...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, August 6, 2012

One Hundred Whiskies --or-- Why have I been doing this?

When I had restarted Diving for Pearls last August 29th, my intent was to create daily content centered around the freelance writing career, baseball, film reviews, music, and books.  As a bit of even lighter escapism, I had hoped to be able to write a few Single Malt Reports each month, maybe one a week at best.

Instead, over these 11 months, I have reported on 99 whiskies and delivered almost 140 drinking-related posts.

What happened?  What changed?  Have I become a raging alcoholic?

To answer the last question first: No.  Having lower alcohol consumption than the average American (according to some studies), I may be drinking less than before this started.  There's no intent to get blitzed.  It's rare that I even get a good buzz on.

To be more specific, I've become a more selective drinker.  My choice in beverages is an increasingly-bourgeois luxury that I cannot afford in large quantity.  Moreover, I'm paranoid about my health, and I need to get out of bed early every AM to get to the gym.

But when I like something, I fixate on it.  I study it, read about it, always hungering for more data.  I can read about whisky for hours without taking a single sip.  And whisky is the perfect alchemy, where science and mystery meet to create unique sensory experiences.  How could I not obsess?

I chose not to delve into my writing career here because of the oceans of negativity that surrounded it.  Writers love to complain and they love to complain of nothing more than their writing careers.  This was not to be a daily bitch session.  Diving for Pearls deserved better.  Plus, I didn't want certain parties to happen upon my complaints until I had addressed them appropriately offline.

Film reviews take an immense amount of time for me because I don't want to post something subpar.  The George Herman Hitchcock Project isn't dead, but (between the film viewing, reading, and the write-ups) one of those posts could easily take six hours.

My emotional investment in baseball wanes with each season, though my interest in football and basketball grows.  And maybe I'll be able to talk a bunch of soccer smack when the 2014 World Cup comes along.

I still intend to write about more than whisky on this site, but I really enjoy studying these amber elixirs.  There's reading, history, geography, the aforementioned science, and sometimes math involved in my whisky experience.  And the beverage tastes pretty good too.

Last week, when I wrote about my whisky tasting process, I mentioned that I don't report on everything I taste.  There's another 30-40 whiskies I've tried this year that I haven't reported on because I was enjoying them without probing much deeper.

For instance:
This is Green Spot and this is good.

My bottle- and sample-purchasing (already carefully controlled) will be curbed after August, possibly for the rest of the year.  Happily, I have enough goodies on hand to do reports for the rest of 2012.  Some REALLY good goodies.  Plus I have the benefit of several local spirits groups that help me reach the whisky beyond my grasp.

2013 will likely be more of an American Whiskey year, as long as crop shortages and growing international demand don't push this national commodity's prices to Scotch levels.  Perhaps rum and other distilled spirits may make an appearance.

Will I reach 200 reports?  I hope so.  This first block of 100 has been very educational.  I have left all of my early whisky posts intact, even though some of them are wrong or naive.  And I'd like to think I've become a better noser and taster, but that could be illusion and ego.

For report #100, I've picked a personal whisky, one that's been the subject of experiments as it's been in the Whisky Closet for some time.  For report #101, I've chosen one of the newest members of the collection.

But before those posts, I would like to thank everyone who has stopped by the site.  Especially those who have visited a second time!  I aim to do a great job with each report.  I look forward to discovering both my first 5-star and 0-star whiskies.  When the time comes, I hope I can find the right words to do them justice.