The other day I was on a call with Jason of Guid Scotch Drink, going over a few ideas: guest blog posts, help with my whisky society (Jason is always up to giving me good tips on how to progress my whisky society), working together on the purchase of a Glenglassaugh Octave Cask, etc…
As we were talking, Jason brought up that fact that A) I’ve got a pretty blog insane posting schedule (whisky reviews, interviews, mystery dram series, Master of Malt reviews, etc…) and B) he’s noticed that, as of late, I’ve not included into reviews any suggestion of which mood or season to drink with each what malt reviewed.
I started to explain to Jason that, my moods have changed completely and so have my seasonal whiskies. In days gone by I would never have touched a dram of Ardbeg in the late spring/early summer time (much less review seven of them in one sitting). As I started to go on about how my approach to whisky has changed, Jason said “I feel a blog post coming on” or, something to that effect. Jason, thank you. There was a blog post here.
He’s got a good point. There’s something going on with me that has altered my approach to whisky and when I should drink it (or suggest others to drink it). More specifically, my draw to peaty malts has grown to the point where my natural aversion to the smokey stuff during the warmer seasons has been bested. I currently CRAVE peaty malts. Why? In the past, my reasons for reaching for something like a Port Charlotte PC6, Bruichladdich Octomore, Ellenstown 10yr or Ardbeg Ten were because it was damn cold out and I wanted an internal fire to keep me warm. In 90 degree (fahrenheit) weather, why in the “H.E. Double Hockey Sticks” should I be longing for a peaty/smokey whisky??
I’ve been racking my brain since my conversation with Jason trying to get to the bottom of it. I may have come up with a solution.
Is it because of marketing? Ardbeg Supernova 2010 has just been released and so has their Rollercoaster expression. The marketing around those two whiskies has been nothing short of “Stellar”. While the marketing is intriguing, I’m no sucker. Yes, I’ll seek out these whiskies when they are released but in the past I would not open them until is made sense to me (read: cold-ass winter time!).
Is it because I’ve gained access to some samples though trades or otherwise? Yes, I do need to keep my tasting schedule up and I will review peaty whiskies in the summer time and lighter whiskies in the winter time. However, I do not review these because I crave them. I review them because they are there, sitting on my shelf and I like to try and review new things (especially if there’s a good amount of buzz around them. My personal tastes sometimes need to be put to the side to review “the hot new thing”).
In the end, I think I’ve figured it out. I am not lying to you when I say I have a lot of shit going on in my life. A LOT of shit. I am a father of two sweet, young girls. I play in a rock band (Kimono Draggin’), I travel quite a bit for work, my step father is very ill, I am on the Religious Activities Committee at my shul (synagogue), I run whisky society, whisky blog… The list goes on. There is so much happening in my life that I’ve almost gone numb. It’s all great stuff but there’s so little “Josh” time. It’s been nothing but needles and pins for me as of late.
So here it is, near summertime, and why am I reaching for the peaty stuff? I think I need something to let me know that I’m still alive. Shocking my nose and palate (shocking my system). Like a malt whisky sniffing salt. George Harrison was right: “All things must pass”. Until then, I have Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Port Askaig, Benromach 10 and Big Peat to remind me that yes, not only am I alive and kicking but it’s all OK and so am I.