Actually. It wasn’t really like that at all. It wasn’t that easy.
I am, like many others, a guy with a lot of interests.
And maybe I’ve taken a while to figure out what makes me tick. But what I have found out that it takes quite a mix of different things to make me tick. Namely, music, writing, photography and whisk(e)y culture. Put together a cauldron filled with these things, and I’m a happy guy.
Take any of them away, and I’ll go off in search of them.
Though I’m in Vancouver now, Ottawa was my old stomping ground where I played in as many bands as I could, worked in a grocery store for scratch – and skateboarded the rest of my day away. Not a bad life by any means – but I’ve always been restless.
Mom and Dad – I’m sure you’re surprised to read that.
I came out to Van city in search of anything new on a two-year off and on fly fishing road trip with my pal, and found a journalism program that interested me – and said “Thanks man. I’m good. Drop me off,” and I threw a couple pebble’s at a friends’ window and promptly moved in on the couch.
From there – I started in on the journalism world right as it was morphing right under my feet, and the pulpy paper we were so used to printing gave way in popularity to bits and bytes. With a new found student loan chirping loudly at my feet with open beak and no direct line into a writing gig that didn’t involve moving deep into the secluded Canadian wilderness, I got into bartending business in hopes of sticking close to the cultural pulse of the city life and paying down the ever growing bill beast. Being close to the music being the most important factor.
So I struck up a gig as a buss boy – and did that in the busy lunch rush afternoons. I opened the kitchen at another restaurant in the mornings and scattered over to my internship at a local weekly entertainment paper to work on listings, and any articles about up and coming local Vancouver bands whenever I could crank out time. It was a busy life – but it’s what I needed.
Eventually, I worked my way up to bartending – but when I found a chance to create content for a music community website – I did so, and left that previous bar job. But when the ‘operation’ packed up shop and left for South America with a faint image of myself waving frantically in the dusty images in their rear view mirror – I again, needed to find work.
I returned to the bar. And this time – something felt wonderfully different.
I ended up landing luckily in Vancouver’s Gastown – and though I didn’t know it at the time – it’s a bastion for all things right in the world of bartending. Pre-prohibition cocktails, great food and oh so glorious whisk(e)y. Of course – I knew nothing of these things at my time of landing. But knowing something very different, vibrant and challenging was happening here. And so I set to work on figuring it all out.
Today, I like to say that I’m a whisk(e)y nerd. An aficionado of sorts – though I’m very careful to say that there’s many, many others in the world that would simply hand me my hat in any discussion about whisk(e)y – and that’s just fine. But it doesn’t stop me from being passionate about it.
For those of you who don’t know. The spectrum, in terms of just the different ‘flavours’ or varieties in whisk(e)y, is astounding. Perfect for someone like me, who absolutely loves the minutia behind everything.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m not so big on all the history that comes with whisk(e)y, ie: it was signed on by a Duke of the hills with blue pants that swayed in the Highland winds back in the 1800’s. No. I really don’t care much about that. But I do care to note what kinds of wood casks are you using? Where are you storing them? For how long? How peated is your barley? What strain of barley is it? And I’ll spend hours on one whisk(e)y trying to find out why it is the way it is.
And this site, will be dedicated to chronicling my fascination with all things whisk(e)y.
So will I one day end up being a whisk(e)y writer? Doubtful. Will I know everything about whisk(e)y? Certainly not. But I will certainly do all I can to know all I can to be the best whisk(e)y nerd I can be, in the hopes that one day, I’ll be able hold a bottle of my own whisk(e)y, knowing full well, that it’s well made.
Until then. I’ll continue to be a whiskeydrummer. And if that’s all I”m going to be – I plan on being a damned good one.