On crowded liquor store shelves, it's all about the bottle.
Sure, people try out new booze based on word of mouth, reviews, and recommendations from the cute shop clerk. More often than not, however, huge numbers of people walk out of their local purveyor with a something new simply because it comes in an awesome bottle.
There's nothing wrong with this approach, of course. Picking any bottle off the shelf can sometimes be a crap shoot anyway, so it might as well be a crap shoot that looks good on a home bar. But people's tendency to pick the bright shiny object has led distillers and brewers to go bigger and better in order to outdo one another. The latest breed of liquor bottles are designed to stand out on the shelf and catch the eye. Because if they can provoke a “that's freaking awesome!” moment, people are that much more likely to plunk down their hard earned dollars.