My name is Josh, and I love whisk(e)y of all types. My passion began when, as a wide-eyed 22-year-old, I walked into a liquor store and decided (for reasons I still can’t fathom), that I wanted to try Scotch. Seriously, I have no idea why I thought it would be something I would enjoy. I had tried Scotch whisky exactly once before – Johnny Walker Red Label and soda – and had no real memory of it.
Maybe I’d had a particularly vivid dream? Or maybe I liked the idea of drinking what my grandfather drank (that’s something grandfathers drink, right?), or maybe I was just drawn to the allure of something I was completely, hopelessly unfamiliar with.
I started ambitiously, diving into a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask as my first single malt whisky. I was immediately in awe of the powerful, complex flavors in that mysterious amber dram. I still remember the tarry, burnt band aid flavors washing over my tongue, mingling with charred leather, salt water, and campfire ash. Even more surprising was just how darn tasty it was. It reminded me of my love for strong coffee; all those intense, pungent flavors converging on my taste buds. But this was even more intense, even more powerful, even more alluring. I was hooked on this strange, terrifying, mesmerizing blend of new sensations, which I had never before experienced.
Eager to learn and expand my horizons on this breed of incredible elixir, I read everything I could about various distilleries, the whisky distilling regions of Scotland, and numerous writers’ musings on all things whisky. I tore through books and articles by such illustrious figures as Dave Broom, Charles MacLean, David Wondrich, and Michael Jackson (no, the other Michael Jackson).
I started following blogs by outspoken, knowledgeable personalities such as Ralfy Mitchell and Serge Valentin. I subscribed to Whisky Advocate (at the time, it was still Malt Advocate), and I bought a ticket to WhiskyFest New York.
As I read, listened, and sampled, my horizons broadened, and my appreciation for all things whisky developed rapidly. There were such a wide range of nuanced flavor profiles out there, many distillers, blenders, and independent bottlers doing unique, exciting things with the same few raw ingredients, and most importantly, many, many incredibly whiskies to try.
In the span of a year, I had gone from knowing nothing about this incredible spirit to appreciating it in all its myriad forms. Now, quite a few years later, I’ve come to love whiskies of all styles and characters, from all across the regions of Scotland and around the world. I’ve also developed a strong appreciation for the whiskies and bourbons distilled in my own backyard (well, geographically speaking).
I know that I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’ve come to appreciate this wonderful drink in all its forms. With each dram, I continue on my tasting journey, and it’s my hope that through this blog, I can take you along with me. I’m sure we have a lot to teach each other!