It’s not all about the numbers is it?

Numbers, they are used so often in everything we do and for many people numbers are the thing that allows them to show who they are or how they rank. It is also used to show importance or ranking of many things from whisky to milk. I understand that numbers are needed in many cases but sometimes we get caught up in their importance.

Some examples of how numbers are important:

  • Age – at bars or seniors discounts
  • Bank accounts – need enough to pay bills
  • License plates (along with letters) – so my son gets in the right car
  • Address – where to get dropped off by the taxi
  • Prison uniform – so you don’t wear bubba’s by mistake
  • Bra size – no comment
  • Anniversary – could be life or death if you forget
  • Alcohol content – know your limit

Some examples of where numbers are used but not so important:

  • Wife’s age – what ever she says
  • Geocaches found – it isn’t golf, you don’t get better at it with more time
  • Sexual partners – quality over quantity here
  • Pairs of shoes – can only wear one pair at a time.
  • length šŸ˜‰ – it’s how you use it, right?
  • Fat content in milk – thicker the better, right?
  • Whisky’s age – Dare I say it?

I realize that we all have different personalities and views, that we all measure ourselves and others with different tools. To some people, the ability to place a number on something is important to them, either to show how good they or something is because it is the only way for them to do it. Not everything is about the numbers, even if they are important or necessary.

This post is my opinion and thoughts on some of the numbers used in the world of whisky.

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Age, is important but not the end all be all when it comes to quality. I personally like to see the age of the whisky on the bottle and feel it shows the amount of effort and quality put forth by the distillery or blender. It means that they cared enough about their product to hold onto it until it was ready to be what they want it to be. It does speak to the expectations we should have about what we are spending a lot of money on for the most part. Does it mean a 10 year old is not as good as a 30 year old, no way. It does however help us separate the offerings from a specific whisky distillery. I also feel that since the age of a whisky greatly affects the product, it should be placed on the bottle, every bottle of single malt that is. Blends are a different beast to me, they are made to produce a specific flavor profile so they need the leeway to use various ages to get the desired affect and taste. I spend more time reading the tasting notes than looking at the age, I want a certain profile and it can come from a 5 year old sometimes depending on the whisky and my mood. Like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I still feel strongly that a distillery with nothing to hide or no ulterior motives will proudly state the age of what is in the bottle. Let the whisky sell itself with it’s quality but be honest about it at the same time.

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Now I will give my opinion on alcohol content. I am not the type to puff up my chest and say it should all be cask strength because that is how a real man drinks it, look at me and how macho I am. Now I like many others appreciate the fact that the distillery is offering us whisky as it comes out of the cask and leave it up to us to decide if we want it lowered with water or not. I almost always add water to my whisky at some point if it is above 43%, that is how I like it. My first sip will be at full strength but after that I usually like to tame it a bit so that it is enjoyable and it last longer. Also cask strength bottles should cost more as it requires more whisky to fill a bottle. With this in mind if I was to dilute my whisky down to 35-40% ABV then I am adding about 20% more to the lifetime of the bottle and justifies the higher price for me. For those who don’t want to add water, they justify the higher price with more ABV enjoyment.

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The last whisky number I will discuss is how many whiskies you own or have tried. I know that I have about 80 bottles on hand, including some that are only 375ml and some that are less expensive so it isn’t a fantastic collection Ā but it is nice all the same. I know that I would have more if I could afford it but I also know that with the exception of a few autographed bottles, they are all going to be opened and consumed, hopefully shared with friends as well. There are only a handful of bottles that I have purchased twice and that was for a specific reason, like not having to open a signed bottle from John Hall. I want to try different stuff even if I really like a bottle, I still would prefer to get something new if possible. Thankfully there is a decent selection around and I have friends willing to “mule” whisky back to me from far away places every once and a while. I also don’t keep tasting notes on what IĀ have tried because I don’t feel the need to do it as I would probably not look back at them. If I am trying something that I have tasted before I don’t care what it tasted like five years ago, I care about what it taste like today. Do I care if it changed, nope doesn’t matter to me, live in the now. Even if I remember it and maybe wasn’t fond of it I still want a dram today, there are very few out there that I will turn down but I may not ask for another dram. When I do my tastings I provide everyone with a sheet for tasting notes, I may add a few notes from the company but the main thing is for those who want to take notes can. Some of the members have a book that they keep all their notes in which is great for them, I don’t. Well maybe I do but they are blank and only used so I can remember what we had so I don’t repeat myself too soon.

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That is enough for now and I didn’t even talk about the price tag.

 

My small patch of the #Whiskyfabric

In our fast paced, globally connected world we live in, the internet word “Hashtag” and it’s increasing use is the new word used for the old marketing term “Buzzword”. It is being used more and more these days and is getting more and more powerful as well. Some times people make them up for fun and other times they are used to help connect like minded people orĀ used inĀ a way to make everyone part of the discussion.

One word I have been using for my whisky related Tweets is #whiskyfabric which in itself is sort of self describing and almost a definition of it’s purpose and intent. I started to use this hashtag because of my new friend Whisky Lassie who started the use of the term, check out her blog here. The Whisky part is pretty simple to figure out but fabric brings in a few variations on the term. To me the Fabric part can mean a thing made by weaving or knitting things together to make it whole or it could mean a framework or structure to build upon. I think it means both, the actual hashtag is the framework and the stories and information shared is all weaved together on that framework. I think that is the purpose that Whisky Lassie had in mind.

I have had some things happen because of the whisky fabric over the past couple years with the Riverview Whisky Society which has made our group improve and grow. Be it advice, bottle recommendations or arranging to have guest speaker come in to our tasting, it has all helped. Up until this point I feel that I have been doing things along the edge of the “Fabric”, that is until this weekend.

Yesterday I was the connection to have two separate whisky circles I run in get together for a group outing and tasting. It started with my group in Riverview and finding out that one of the members owned an Inn and I asked if we could host a whisky tasting there during the off season. He said he would love to do it and came up with an plan and we put it out to our members first. We had room for 9 couples and when it looked like we only had a handful that could go from our group we reached out to some of the members of the group I host at the Masonic lodge. This was the beginning of my two whisky worlds colliding and weaving together. Seven of the nine were members of the Riverview Group, two wereĀ part of theĀ Masonic group and four were members of both groups. Now we’re are all members of the Little Shemogue Inn whisky weekend group which will be getting together again someday.

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It didn’t take long for people to warm to each other over whisky and great conversation. The facility was a fantastic venue for this type of thing it has two buildings that had 4 beautiful rooms and the main meeting room and the other building that had 5 rooms and the dinning hall, you even had to walk over a short bridge over the water to get between the two buildings. Check out the fantastic Little Shemogue Inn here.

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Here are a few pictures of some of the Whiskies we enjoyed.

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