I have been dabbling with whiskey for a little over a year, doing what most people interested do, simply trying new things. I’ve been purchasing bottles over these past sixteen months and they have quickly outgrown my cardboard box, spilling into the closet floor and now slowly making their way into my office. I’m quickly running out of space for new bottles and while I know this to be a problem, I still can’t help but check the local stores each week for something new and exciting that I might want to pick up.
My interest in whiskey was somewhat of a mistake. I had consumed whiskey in the past, but never truly appreciated it. I, as many, have had the all too popular Jack and Coke and I (mistakenly) thought that was all there was for the whiskey world to offer. If you’re here reading, I’m assuming you know that’s not the case. I had recently moved and October was nearly ending and with the end of October came Halloween. I knew that my new neighbor was interested in spirits and thought this would be a good time to hang out in the driveways of our cul-de-sac and share a bottle of something as the neighborhood children came seeking their sweet treats.
I only had a bottle of tequila that my wife enjoyed in her margaritas, so I stopped by the nearest liquor store to peruse their wares. I wanted something that was out of the ordinary and “refined”. As I walked back and forth up and down the aisles, I found myself looking at the many bottles of bourbon that sat on their shelves. There were so many different ones and I, as someone who did not really even drink whiskey, let alone know any of the brands beyond Jack Daniels was admittedly intimidated. I looked over each of the bottles and like most newcomers, I made my selection based on the shape of the bottle. I ended up with a bottle of Woodford Reserve. The bottle was unique, it seemed to be the appropriate shade of brown, the name sounded refined and most of all, it was around $30. Satisfied with my selection, I made my purchase and was on my way.
Upon my arrival home, I found my wife in our driveway with our lawn chairs and roughly 25 pounds of candy. I rushed inside and grabbed a couple of glasses and returned to await my neighbor. The night went on, our stockpile of candy began to dwindle, as did my hopes of sharing a drink with my new neighbor. Once our candy was sufficiently depleted, the sun had long been set, we began packing up to move back inside. My neighbor never came outside. I would later find out that he had taken his kid to trick-or-treat in another neighborhood, but the moment of hopeful comradery was gone.
Once inside, I thought to myself that I should at least try my new bourbon. So I cut the faux tax stamp and removed the cork, poured myself a glass and began sipping on it as the night progressed. It was noticeably different from my prior experiences with whiskey. Maybe it was because I was older, maybe it was something about my attitude, but I found myself enjoying it more and more with each sip. The smell of vanilla coupled with the sweet, cinnamon-like taste drew me in. Needless to say, it was only a matter of a couple weeks before the bottle had been emptied. By this point, I had already began reading more about whiskey and discovered that there was much, much more to learn.
So here we are, sixteen months and 70+ bottles later, writing a blog about whiskey. Would I have thought that a simple drink of a mid-shelf bourbon would have led me here back when I first bought it? Not really, but that’s alright and I’ve found a great deal of enjoyment from this hobby. Now, I find myself sharing it with others and on January 19th, 2019 I hosted my first whiskey tasting group at my house with some friends and family. Everyone had a great time and we’ve already planned one for next month! I’ll be sharing here from time to time and hopefully someone will find joy in what I have to say.