Friday, December 26, 2014

The unhappy valley

Time was when I could count on a small but steady stream of whiskey bottles with my name on them at Christmas and my birthday. The fanciest looking bottle at the price point I was worth was a simple and reliable choice.

Then something happened. Maybe I nattered on too much, reminded someone once too often that "sour mash" doesn't actually taste sour, got too detailed answering the pleasantry, "So what are you drinking these days?"

In any case, the word went round, "Don't buy him whiskey. His tastes are too refined and obscure for us to fumble toward in a liquor store, and no doubt he already buys everything he wants anyway."
My one whiskey related present this Christmas was a mixing pitcher. It was just what I wanted, but a little whiskey to mix in it would have been well received too.

I find myself now in an unhappy valley of being too well known as a whiskey drinker to get much in the way of whiskey as gifts.

At least, I hope it's a valley, and not a plain running flat to the horizon. I hope at some point people will realize simple and reliable is plenty good enough for me.
The Unhappy Valley.

I was thinking some sort of whiskey gift registry might help re-plant the seed, and even steer gift dollars in a more optimal direction. (Which isn't to say I don't love the free glassware that comes in gift packaging this time of year. I just don't have any room for it. (I don't have any room for another whiskey bottle, either, but I'll work something out.))

A whiskey gift registry might not work too well in practice, though. For one thing, the list of what I don't want is a lot shorter than the list of what I do want. Price varies widely, availability varies wildly, and there aren't too many ways for a gift bottle to reach my house that are, in the strict sense of the word, legal.

So I suppose it's up to me to leave subtle clues, like a blog post, for my family to pick up on. And if it works, I just might celebrate with a toast of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye... if, you know, I happened to have some to toast with.

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