...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Diving for Pearls in 2017

Hi. I am the creator.

Of Diving for Pearls. I write the posts and attempt to keep The Big Whisk(e)y list up to date. Sometimes I add things to the right side of the page. Sadly, if you're reading this on a mobile device, you can't see the right side of the page, which is a shame because it's amazing.

I live in Ohio. I used to live in Los Angeles County. My wife supports this blog and represents 25% of my readership. My daughter just graduated into pull-up diapers and threenager-dom. I'm doing some freelance work that's keeping me very busy right now, but will likely dry up just when it's getting good. Is this the face of an optimist?

This Blog

When I started this blog in 2007, I wrote about film, music and my personal life. In 2011, I went from being a whisky enthusiast to a full-on fanatic. Gradually, whisky-themed posts took over the entire blog. By 2013, my natural cynical tendency, which had slipped into the occasional post, had spread like a little drop of ink in a glass of water until it tinted every whisky thing I wrote.

In January 2015, I posted a three-part series entitled What Was the Scotch Boom, using public data supplied by the Scotch Whisky Association to illustrate the industry's financial reality and expose some of the myths in their narratives. Those posts garnered more reads in five days than I usually get in two months. In January 2016, I wrote a three-part follow-up called Scotch Ain't Dead Yet, updating the previous year's stats and charts, and re-examining the narratives. Again, readers seem to have enjoyed it.

My plan was to continue these studies, but the Scotch Whisky Association still hasn't released the data for 2015. If they do, then I will happily write another set of posts studying scotch whisky sales, volumes and prices. If they don't, well, I'll figure out something.


So what about now? I spend an increasing percentage of my casual (read: note-free) alcoholic beverage indulgence sipping on drinks other than whisky. Taking beer and wine into consideration, non-whisk(e)y things make up almost half of my alcoholic drinks.

You will have noticed that an increasing contingent of excellent whisky bloggers have begun to mix in reviews of other aged spirits with their whisky posts. That's awesome, and I hope more whisky bloggers follow in their footsteps. As of this moment, I will not be joining them. I'm not prepared to pontificate on things I don't thoroughly know about. Yes, that puts me at odds with the raison d'être of the Internet.

But I'm having fun learning about non-whisky drinks and enjoying not having to consider their purpose in the cosmos. I also feel like I have a different palate than other whisky-bloggers-who-write-about-brandies-and-rums when it comes to other drinks. And I'm figuring out where to go with that.

My apologies for bombarding this site with Ardbeg reviews for the past two weeks. I had cleared my calendar space to write about the industry's financial condition. When the numbers didn't come out, I found inspiration in the Ardbeg Ten I'd just bought on sale. It was not particularly great whisky and my accumulation of Ardbeg samples had begun to get out of control. Thus all those reviews.

Bourbon and Rye Day Friday will start up again in a couple weeks. If I do choose to review non-whisky drinks, they will get their own day of the week as well so that you, the reader, will know which day to skip. I hope to do larger thinkpieces once a month (or two) about capital 'W' Whisky and small 'e' enthusiasts. And I look forward to visiting a number of American distilleries and then sharing with you what I've learned.

Not Booze

I have started and abandoned dozens of album reviews as if they were novels. Not so much with film reviews. In fact, I don't know how parents of young children get to watch any films at all. I don't watch television, and I think American politics is doing well enough publicly commenting on itself without the need for me to add to it.

My daughter and my work are the center of my life. The latter I complete anonymously, so I can't really get into it here, yet. I've chosen to tone down the frequency of posts about the former, for privacy purposes. When I do write about parenthood, it's a spur of the moment illustration of my failures (manifold!) and my successes (exiguous!). I've also reduced the amount of photos I've shared because she is her own person now (is she ever) and I'd like to protect her right to privacy. Parents who pummel social media with photos of their kids every day give me a weird feeling inside. I ponder the real purpose behind those posts, and I wonder who looks at those pictures outside of the intended audience.
Today, I'll just include this image of Emily Prime,
the star of The World of Tomorrow
Still, I will celebrate my daughter here on her birthday. And I should probably laud my young wife on hers. And goodness knows, this blog is a party on my birthday week.

To conclude

I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2017. If you're an American, please be careful about the quantity of alcohol you consume over the next four years. If you're from China, welcome! Drink single grain whisky! It's so much better than single malt whisky! If you're from another excellent country, thank you for reading my blog posts. How easy is it for a family of three to get citizenship?

As the kids in China say, 886.