We build on recent theory and research on the role of categories in resource partitioning. We analyze Scotch whisky making between 1826 and 2009 — a case that seemed initially to fail to conform to the pattern of the beer industry now treated as prototypical. On close examination (both qualitative and quantitative), we find that high concentration in the center of the market is not sufficient to generate a partition. Rather, we see a long delay between the heightening of concentration in the industry and the emergence of a cluster of peripheral producers that claim an identity in opposition to the dominant generalists. We explain the source of the delay as a function of the nature of the audience, which until recently did not regard conglomerate or foreign ownership of distilleries as an impediment to producing authentic whisky. Only when critics started to question how ownership of distilleries related to authenticity did the revival of the traditional form of ownership begin to occur. By analyzing entries of focused firms in the recent period, we find that widespread ownership of distilleries of diversified corporations (but not foreign ownership) supported the formation of more traditional types of whisky distillers. But endurance of identity-based resource partitioning might require development of a collective identity and collective strategy by producers. In the case we studied, each focused producer has an idiosyncratic identity, which may be insufficient to cause audiences to agree on a code that excludes the mainstream producers from membership in the new category and thereby maintain a partitioned market.