The state of the samples – 2020 edition

Last year I wrote a post about the rather insane amount of samples I had knocking about my whisky shelf, in my tiny home office. I found some gems pushed to the back by newer additions and finished these over the last twelve months.

When 2019 came to a close I figured I hadn’t gotten near to where I wanted to be with my samples, namely getting to a number that’s half of what it was a year prior. I figured, as these things go, I started enthusiastically, but forgot about them rather soon.

However, I recently counted everything, in all three categories (whisky, new make, other booze) and got to the following results:

Type January 2019 January 2020
Whisky 110 49
New make 8 8
Other 30 10

These are some nice results, I even overshot by some percent and got to below half of where I started. Also keep in mind that this includes new additions to the shelf that happened over these same 12 months.

By these numbers one could state that I drank way too much, but I’d rather go for the explanation stating that I spent my money more sanely, and didn’t add as much as I did previous years.

Also, a good conclusion is that my tipple of choice is NOT new make spirit of whisky distilleries. This is kind of true, but I do find it interesting to try, but I’ve just not gotten around to it. What I plan with these samples is to spend an evening in peace trying several and writing notes, comparing one to the other. Strangely, there’s not been enough quiet moments to do so, lately.


While I’m a month late in setting some goals for 2020, I’m going to do so anyway. By the start of next year I hope to get 75% of these remaining samples out of the way, based on the total. There were 67 samples remaining, and I’m a happy camper if I can get that down to 16-ish in the 11 remaining months.

Apart from that, last year I also added a list of bottles I’m selling samples from. I’ve done that a couple more times on Facebook over the last year to get some movement happening in my collection. This will happen a few times more, although the amount of ‘random’ bottles that are open is getting lower too.


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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