNS also seem be very reluctant about opening a bottle of whiskey. It's not that they're collectors or think that they can make a profit by keeping that bottle for another few years - but they always say how "now is not the time" to open that (or any) bottle. Is there any good way to convince them otherwise??

Tommy tom said...

"Pssst, Bookers is going to be a C note!"

Brian McDaniel said...

Is it okay to open my bottle of Johnnie Walker Director's Cut yet? Blade Runner 209 has already come and gone . .

Anonymous said...

My name is Anonymous and I'm an Anorak... I only buy when the local authority (in their infinite wisdom) decides to discontinue a certain bottle and dump it at 40% off - at prices that I can't see anywhere else. But I've stopped and tried calculating - if I completely stopped buying and drank at my usual pace (a dram or two 5 nights a week on average) - how many years would it take me?

But I don't care about potential shortages. I am not a pappy-chaser and only buy what I perceive as good value. And I give them as gifts when I think the recipient will appreciate them. That way I can give a $50 gift but I only spent around $30 on it :) That's if I have multiples of a bottle - I have to try and make sure it's good :)

I also hope to trade with other hobbyists. And to be offered samples (as I freely offer them). And I invite friends to tastings.

I am very entertained by this article, Mr. Cowdery, I am years into this hobby and this is the first mention of it I come across :D Thank you.