Hey there, 2020!

While technically the new decade only starts next year, we’ve still moved from the tens to the twenties last week and that is much more noticeable than 2020 to 2021 is going to be. So, to get things going: Happy new year!

Let’s do a bit of reminiscing over last year, and look forward to the coming 12 months!

Spending

In 2019 I didn’t spend an awful lot on whisky. I overspent in 2018 and wanted to make up for that a little bit, which I (think I) did. I bought some bottles when in Scotland with JPH, but after that things went quiet until November or so. Of course, with special releases, and some nice discounts, the new Springbank Local Barley, shit happened. Still, I think I’ve become far more critical of new releases and my whisky spending went down significantly. Unfortunately, my beer spending has gone up. The quantity hasn’t but the quality did, which means I’m skipping most of the random stuff released by just about everyone, and focus more on the high rated brews that’s a bit more expensive or rare.

Samples

I’ll do a post on the samples I wanted to go through in a few days when I’ve had the time to do a count of everything that’s left after going through (I think) quite a lot of them.

I know I went through some of the great ones, I finished the remainder of the Blind Tasting Competition from 2018, and I finished a lot of bottle-share ends I kept for myself. Apart from that, not much happened in categories that I don’t really care about, like new make spirits. (Last year’s post on this)

Other booze

At the beginning of every year, for about a decade or so, I’ve been setting goals for the annum in all areas of my life. Travel, barbecuing, booze, chores and minor construction work, finance, and so on. Historically that means that around the next new year I get to rub my own face in what I failed to accomplish in 12 months. This year wasn’t any different with my trying to finish a lot of the mezcal I bought a few years ago, the remainder of the Lone Wolf BrewDog bottle-share shit and some other assorted hooch. It’s still there and if three bottles are a bit more empty than a year ago, that’s two more than expected.

I guess a ‘random booze bottoms up’ is in order.

Shares

What I do like about last year is that I managed to do quite some shares of bottles I already owned. This means I finally got around to opening quite a few bottles that I wanted to try, but didn’t want 70cl of. This also means I managed to shrink my collection quite a bit, which also makes it a lot more focused on stuff I really like, or want to keep for later.

I find these shares very manageable, since I don’t have to quickly order semi-rare stuff that comes out or watch prices as much. When a share doesn’t fill up I can easily decide to do it anyway, since the money is already spent and the money that comes back in can go to other things like a new bottle, a bit of traveling or something else entirely.

This might continue over the year, whenever I feel like doing a share.

Looking forward

I have some whisky related plans for the year, of which most are just a continuation of what happened last year. Drink samples, empty bottles, share some stuff, host a tasting now and again. You know the drill.

In regards to acquiring new bottles, there’s a rather specific plan linked to planned travel. In April I’m in Scotland going to Fort William, Campbeltown and Arran, and what I want to do is buy a few bottles as an itinerary of that trip. Which means a Glenlochy, Ben Nevis, Springbank, Longrow, Hazelburn, Glengyle, Glen Scotia and Arran. Just to get in the mood, and drink the appropriate whisky at the appropriate distillery.

Of course, these drams can’t just be any random bottle from each distillery. They have to make a lasting impression. With Glenlochy that’s a given, since that stuff is as rare as hen’s teeth (or close to it). The others are all in production, but I’m not just getting a 10 year old Ben Nevis and 10 year old Springbank, although these are very solid drams.

Construction plans

We’re planning to do some rather major changes to our house (living room extension, removing the fireplace, redoing the electrical wiring, and so on), which cause me to have to go through everything we own all over again. Before that happens I want to shrink my collection of open bottles a bit further, because I will only have room for so much after all is said and done.

Also, construction costs a shitload of money, so not buying too much makes a lot of sense there too. Expect some bottle-shares from my own collection this year!

Bottle-shares

With me trying to also get better at managing my time, I hope to finally get my ass off Facebook. I don’t like the way Facebook handles people’s data, their way of growing the company and so on, which means I want to distance myself from it.

However, the reason I’ve not done that is the bottle-shares I host through there. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to carve out some time to make a little web site specifically for these shares, so when that’s finished, I can delete my account.

Of course, I should extend this to Instagram as well, but you need something to scroll through on the bog, and the exhibitionism on ‘the gram’ is entertaining.

Concluding…

All in all I want my involvement in the world of whisky and beer to be a bit more sane than last year, which was already a lot more sane than the year before.

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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