Daniel: And I'm Daniel.
Rex: He's a Level III whiskey sommelier.
Daniel: And he's a level [X] whiskey mooch.
The Whiskey Vault is an Edutainment video series on YouTube. Hosted by whiskey sommelier Daniel Whittington and video editor/whiskey mooch extraordinaire Rex Williams, the show features them sampling and reviewing whiskies of various types, many of which have been donated by viewers of the channel. Daniel is the co-founder and lead instructor at the Whiskey Marketing School at Wizard Academy in Austin, TX, which teaches whiskey sommeliery; the show sprang from his work. The first episode premiered in December 2016, and since then it has grown to become one of the most popular alcohol-based channels on YouTube, with almost 400K subscribers.
Along with The Whiskey Vault, Daniel and Rex host a second channel, The Whiskey Tribe, which is much more loose in format and in which they do more interacting with their fanbase.
Provides examples of:
- Audience Participation: Given that the show revolves around a deeply subjective topic, Daniel and Rex are not comfortable doing list episodes. The ones that they have done on both channels have all been based on feedback given by their fanbase which is collated together to create the list for each such episode.
- Berserk Button: It's repeatedly made clear that while good-natured ball busting among their friends and fans is allowed and even expected, the one thing that neither Daniel nor Rex will abide is genuine whiskey snobbery, i.e. actually putting people down for their preferences.
- Bookcase Passage: The door to the original room where The Whiskey Vault was filmed is hidden behind a section of a bookcase.
- Catchphrase: "The definition of 'good whiskey' is 'the whiskey you like to drink, in the way you like to drink it'."
- Crossover: The show has done multiple crossover episodes with Modern Rogue. In the early videos, Daniel introduced Brian and Jason to the basics of whiskey terminology and types, and the ways in which it can be ordered at a bar. In a later video, Brian accompanied Daniel and Rex on a tour of the distillery they've established.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In the video which is played for people who have contributed enough bottles to become a "Titan of Whiskey", a fiery whiskey bottle flies through space and destroys the earth, then flies into the sun with Rex and Daniel riding it.
- Iconic Item: Daniel's fist-sized medallion, which is awarded to people who are certified as sommeliers by their program. He explained in one video that the medallion itself is awarded to Level I sommeliers, the fancy braided chain is awarded for achieving Level II, and the red decoration on the clasp is awarded for achieving Level III.
- Limited Wardrobe: While in the early episodes Daniel wore either a denim jacket or a sport coat over a T-shirt, he's now known for exclusively wearing black V-neck T-shirts for The Whiskey Vault episodes, unlike in episodes of The Whiskey Tribe where he wears whatever he feels like. He's mentioned that he does this specifically so that's one less thing he has to think about before preparing to do an episode.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: In the show's original intro, Rex's description as some level of whiskey mooch would vary from episode to episode.
- Magnificent Bastard: Invoked both as the general term for the channels' fans and as the title given to people who contribute a certain number of whiskies for reviews. Rex will announce this with "[X], you magnificent bastard!" with a deep, booming vocal effect on "bastard" (and Daniel saying it along with him) and a cheesy animated graphic.
- No Budget: Invoked for the Titans of Whiskey video intro for those Titans who have contributed so many bottles that the gag of speeding up the intro has reached 10X speed and beyond. Rex runs up to Daniel and says that they've run out of budget for the video, which then leads to a hilariously awful remake of the intro, complete with glaringly obvious stock photos, paper cutouts of Daniel and Rex, horrible greenscreen effects, and the background music being recreated (badly) with a kazoo.
- Note From Ed: Their editor Dan will occasionally insert snarky comments that pop up on the screen, usually to poke fun at Rex.
- Patron Saint: Also invoked as the title given to the people who are the next step up from "Magnificent Bastard" in their contributions. Rex and Daniel will announce them with a sing-songy "[X], you patron saint of whiskey!", a cheesy graphic will appear, and they clink their glasses against the bottle for a bell-like tone.
- Running Gag:
- If either of them says "funk" or any word that includes it, it's immediately put on the screen in a glaring purple font with an accompanying bass thump.
- If an episode features a whiskey that was sent in by a company rep, the actual review starts with them standing around awkwardly and humming and hawing, along with Chirping Crickets and a black-and-white filter on the screen.
- For "Rare Whiskey Friday" episodes:
- Flubbing the canned intro statement, especially if it's Daniel that messes it up; Rex loves to give him grief for this.
- Trying to say the intro all in one breath.
- There are several gags related to Titans of Whiskey:
"I am *William Schappert*. They make take our lives, but they'll never take our *whiskey*!"
- Some variant of "Daniel, in the distance, do you hear it?" "Yes, I believe I do..." "Could it be...?!"*cue intro video*
- The increasingly sped-up video signifying Titans who are repeated contributors, as well as the low-budget recreation used for the most prolific Titans, who are dubbed "Trash Titans".
- William Schappert has contributed so many whiskeys to the show that he's earned his own intro, which is a piece of the scene from Braveheart of William Wallace talking to the Scottish army with some overdubs:
- Signing Off Catchphrase: Each episode ends with a toast. The original was "May your crazy stay this side of legal, and may you return before we have time to miss you. Cheers!", which was replaced with the page stinger.
- Sommelier Speak: Downplayed. In each episode, Daniel and Rex go into detail about the odors and flavors they get out of the whiskeys they're sampling, along with some of the more intricate aspects such as finish and front or end notes. However, they're very down-to-earth and straightforward, and the pretentiousness and Purple Prose that's usually associated with the trope is nowhere to be found.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: In the early episodes, any curse word that had to be censored got the standard beep. Currently, they're overdubbed with a popping sound similar to a bottle being uncorked.
- Squick: In the Titans of Whiskey intro video, when Daniel and Rex meet at the Wizard Academy, Daniel tosses Rex a glass while Rex tosses Daniel something that's long, pink, and digitally mosaic-ed. Daniel juggles this like a hot potato and drops it with a horrified look, while Rex's face is CGI'd into an evil leer.
- To Absent Friends: Rex reads a couple of comments from previous videos or fanmail near the conclusion of each episode. These sometimes include someone asking them to raise a toast in memory of a recently-deceased family member or close friend, which they will honor.