Barfly Tom shares his realisation that whisky is more than just a drink to enjoy, but a journey of discovery.
Single Malt Whisky has in recent months taken an incredible hold over the fleeting moments amidst my busy life. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have lost sleep, literally staring into the shadow-laden ceiling, pining over the potential trajectory of my own journey. The term “Whisky Journey” first graced my consciousness from the preaching’s of Roy at Aqvavitae. When I heard those words it thought to myself, wow now doesn’t that sound exciting! A Whisky Journey has infinitely more allure than say another oft espoused term “tasting.” A tasting, although exciting, is the equivalent of what I can only describe as a one-night stand. Sure, you may potentially have quite a good time but once it has concluded has it significantly contributed to your journey? Differing opinions will abound I am sure. But in my specific case I have gotten the most enjoyment out of the lasting things in life so I will approach my Whisky Journey in much the same manner.
I’ve observed how a Whisky relationship can be forged then tempered into something that lasts a lifetime. My first experience with single malt was years ago from an acquaintance who had an incredible affinity for Laphroaig. I was not converted as I stood that night, yet I could not help but reflect on his relationship and wonder how he had arrived. That night we went through multiple drams of varying age and ABV. I was amazed at the vast array of flavors and how they differed from each glass. I remember
our sons playing throughout the house and at one point one of the boys knocked my glass from the end table and it landed with a shrill crash. I will never forget the look of concern and anxiety in Sean’s voice
when he uttered the words, “Was there and whisky in it?” When I reassured him that each drop had been enjoyed he in turn reassured our sons by explaining “they make more glass everyday boys, but be
careful around the whisky because it’s precious and may never be made again.” That resonated with me and the curiosity that ensued compelled me to continue to experience Laphroaig whenever the opportunity materialized.
With the seeds firmly planted my budding journey was nurtured by occasional experiences with Laphroaig that drew me in deeper with every taste. It was during one of these such occasions that I was made aware that I was pronouncing Laphroaig incorrectly. After feeling a bit embarrassed, I took a pause from my dram and stared off a bit. Then slowly the aroma of the peat swirled up tantalizingly pulling my gaze down into my glass. As I stared at the Amber nectar it occurred to me that I had never taken the time to learn more about the drink I was growing so fond of. That was my moment of inspiration. I began that day exploring the Lore and History of Scotch. I began digesting countless articles and documentaries about the distilleries, methods of production, and regionalities. To ensure I would
not have do deal with the discomfort of butchering another Whisky’s namesake I began reading about pronunciation. It was then that I found Aqvavitae.com and the plethora of lighthearted yet incredibly passionate content that has pushed me toward evangelical enthusiasm. I have so much to experience and discover as I look ahead. My goal is to chronicle not only the whisky themselves but also moments in which they were experienced. I envision that it will evolve into a collection of appreciation and maturation. I hope you will join me. Sláinte. Tom