For those who want the TL/DR: This blog will go into hibernation mode with infrequent updates in the future for “whenever I feel like I have something to say”.
It’s been six years. Six years of putting out whisky related content on this blog on a more or less regular basis. Six years which has seen me undertake lots of superb trips to Scotland, make lots of new friends and enjoy some incredible whisky. I’ve been blessed to experience all of this and I’m thankful to each and every one I’ve met and shared a dram with along the way.
Six years in and a lot has changed. The whisky industry has changed. Back when I started getting into whisky in 2004 it was a niche hobby with an industry that was getting traction again. These days, the whisky industry is at a global peak (Ignoring the current covid-19 related disruption). New releases are announced every week, alongside new distilleries popping up everywhere. Keeping track of it all has become an impossible task. I can’t and won’t keep up with all the latest news going on in the whisky world right now. As a blogger I’ve never really published any news releases, only when I felt I had something to add. There are other sites out there, run by people who can do a far superior job than I can.
Then there are the new releases. I don’t have the capacity or the financial means to keep up with what’s new out there, so I’ve never really covered newly released products. A few distilleries have been very kind and have occasionally sent me samples with no strings attached, which I was happy to review and give my honest opinion. However, I’ve never gone around and begged the PR people to send me stuff. I know some bloggers do – with great success for them – and met with rolled eyes in the industry. These days, whisky blogs are a dime a dozen and everybody screams for freebies. That was and is not my way of doing things.
The whisky world has changed – and so have I
As the whisky world changed, so did I. Nobody stays the same person over the course of a couple of years. Priorities shift. Just these past years I started a few new hobbies, which left even less time for whisky. I took up bee keeping as a third-generation bee keeper in my family. I started singing in a choir again and I love traditional film-based photography as well as making films and documentaries, especially with the superb acrobatics team in my hometown, who I love to spend time with. And now I am at the brink of taking up a new hobby – driving around on two wheels with a motor under my ass. My means and resources are modest, my pockets not limitless, so when a new hobby comes along, something else needs to give way.
Shopping in my own whisky amassement
So the time has come to take it easy with the whisky hobby. I’ve written about it before, but my small little amassment of bottles is large enough so I can go and shop in my own “collection” (It’s NOT a collection, really!). I’ve been buying and buying and buying more than I can drink – and now is the time to slowly and responsibly start reducing that pile by consuming more than I buy. And I don’t drink a lot, so that will take a long time! I actually might start doing tastings in my area for friends…
So, what’s the plan going forward?
So, enough rambling, what does all of this mean? I’ve cancelled the server this blog runs on. 50€ a month is a lot of cash to run a site that doesn’t bring in any revenue, so it will be transferred to a cheap-ass solution that will be good enough to keep it up as an archive and for publishing the occasional article whenever I feel like it. There will be some disruption due to that in the coming weeks.
The two main things that will change will be the frequency I post and the volume of my whisky purchases. What will not change is my love for whisky and Scotland. I will switch to enjoying what I already have and stopping the constant urge for every new and ever more shiny releases. I will continue to nurture my whisky relationships and will return to Scotland and visit distilleries when it is safe to do so – both for me and the fragile whisky communities. I will leave all the perusing of news releases and PR content to those whisky writers who can do it better and more professionally than me.
Just this morning I received a newsletter by a Scottish distillery with the title “Introducing Our New Packaging”. My only reaction was “yeah, well, whatever.” I have zero interest in packaging as long as it is a glass bottle and has a functioning stopper. I’ll leave all the discussions about the new look of a brand to those who truly care and geek out about it. Nothing wrong about that – it’s just not anything for me to get excited about. And now excuse me, the weather’s nice, I’ve got some bee hives to look after…
5 Replies to “The time has come – to take a breather…”
Thanks for the whisky ride.
I know how you feel as I’ve been there too. My own website was pretty well dormant for the last few years. I just couldn’t be bothered any more for various personal reasons. I was still enjoying whisky just as you’ll continue doing but I just didn’t want to write about it.
As you know I’ve once again ‘fallen in love’ with whisky and my website and I’m regularly putting new content online but I totally agree with you in that regurgitating news of new bottlings or packaging isn’t my style either. I’m also not so interested in new releases as I tend to prefer older ones but that’s irrelevant here, just do what’s best for you, enjoy other hobbies and feel free to visit anytime, once you’re allowed over the border again.
Take care my malt matey.
Thanks, Keith! For me it felt like I needed to make “official” what I had felt for, well, over a year to be quite honest. I didn’t give the blog the attention it deserves and the announcement is what explained things to my visitors and dear readers. It also takes the pressure off of me having to come up with “something”. I will still publish the occasional article and there might be months when I’m inspired to post more. But if I don’t post anything for a few months, it’ll be okay as well. That’s the pace – and freedom – I want and need.
I hope to see you again soon! Take care, mate!
understandable. From my point of view stagnant dying or already dead whisky blogs – or rather whisky content pages – are a dime a dozen and the frustration with whisky is spreading.
The Whisky Magazine has canceled its forum and others are barely alive and still others are nothing more than sample swatch exchanges.
It is true that a steady stream of whisky bottlings is turned out by distilleries and independent bottlers.
But the overall quality and despite all claims of “innovation” the novelty of many of those bottlings are mediocre at best.
Internationally I think whisky has run its course and is dead – the only one not knowing is whisky.
The flurry of activities from marketing departements and agencies all over the world can not gloss over the fact that the more they cry innovation the more all is the same old tired story over and over again.
Whisky has turned into a totally arbitrary business where it is of no great matter what is in the bottle as long as the brand strives.
So it is to be expected that more and more people will walk away and leave whisky behind for good.
A rest well deserved, no doubt about that. I hope we will read some new stuff in no time 🙂