Sunday, March 26, 2017

Whisky Appreciation vs. Whisky Enjoyment



My blog is about helping people appreciate whisky.  One dictionary definition of "appreciate" is "to judge with heightened perception or understanding".  This is enjoyment multiplied, taken to another level.

Think about watching a sporting event.  Even if you don’t know much about the sport, you will at a superficial level appreciate the athleticism and the festivity of the event.  How much greater is your enjoyment if you have played the sport yourself, you have a knowledge of technique and strategy, you know background stories of the players and the teams, and you are perhaps emotionally invested in them?  Your enjoyment of the event will be of an entirely different level.

The same is true for just about any activity, including enjoying a dram of whisky.  You can certainly enjoy that whisky with no knowledge of it at all, perhaps pouring it liberally into a rocks glass with a lot of ice and other ingredients.  But if you have trained your nose, palate and mental faculties to distinguish and evaluate aromas and flavors, you have a knowledge of what makes each whisky taste the way it does, and you know background stories of the individual whisky and its source, you more fully appreciate the whisky and your enjoyment of it is much greater.

The whisky does not need to be expensive to be appreciated, and your training does not need to be formal.  A wonderful example of this comes from John Steinbeck’s book “Cannery Row”.  One of the members of a group of bums has a part-time job as a barman.  He collects remnants of peoples’ drinks in a jug that he keeps beneath the bar, and after work he takes the jug back to his group of friends.  They savor the mixture together every evening.  They discuss the proportions of various beverages  that were apparently dumped into the jug, and take note of anything unusual that seems to be present in that evening’s mixture.  And as they drink, they reminisce about the jugs from previous evenings.  They have an appreciation for what they are drinking, and they are enjoying it to the fullest.

The purpose of my blog is to disseminate information that will help people enjoy more drinking their drams, examining their menus and perusing their liquor store shelves.  I hope you find it helpful!

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