It's For the Blog!
Time moves in an interesting dichotomy - at times fast, at other times, slow.
I look back at trips and tours I've taken. They feel like several years ago at best, and yet, I'm surprised to see that when social media time-hops me, they were only 2 or 3 years ago. The Pandemic has warped our lives and sense of time like no Star Trek episode involving time travel could.
Today we celebrate 3 years of blogging about all things bourbon. I love the tours and tastings, experiencing new sites and scents for the senses. And I love the lifestyle. Bow ties. Fast horses. And the green, green grass, bounded by breathtaking sunrises and awe-inspiring sunsets that only the Bluegrass offers.
It's been an interesting 365 days in our journey around the sun. Like many, we began with plenty of positive thoughts. We started 2021 with masks and without vaccines. But there was optimism. 2021 also brought us The Great Resignation, of which I was a part. In May 2021, I retired from a career of 32 years. Interesting enough, it was exactly 32 years ... to the day. Though I was only retired for 48 hours. I started a new career the following Monday, allowing more flexibility (yay, remote work!) and a way better work-life balance, offering me a rickhouse full of flexibility.
The Pandemic brought many deferred opportunities. During 2020, we canceled visits to distilleries as they were closed and fast Kentucky thoroughbreds raced in front of empty stands. 2021 allowed a bit of normality - or perhaps "the new normal" to surface.
We visited an awesome liquor store that doubled as a tour as I enjoyed the remote work life We checked a few more distilleries off our list, including a small Midwestern former grain farm along with a massive Kentucky experience that allowed us to check the final distillery off of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail passports - and cross another item off of our bucket list. We were able to spend an absolutely beautiful day during the Fall meet at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky, enjoying fast horses and slow, sipping bourbon.
And throughout the year, I had the opportunity to continue to expand my palate (and my cabinet), always being opportunistic to seek out new bourbons. Whenever I reached for a bottle in a store, my wife would throw "the usual look", to which I responded - "It's for the blog". That statement allowed me to continue to try bourbons and whiskeys that I might have not reached for before.
As 2022 begins, we all have a new hope. For us, we enjoyed our first taste of snowbirding, even as I worked remote. The beach was open before and after work, and our balcony-bar offered outstanding sunset views, and the bartender (wink) was friendly with a generous pour.
Bourbon continues to mirror our lives. Its history is our history as a nation; its struggles are our struggles. Our lives, like the oak barrels, begin filled to capacity. Over time, we find there is less left, though what remains is better, having been exposed to all that life and the seasons can throw. When it's finally mature, we find that it is perfectly balanced, and a treat for the senses.
America's Native Spirit is always better when shared with friends and family - something I've taken to heart as I've enjoyed some absolutely great pours with incredible friends and family during the past year. While there will always be more, fine bourbon, our days are numbered, so don't be afraid to pour "the good stuff" to enjoy with those close to you.
P.S. In case you missed out, here are my top 5 favorite posts (in no particular order) from 2021:
Wilderness Trail Distillery Tour
Woodford Reserve Chocolate Malt Whisper