As 2018 draws to an end most bloggers decide what the highlights have been, write it down and publish..
Well it’s my turn to write a few thank you messages, maybe some apologies and of course the obligatory highlight that made 2018 the year it has been..
2018 kind of set off with a lot of disappointment and sadness in the whisky world for me, but without wanting to dwell on that feeling for too long there has been a few occasions I have considered giving it all up, the blog, the festivals and the social side of things the lot, but it only takes a few kind words, the smile from friends and the meeting of people you look forward to sharing a dram or two with and those whisky friends who make me realise that all the low times are worth it for those “special moments” we crave..
( All good things have an ending.. A long session at York )
So where did 2018 start for me.. Newcastle of course !! A trip up the A1 and working for Diageo pouring the ever impressive Talisker range, meeting old friends from the North and I include the guys from “This is my dram” podcast in this.. ( Still trying to decide which is Ant or Dec ) The only thing missing from the festival was the ever smiling and energetic Colin Dunn who I really can’t say enough good things about ! Luckily for me there was a few more occasions to stand at his side and learn..
Next came the shout from Dave Worthington, would I help out at a few festivals, “Boutiquey” is calling and how could I say anything other than yes ?
Dave as anyone within the whisky industry will know is possibly the nicest, friendliest and most knowledgable ambassadors out there.. His support over the last year or two has been immense and I’m sure he doesn’t actually realise just how big a help he has been during 2018 for me.. So to Dave I say thank you for everything !!
2017, yes I know I’ve gone back a year but it’s where it all started for me, working for Paul John pouring some superb whiskies from India and meeting the people at festivals made me realise this was something I wanted more off, Dave and Colin gave me the opportunity to do this in 2018 and that in itself spurred me on to keeping the ocdwhisky blog going which is one of the best things I have done, ( some may disagree ) both for the experience and learning curve it has given me, the great comments and of course the shitty abusive ones that just make you into a stronger person..
Ok so the highlights of 2018 have been more about the friendships made and the journey, the festival work, and the privilege of working for companies like That Boutiquey Whisky Company and Diageo, the incredible comments made from people that I had the pleasure of pouring whisky to, these start out as complete strangers and within seconds they become friends, I really hope this will continue into 2019 but that is still to be sorted out.
( incredible memories)
A whisky related holiday to Speyside where I met some incredible people, jeneane and Donald you are two of the most incredibly likeable people and the generosity you showed me and Ed will never be forgotten!! Graham and Fay the same goes to you two also, the distillery is a favourite, the tasting you gave us and not to mention the fact you both had time for us will always make Glen Moray more special !
Stephen Woodcock at Deanston also needs a little mention, what was supposed to be a short visit actually turned into a 5 hour visit that was both educational and memorable and again that will always be a special visit..
Now there are just so many people to actually mention but I know many of those who I met will always be part of my whisky journey past, present and future and for that you will therefore always be special.
So I guess I should actually get round to talk about whisky, 2018 has been another year of absolute fantastic whisky for me, I’ve had the privilege to be involved in some rather epic tastings thanks to Steve Rush at “The whisky Wire” over on twitter where we have been spoiled once again..
But after all the massive whiskies I tried this year it’s a blend that has stayed in my thoughts.. I have poured this one at a few festivals and it has brought smiles, ooo’s and “o that’s bloody good “ from total strangers that just wanted to interact, talk whisky and learn a little more and that to me is what whisky is all about so this year my whisky highlight is actually the 22 year old Blend, number 2, batch 3 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.. It’s not a decision just about the whisky this year but all the great memories that accompanied the bottle that makes it so special..
Somewhere in the middle of all this my eldest daughter got married, talk about emotional, giving my daughter away was an extremely proud moment, seeing how beautiful she looked and just how she has turned into such an incredibly beautiful person still makes me wonder how I got something so right..
My youngest daughter moved into her new house, finally made into the police force for which I couldn’t be more proud off, and again she has grown into such an incredibly wonderful person and I probably don’t tell them both enough just how proud I am of them both !!
To the many, many people I haven’t mentioned you are still very much appreciated and I look forward to meeting you all again in 2019, the whisky will always flow and memories will be made.. See you all next year..