...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, September 25, 2017

State of the Blog 2017: Trying to keep things good

My first Single Malt Report posted six years ago and the Jewish New Year has begun. So I think September marks a good time to reflect on the past year.

Work and personal life require much more of my time than they used to, so I turn to the blog as an increasingly necessary form of recreation. But the more I need it, the less time (and energy) I have to devote to it. I could say that's why it's taking decades for me to return emails and reply to comments, but, let's be honest, I've always sucked at that.

Though I believe lower-case 'w' whisky is fun, capital 'W' Whisky is rarely fun. The industry and social media groups feed each other in particularly foul fashion. People buy more and more and more, and brag about how they're out of control, as if they've unlocked some amazing life achievement badge. Whisky producers, both official and independent, are more than happy to keep serving up hot brown products to this hypnotized segment. Meanwhile, corners of the bourbon secondary market turned viciously against each other this year, highlighting a sector of that marketplace which operates in a conflagration of anger, suspicion and self-hatred which burns with a heat that's too much even for this Jew.

On a related note, a very good enemy of mine traded a quarter of his collection for an international adventure. And he highly recommends it.

The point is, the blog shouldn't be work. I ain't getting paid for this. In fact, this is expensive. So my aim is to enjoy this distraction. Revelry is possible, even though the innocence is gone. Here are some steps I have taken or will take:
  • Despite my extensive history of whining about the scotch industry, I do deeply enjoy rummaging through the export numbers each year and pulling out of my ass producing the annual report for everyone's perusal. So I dig that part of capital 'W' Whisky because I love spreadsheets. And I'll continue with those posts until it's no longer fun.
  • This year, I introduced two guest reviewers, who have a llllllllot of catching up to do. Especially the fool sitting on all my brandy samples. Literally, sitting on them.
  • I've also started the "Killing Whisky History" video series, so you can watch how quickly fatherhood ages a man.
  • The blog may gain an additional guest reviewer, but she's elusive.
I also just bought a load of whisky samples. While reviews from purchased samples don't float everyone's boat, sorry Everyone. I prefer spending my now-hard-earned USD on an expanse of experiences, not overflowing my shelf space with things I'll open during Baron Trump's third administration.

Finally, I just did a headcount of the bottles I bought in 2017, and only five of them were Scotch whisky. One Springbank, one Kilkerran, one Benromach, one Port Charlotte, and one Ben Nevis. I've actually bought more world whiskies (no, not Kavalan) than scotch. A couple of those thingies should be reviewed over the next year. I do drink slowly. But I enjoy it.

Once the slog of capital 'W' Whisky starts hampering your lower-case 'w' whisky experience, it's time to take a step back and remember what you enjoyed about it in the first place. My daughter, Mathilda, has taught me how to play again, which has awakened me to the possibility that perhaps some of us grownups need to bring mirth back into our free time. Otherwise fuck Whisky. The bundle of burdens weighing on the spine of life is heavy enough. Stop voluntarily adding to it.