The wonderful world of whisky

Four years ago I wrote about having less of a collection and becoming more of a drinker than a collector. Although I did sell some bottles in the wake of that post, not much changed. The amount of bottles stayed largely the same, which was an improvement over an ever increasing stash, but it didn’t really shrink.

I’ve been easy to enthuse for a lot of things all my life. Always the geeky stuff, whether it be fantasy books, Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, CDs, video games, comic books, beer or whisky, when I get into something I get into it bigtime. In a way, the same happened with kids. When I started that, I had to go and get three…

This has a drawback, of course. These things cost money and generally when your enthusiasm wanes, there’s not much to show for it or sell on (I’m no longer talking about my kids, by the way). The exception to the rule is whisky and Magic cards. These things are worth quite a bit, after some years. The drawback of whisky, the main topic of this blog, is that I try to drink it. A day after drinking it, it might look the same, but it supposedly tastes quite different.

Over the last two years I’ve taken a step back from the world of whisky, in a way. I’ve not gotten out of it, but I don’t follow the newest releases all that much, and I don’t need to keep having better and more exclusive whiskies. I’ve come to the conclusion that the whiskies I’m tasting are good enough, great even, without them being more and more expensive, old and rare.

While that makes me miss all kinds of releases that I would otherwise have thought to be must-haves, it does make a lot of things easier. Not necessarily cheaper, since without the new releases, there’s still enough awesome stuff available. Of course, some whiskies are insanely hard to miss or say no to. Like these upcoming Game of Thrones single malts. Apparently they aren’t very good, but I’m going to try some of them anyway. Also, I already ordered them before hearing feedback on them.

What this slight distance to the cutting edge of the whisky world does is that it brings a bit of peace and quiet. There’s no unnecessary F5-ing of websites to get the latest Springbank Local Barley (although I did get that, but it was more of a timely Facebook check and someone else posting a link). There’s no scanning of RSS feeds for interesting new releases. There’s no 50 newsletters in my mailbox every week with stuff I supposedly cannot live without. And yet, there’s enough awesome stuff to drink.

This distance makes me more of a whisky drinker than a whisky blogger (even though I still blog, obviously). It also makes it far more easy to enjoy the world of whisky, since I’m not trying to be in the thick of it. If I now get an email with ridiculous claims of grandeur, I unsubscribe. If I see a brand bragging their hooch to such levels it starts to be annoying, I unfollow them.

The Dutch have a saying “Doe maar normaal, da’s gek genoeg”, which means “Act normal, that’s crazy enough”, and I find that to be more and more accurate (and yes, we’re still a rather Calvinist lot). We’re generally talking about spending some € 80+ on a bottle of booze, so if that’s the normal, that’s crazy enough. I don’t want to have all the shouting and bragging too.

Honestly, the less a brand markets their stuff, the more they come across as having faith in their product without all the nonsense. This might be less true for the entry level whiskies that have a different target audience than me/us, though.



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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