...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Life changes, the blog continues. Unasked questions answered.

I used to fill my posts with personal news and photos. This practice decreased gradually as each of my children arrived, as I realized that most of my readers were people I don't know. While I'm sure that the vast majority of my readers are awesome folks, you know as well as I do that there are a lot of very strange individuals on the Internet. And they all drink whisky.

I'm kidding. Some drink brandy.

But I'm going to get into a little bit of personal stuff now because it affects the way I experience whisky and this blog.

The past four years have been very full. Mathilda arrived in 2014. I traveled alone to Japan in 2015. My wife and I traveled to Scotland in 2016. We sold our house and moved across the USA in 2016. I traveled alone to Japan, again, in 2017. Beatrice arrived in 2017.

2018 has been the year of sickness. Some ailments have been quickly curable, some have not. This has resulted in an abrupt dietary change in our home, as well as a significant decrease in the consumption of alcoholic products.

These changes have been shifting the way I experience drinking and buying whisky. Four years ago it was probably already clear that I was no longer interested in The Chase for the newest whisky thingamabob. That philosophy has only deepened since then. Some of you are more informed of the whisky scene than I am, but I promise I always do my best to make sure my whisky scribblings are informed.

Meanwhile, with two beautiful children and the most stressful desk job I've ever had, I've been rethinking about how I want to spend my recreational time and money. I no longer have two consecutive hours to myself, so the film world has passed me by. Reading puts me to sleep almost instantly thanks to constant eye strain. And every time I fall down an internet rabbit hole, I get angry that I let myself die for an hour like that.

My free time is better spent with something more interactive, more compelling. That's why this blog is so important to me. I hope to do more in-depth studies of brands or distilleries in 2019 to keep things interesting for you and me. I've already made some recent changes to add variety to the Diving for Pearls experience. I brought in two guest reviewers for brandy and rum. And I started the Killing Whisky History monthly video series.

Killing Whisky History also emerged because it was time to start opening up my older stuff. Those bottles do no good collecting additional dust. I'm also having a Kill Bottle event for my birthday because all my open whiskies need to be shared and emptied. Those half-finished bottles are doing no one any favors, either. It's time for a refresh.

Where does that leave that whole casual drinking thing? Well, I do much less of it than I used to. When I do drink casually, I want to it be casual. And I don't see the logic of spending $100 for a casual sipper, let alone $200. When I do shop, I'm looking for a bottle that's under $70. Six years ago, my casual bottles were $40 or less. Add that in as one more reason why I've made only four whisky purchases this year. The inhuman emotionless force of the market has failed to change. But I have. At some point along this timeline I'll leave the market to its fate, as I abandon whisky purchases altogether, and just open the bottles I already have.

But samples, though...


  1. Please do continue blogging, I'm a regular (but mostly quiet) reader. Also I loved your analyses of whisky market reports - any chance you'll do more of these?

    1. Cosign all of that - I came for the whisky market reports, stayed for everything else (and I barely buy whiskey at all, and pretty much never at more than $40 a bottle).

    2. Thank you both for sticking with the blog! Yes, I'd love to do more of those reports, but the SWA has changed the way they release their stats. They suddenly stopped publishing the really great document that I'd pulled all my numbers from, and replaced it with something full of graphics and short on info. Also, they've changed some of their metrics, and I'm noticing some inconsistencies. The good news is that the 2017 stats are out, so I have two years' worth to catch up on. I just need the time. I was working freelance (and/or stay-at-home parenting) when I did the other reports, but today I have a full time gig. I guess the answer is "You have not seen the last of my reports, but they may be different going forward."

    3. New reader here. I really like your thoughts here. As a father of 2 little ones myself, I know exactly where you are coming from. You have a new follower.

    4. Thank you, MLM! Best wishes to you and your family!

  2. Another lurker here: definitely please keep blogging (when you can). I am also interested in everything, including the analyses of markets.