Tipple & Text & Table

I created this blog two years ago because of my love for both whiskey and books and my desire to share that love with the world. While it has been an interesting ride, as I posted yesterday, I have had some road blocks along the way which has limited my ability to share this passion with you all.

Well, throughout this time I have also continued stoking the fires of my passion for board games. In fact, for the past year I have been playing board games and drinking beer with a handful of my closest friends nearly every Tuesday.

We have worked our way through Carcassonne, Imperial Assault, T.I.M.E. Stories, Lords of Waterdeep, Roll for the Galaxy, Bang the Dice Game, Love Letter, King of Tokyo, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Mysterium, Terra Mystica, Five Tribes, and countless others while washing them down with hundreds of beers and whiskeys. It has been a respite from the tumult of daily work.

Here is a visual glimpse into just a small snapshot of the experience…

It’s a Mad, Mad World…

And I’m getting sucked into it.

You don’t have to look very far into the world of whisk(e)y blogs, online retailers, and certainly not the secondary market, and you will find that the whiskey craze has reached epic, if not dare I say, idiotic proportions.

Prices are rising fast. Aged-stated products are being killed off faster than characters in Game of Thrones, and new products are being added with outrageous price tags. The latest sign of ‘the end times’ was revealed a little over a week ago. Although, I first learned about it earlier this Spring.

Knob Creek

I was on a private tour of the Jim Beam Distillery with the Evansville Bourbon Society. We had just selected a barrel of Knob Creek and were walking into the dining hall to grab lunch. As we entered I saw a glass case containing Jim Beam and Suntory products which I had never seen before. I asked our guide about the products and he gladly explained. At the end of his spiel he told me something for which I was immediately excited.

“We will be releasing a Booker’s Rye later this summer. It will be an extra-aged, cask strength. limited release rye whiskey.”

Yum! I was elated! Until…

“It will be $300 per bottle.”

No longer excited. In fact, annoyed.

Jump forward to a little over a week ago when the news hit the general public. While I’ve learned more since the news broke and I see how the product is both unique and took a lot of work and time, $300 for any whiskey is just simply beyond my reach.

Yeah, I have the money. But, I’m not spending it on a bottle of this even if it is great!

While I’m not questioning whether or not I can continue down this path of whiskey love and whiskey blogging like my good friend Sku (I’m glad he is not totally giving up), it is the sign that I will be soon relegated to the bottom shelves of the liquor store if something doesn’t give. My dreams are already predicting the future.

I woke up a few nights ago in cold sweats. I had just had a dream in which I was perusing the liquor store aisles for something special, something unique, something new. I have these dreams often. However, this one was different. It was a nightmare.

I didn’t find anything in the aisles which warranted a purchase and that’s not the scary part. Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Here it is.

When I approached the check out, my last shot at finding something on the shelves behind the counter, my eyes caught a glimpse of a Jim Beam White Label Cask Strength.

“Hmmm, when did that come out?” I thought.

“Can I check out that bottle?” I asked the clerk.

He turned around, grabbed it off the shelf, and handed it to me.

It was one of those small 100ml bottles. I looked it over.

“Do you have any larger bottles?” I asked

“Nope. That’s it. And, if your interested, I would get it. They are extremely allocated and that’s our last bottle.”

I thought as I looked again at the diminutive glass bottle.

“How much is it?” I asked (the all important question).

“The price is on the back.”

I turned the bottle over to reveal the small sticker containing the price…


“Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!” I woke up screaming.

The (Tall) Tale of Whiskey

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin


It’s a “tale as old as time. Song as old as rhyme.” No, it’s not Beauty and the Beast. It’s more or less the origin story of this whiskey and that whiskey…or so we’ve been told.

The reality is we all live as story. Story defines us as humans. Story inspires us. It’s why so many of us are drawn to religion. It’s why we gather together in dark rooms and stare at large screens for hours on end, gazing at moving pictures. It’s why we hunker down on our couches and flip through the hundreds of pages of our favorite books. Story is woven into the fabric of human life. We are story.

This is precisely why distilleries use story, real or not, to peddle their products. True or not, these tales of lore, accidents, mishaps, and fortune draw us in. They make some of us grab their shiny bottles off the shelves faster than light leaving the rest of us in want. They cause others of us to question and therefore leave these self-proclaimed “shelf turds” for the next “naive” victim. Still, others of us buy a pour or even a bottle just to explore if the juice is worth the story and with mixed results publish our findings only to inspire, disuade, and irritate the masses in wait. Whatever your personal mantra, as a collective people, we crave story as much if not more than the liquid within the chalice.

Becuase of this, at the end of the day, the distilleries win. They win because story wins.  And therefore, I believe we win…well as long as the juice is worth the price of admission to the tale being woven. At least, that’s my story.

Cheers to the tipple and to the text! Keep living and drinking your story.

“The greatest art in the world is the art of storytelling.” – Cecil B. DeMille