That went horribly wrong…

2021 has been a bit of shit show, in certain ways. Some of them obvious to the entire planet, some of them private, but in regards to booze, it hasn’t exactly been shit, but I didn’t stick to any of the plans I had in the beginning of 2021.

The obvious plan was to diminish the amount of bottles, both full-sized ones and samples, to a far more manageable amount. I failed horribly in both categories. There’s more samples now than there have ever been, and the amount of full-sized bottles has grown significantly too.

What’s even worse, most of these full-sized bottles are open too. So no keeping for later, except one of the Springbank Local Barleys, that is.

Especially before summer, when everyone was staying home anyway, I hosted quite a few tastings and for tastings you need booze. Add to that, that most of the participants are the same from tasting to tasting, and you need NEW booze for all these tastings.

Some simple math, 10 participants, 2cl samples, and you get stuck with approximately 6 x 50cl of whisky after each tasting. Samples were shared, of course, but most of them are still next to me in my home office. I’ve been exploring other options to offload some of the booze, but that’s not going too fast yet.

My wife, being the ever sensible one of us, keeps telling me that I should really empty quite a few bottles before adding new ones. I have yet to tell her that there’s two new bottles arriving tomorrow…

The biggest drawback, and that is closely related to writing a sort-of-daily blogpost, is that whisky starts to exist to be tried once. If my share of a bottle-share is 10cl, and I’ve tried two or three centiliters, the rest of the bottle is in the way, because it doesn’t add anything to my online exploits anymore.

This results in me trying to get through it quickly and that results in drinking more than anticipated (not to dangerous levels, don’t worry too much), just to get rid of the almost empty bottle. This, of course, is not a good way to have a whisky hobby.

A few years ago I wrote about being tired of having a whisky collection. With a few more years of experience and contemplation under my belt, I think this is what is causing this aversion of too many bottles.

Apparently, I have a very hard time changing directions, since this has been a recurring thing for the past seven years. For some reason, ‘this time will be different’.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Attributes to Albert Einstein, although it’s unlikely he ever said that.

Apart from monetary objections to ‘just getting rid of stuff’ there is the lack of respect to the spirit and its creators. They spent years, if not decades honing their craft, carefully creating and maturing spirit, and I just sit there ‘getting rid of it’.

This is something that has got to change. Whisky is, in my mind, a drink to be tasted, tried, assessed, shared and enjoyed. It’s something that warrants a bit of attention, of contemplation.

This contemplation is something that I plan to be doing not only when actually drinking whisky, but also before puchasing more. There has to be more than ‘this looks interesting’. I want to consider what itch it will scratch. What does it add to my collection? Does it fill a void? Does it bring something new to the table? Will it actually be good enough?

I assume this will result in me missing out on some bottles that sell out before I make up my mind, but with there being dozens of shops in The Netherlands alone that have over a thousand bottles available, I don’t think that’s going to be too much of an issue.

What I’m trying to say is that I am desperately wanting to refocus on quality over quantity.

This all starts with a change of mindset, which I described above. This will, if I can rein in my enthusiasm a little bit, result in there being less bottle-shares than there were last year. I have a hard time imagining there being as many or more, to be honest. Last year did kind of go horribly wrong.

This massive amount of bottles isn’t making you happy. You were far happier with your collection when you had just a few very good bottles.

The missus

So, while I’ve not mentioned any ‘new year’s resolutions’ yet, I generally don’t do that. I can be a sucker for semantics, and a resolution sounds like something final. And as time has shown me, that’s not how things work. So instead of resolutions I do plans, because plans can change and adapt.

I plan to:

  • do less bottle-shares
  • reduce the amount of open bottles in a sensible way
  • drink most of the samples I already have
  • think before I click on check-out buttons

I guess this will also have an effect on this whisky blog that I’ve been writing for over 12 years now. I have some plans there too, of course.

The daily review of whisky that not many people care about will be going on for a while, but it’s not a goal in itself. Consistency is something I prefer, but not when that means going through loads of stuff I don’t want to go through.

Also, I have noticed that I barely ever read someone else’s whisky reviews, so I can imagine (and statistics show my assumption to be at least partially correct) that not many other people care about random reviews like I’ve been doing.

In regards to posting on MaltFascination, I’ll be trying to go for quality over quantity there too. I’m not entirely sure how that’s is going to work or what it’s going to look like, but I’ll try.

This does NOT mean, however, that I’ll stop reviewing whisky. I’ll just do it in a slightly different way than “I have this bottle and these are my tasting notes”. Somehow.

Happy new year!


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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2 Responses to That went horribly wrong…

  1. Troy says:

    You and I share the same collection/buying/drinking-part-of-the-bottle ‘problem’ (and I assume we’re far from alone). FWIW, I love the reviews, please keep it up if it makes sense to do so. Cheers!


    • Hi Troy!

      Thanks for getting in touch, and thanks for loving the reviews! They’re not going away, however, my approach to them (and possibly the consistency in schedule) is changing a little bit.

      I’ve heard from many booze hounds that they have similar issues. But having 140+ bottles open is still a bit too much for me…

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