Usually I would write more end-of-year lists in the dark days of a waning December. This year, apart from not too much booze related events happening due to my family’s growth of 33%, I also didn’t focus a lot on non-whisky stuff. I didn’t properly review beers, but I had some good ones. The same goes for gin, vodka and my unfulfilled fascination with absinthe.
I had a plan to spend less money on whisky and more on absinthe to get emerged in that little niche world too, but in the end it didn’t happen since, well, I just don’t know where to start. Especially with absinthe, which not a sane person drinks neat many days of the week. There’s a ritual and I don’t have the equipment. Neither do I have the inclination or room to buy a fountain or a freezer for the vast amount of ice needed.
Since I’m currently reading ‘Distilled’ by Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison I got reminded of the fact that I like a lot of other distillates too. After a tequila & mezcal tasting I joined a couple of years ago I intended to buy some of that, but as you might have guessed that didn’t happen either. I intend to change that in the coming year.
Back to the open bottles. Instead of writing another list of stuff I think you should spend money on, I decided to write an update on the ‘lower the amount of oxidizing booze in my cabinet’ project that my wife generally refers to as the ‘you’re drinking too much again’ excuse.
In March of 2013 I wrote that I had some 110 open bottles and had killed quite a few in a recent flurry of finishing heels/tails/ends/bottoms. I set myself up for an annual target of remaining open bottles to keep my collection a bit more versatile. Also, with the family expanding I needed the room in which it was all stored for other purposes. Mostly a crib, wardrobes, diapers, and other infant related crap.
That year I set the the target at 80. I got to 92. This year I set the target to 65 and by now I’ve gotten to 64, with at least one more to be ended before Thursday. Success! Glory! Space! Rainbows and unicorns!
Well, not space. I kid myself in this, because I don’t count stuff that’s not whisky. I have amassed quite a bit of that in gin, absinthe, cocktails bits and bobs. You know, stuff you want for some inexplicable reason.
Anyway, I currently have 64 bottles of whisky open. Technically that is a bit of an outdated count because of the FEW Spirits bottle-share, but those count as samples, and they’ll be gone soon enough. My target for the coming year is going to be set at 40. That’s only a decrease of 24, but the average level of liquid inside the bottle is slightly higher than it was at the beginning of last year, plus I want to open some of my stash in the coming months.
Luckily, sample sales have picked up slightly so that might also help. In the end, which I expect to happen somewhere in 2016, I want to end up with two shelves of open bottles. One with whisky, and one with other stuff.
By estimating shelf space I should set a target for 24 open bottles of whisky in total. That’s three rows of eight bottles. It feels like a vastly more sane number than the 140 I started with somewhere halfway through 2012 when I did a proper count.
By the way, what helps tremendously in finishing bottles are the following things, that I plan to do a bit more of next year:
- Invite people over for a drink. Drinking with friends is better than having to tell yourself you’re not drinking alone because the cat is home too.
- Buy less craft beer. I love the stuff but with the distillate fascination growing ever more rampant I just can’t afford it. I wrote about that before too.
- Keep selling samples.
So, mission accomplished for 2014. New target for 2015 set at 40 open bottles to remain in 367 days. And buy some mezcal.
Good stuff is coming. I’ll try to write reviews of things I try from my own collection that aren’t on the blog yet, but there aren’t many left.
Bring it on!