Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Fifth Birthday to Sku's Recent Eats!

Today marks the fifth birthday of this blog. It's hard to believe that I've been doing this for five years. Five years is a full-on Kindergartener, and in blog years, it's practically middle age. Sounds like a good excuse for some navel gazing.

Come now with me on a journey through time, back to the simpler world of May 2007. The President was George W. Bush, Facebook and Twitter existed but weren't in wide use, and it seemed like the Boston Red Sox might have a promising team, though probably not a Series winning team since they are, after all, the Boston Red Sox.

The whiskey blogosphere was very young in spring 2007. The go-to blogs were Serge Valentin's WhiskyFun for Scotch reviews, Kevin Erskine's Scotch Blog for Scotch business news and the Chuck Cowdery Blog for American whiskey. Sam Simmons was just getting started with his Malt Missions as Dr. Whisky and Chris Bunting had started a new Japanese Whisky site called Nonjatta. And that was pretty much it. John Hansell was publishing Malt Advocate, but he didn't start his blog until that fall.

When I started this blog, it was mostly about food (hence name). For the first few years, I stuck to a fairly rigid schedule of two food posts and one whiskey post per week, but that started to break down as (1) I felt I had more interesting and original things to say about whiskey than food; and (2) I got fat and needed to cut down on things like doughnuts, pupusas and gelato.

So I pivoted from a food blog with a weekly whiskey post to a whiskey blog with an occasional food post. I feel like this is when I hit my stride and really started having fun with it. And let's face it, that's what it's all about.

I have to say that I'm pretty happy with this little diversion. True, it doesn't look like much. My pictures, when I bother with them at all, mostly suck, I use the boring standard blogger template, and it's painfully obvious that I neither invest nor make any money on the blog. I'm not on the industry's list of bloggers to reach out to with important press releases (or free samples), and my blog has never been nominated for or received any sort of award.

Despite all of that, I have a great time and a great group of readers. I feel that my readers are some of the most knowledgeable, good humored folks out there, and I'm lucky to have them. I've also been lucky to have many readers who have their own great blogs and who are more than willing to share information and even samples. So thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, discussing and laughing (when appropriate, of course).

You'll find many of my favorite blogs on my links page, but I don't update it enough, so here's a quick shout out to some of those other blogs that I've been enjoying: Macdeffe's Danish Whisky Blog, Josh's Sipology, Aaron WF's Whiskey Wonka, Steve BM's Blind Tastes, Scott's Corvallis Epicurean, the Canadian based Scotch Club's ScotchBlog, Ryan's sadly defunct Value Whisky Reviews, Josh's The Coopered Tot, and the last food blogger to stick with me despite my whiskey-centrism, Tony C.'s awesome Sinosoul. So read these blogs and apologies to anyone I left out (and I'm sure I'm missing some good ones).

As part of my fifth birthday, I figured I'd put together a list of some of the posts I had the most fun with through the years. Nothing serious here mind you. This is a birthday party, and hey, nobody wants to read a post about the best dim sum place in 2008, no matter how artfully crafted I may be convinced it is. So here are some of the posts I enjoyed the most:

Now, if you have any suggestions for the next five years, please let me know.


Tim Read said...

How did I ever miss the Mr. Pyrite post? Brilliant.

Congratulations on five!

Josh Feldman said...

Happy Birthday Sku's Eats! Live long and prosper. 5 years in Internet Years is like a century in regular years - so you are indeed a grand old man of whisky blogging and I salute you.

As for your self assessment: nice slice of humble pie, Sku. You should know that your blog is incredibly influential and widely read. It's very clearly in the top 5 US whisky blogs in my opinion and I ALWAYS read Sku's Eats. I have learned more on your blog than from any other source. Period. You are deep, brother, deep.

P.S. I'm also fat and have cut my food way back. On weight watchers a 1.5 oz dram of whisky is 4 points. That's a stone cold bargain in my book. I always save 4 points for whisky. As Don Draper says "Make mine big and brown".

Josh Feldman said...

Oh - and thanks so much for shouting out The Coopered Tot! You completely and 100% just made my day.

Ryan said...

Happy Birthday Sku! As Josh mentioned, 5 years is indeed an ancient creature in the blogosphere. Well done "keepin' it real" for that long, and thanks for the mention of my blog, even though it is no longer operational.


AaronWF said...

Sku, you are a natural, and make it all look so easy. Your every-week posts are informative, and your parodies reveal a deep understanding of the industry and the people who care about it. Your keen eyes and ears, as well as your admirable discipline are all on display in your blog, so Happy Fifth to your work here, and may your next five be just as rewarding for you!

And thanks for the shout out, I am honored to be included!

Ryan Murphy said...

Congrats Sku! Yours is one of the best whisk(e)y blogs out there!

sku said...

Thanks all! I appreciate the love. Now, what kind of cake should I have?

Ryan said...

Make some Ardbeg cake and then pair it with Tim's Ardbeg icecream. Yum!

sam k said...

Nope. There is only one cake worthy of this occasion, and I have baked it many times, each time with only Pennsylvania-distilled Michter's, but you can use whatever you like. It is stupendous, much like this blog.

Congratulations, Sku!

Jason Pyle said...

Absolutely one of the more entertaining blogs on the internet of any kind regardless of topic. And from a whiskey perspective - absolutely one of the best there is. Congratulations on a big 5 years.

One of the things that really shows itself when you have a whiskey site is just how tight a group there is out there with this common interest. From the spirited arguments, the passionate agreements, and the stuff in between, it's a great group of people to interact with online.

Thanks for all you do with your labor of love.


sku said...

Thanks Sam, I'll try that.

Jason, agreed, we are a fun,if sometimes cantankerous group of whiskey lovers.

Florin said...

Happy Birthday, Sku!

Although you are already trying to deflect attention from this landmark with a new post (admittedly, very interesting!), I think you deserve some more celebration -- you earned it! Some guests are late with the birthday cards and greetings, be patient with them.

You paint the blogging landscape of 2007 as mostly Terra Incognita, but in my archeological digs I came across the remains of a pre-Columbian whisky society, now mostly vanished, which had reached great heights of development!

Nonetheless, you are being too modest! Yours is the first independent blog that I check on my list of 30+, and one that I very much trust. Thank you for posts such as Have a COLA, or great resources such as The list of American whiskey distilleries.

And who can forget Sku's own Protestant Malt Whisky Society?.

Dear Sku's Recent Eats reader, what were your favorite Sku blogs over the last 5 years?

weller_tex said...

Happy Birthday, Sku! Love the blog!

sku said...

Thanks Florin, you are too kind. And thanks to everyone for all your reading and commenting.

Steffen said...

Happy Birthday to the blog. As well as making Josh' day you also made mine with the mention thanks a lot. And that's because this is my favourite blog, both for entertainment and education reasons. Keep up the good work, both here and on the LAWS review pages