Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving: Whiskey Edition

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are ten things in the whiskey world that I'm thankful for.

1. Four Roses, Balvenie, Glenfarclas and other producers that continue to release great whiskey at reasonable prices without gimmicks or excessive bling.

2. The death of whiskey on ebay. I was pretty neutral about ebay while it was selling whiskey (and I never bought or sold whiskey on ebay), but I have to admit, I'm relieved at not seeing the latest Pappy Van Winkle 15 to go for $800. For a while, it was probably a good thing for folks who don't have a great selection of whiskey where they are, but by the time they shut it down, the prices were so ridiculous that I can't imagine it was helping consumers.

3. Craft whiskey. I give these guys a lot of grief, but on the whole, the craft whiskey movement is a good thing, and I think we'll eventually get a number of really great whiskeys out of them.

4. K&L. Those guys give 110%. I'm lucky to have them as my local shop.

5. All those amateur bloggers who spend their own time and money to keep all of us better informed, including (but in no way limited to): Serge, Oliver, Davin, Jason P., Tim R. and many, many others.

6. Jefferson's Ocean Aged, Red Stagg, Dalmore Constellation, six figure whiskey, sourced whiskey that pretends to be something it's not and all the other absurdities that provide fodder for my satire. I'm thankful for them the way political satirists are thankful for Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

7. That there's no whiskey Black Friday...yet.

8. A little known LA liquor store I frequent with a huge selection, no web presence and no email list that just sticks everything out on the shelf...first come first served, like the old days.

9. All those folks who make the whiskey, not just the distillers, but the distillery workers, coopers, folks on the bottling line and other unrecognized people who show up every day to do the unglamorous work of making whiskey.

10. Everyone out there who bothers to read my ramblings or comment on them. Thanks to all my reader-pals!

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for, whiskey or otherwise?


Tim Read said...

Thanks for the mention on #5, I'm flattered to be included in such lofty company!

There's not a lot I have to add to your list other than a fun community of whiskey folk to trade samples with and gain a deeper understanding of what's out there. That includes you and the rest of LAWS, Jason, Ryan M, Josh from Coopered Tot and more...

Despite the ridiculousness of the whole bubble there's some exciting stuff out there.

David D said...

No web presence stores are VERY important. Their are a few in the Bay Area where I send people all the time. I am very thankful for them as well because they save my behind when I can't get a customer the bottle they need.

I am thankful that there are places like your page to post thoughts openly where disagreement is fine, but trolling is frowned upon.

Keep up the great work my friend.

SteveBM said...

I'm thankful for happiness, health, great whiskey, and a number of websites, blogs, and friends to share it with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Louis said...

Hmmmm... #8 is something I need to pick your brain about. And by that I mean I will drill a hole in your skull to poke at the gooey goodness inside until such time as you reveal to me the secret of this location (or you start twitching and drooling, whichever comes first I guess??).

You can email me an answer and avoid any unnecessary trepanning ifn's you don't want to publicly reveal said location.

Josh Feldman said...

I'm with you on every single thing - except Red Stag which I secretly and guiltily love with my child-like sweet tooth Bourbon monkey bone. Personally, I'm thankful for Sku - who brings humor to mate with a very mature and wry sense of the whisky world. I'm thankful for Tim Read - who was thoughtful enough to add me to the list of #5 even while I'm totally AWOL these days. I'm also thankful for Whisky Lassie (Joanne McInnis) who is full of love and support for the whisky world, Alwynn Gwilt, ditto, Allison Patel, ditto, and G-LO of boozedancing - ditto. I'm hugely thankful for Dave Worthington (& Kat), David Carson, Gal Granov, Ruben of Whiskynotes, Tom Thompson, and Billy Abbott. for keeping me abreast of the twitter tastings and relentless events and new trends in the UK and abroad. I'm also ridiculously thankful for Four Roses Bourbon - tonight it's the plain jane small batch which is a lovely sip for less than the cost of 2 bottles of the Pinot we had with the Turkey. Amen.

Josh Feldman said...

I'm also grateful for the knights of the Malt Maniacs who give so much of themselves and their livers to bring us the details... the endless details. Illuminating lights that shine brightly for me include Oliver Klimek, Davin de Kergommeaux, Peter Silver, Ralfy, and Serge. Also Stuart Robson who isn't a Malt Maniac but might as well be one given how much he teaches me.

Anonymous said...

#7 is here. Come to Nashville. On my way to work this morning I drove by a store that opens at 8a.m. Already one vehicle sitting out front at 6a.m. They have advertised that at 8a.m. the store will open and they will have BTAC and Van Winkle on the shelf for sale. At least they have a 1 bottle per person. Cold, rainy day here. I will not be part of that line.

sam k said...

I'm thankful for my continued association with Whisky Advocate. I'd been a reader for many years before fate stepped in and helped me become part of their organization. It still seems like I'm in a dream six (seven?) years later. The entire staff are wonderful, caring, and passionate people, and my life has been enhanced in so many ways by their friendship.

The ebay thing is a mixed blessing. I'm glad to see the cessation of the sale of contemporary bottlings, but I'll miss the many dusties I managed to find there, some for a song.

People who don't appreciate what the craft distillers are bringing to the table can't have connected with their creativity and enthusiasm, and haven't yet tasted one that knocked their socks off (and yes, that includes the much-maligned white whiskey!). Eventually, most will do both and they will have their own craft whiskey epiphany.

Thanks also Sku for this forum. I appreciate the frank consideration you give each post, along with their frequency and concise brevity. The commentors here are among the best anywhere.The whisky community is fortunate to have you, and if I ever make it all the way to the West Coast, you and I are gonna paint Koreatown!

sku said...

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments. Sam, I echo your thanks for Whisky Advocate. We get spoiled sometimes, but we should remember that not every beverage gets its own magazine, and we're lucky to have one of such high quality.