Happy New Year, everyone!
Yet another year started with the need to stay away from people, so what better occasion is there to start writing on this blog again? I need nice distractions and I have plenty of new bottles that are all begging to be written about.
I was so absent from the whisk(e)y blog last year. 2021 was, with no sugarcoating, total shite. I certainly had good times – pubs reopened, we played lots of music, even with other people in a friend’s garden, and we had a “trial” session in the pub once! I started developing my singing skills, kept improving my guitar skills, started exploring cocktail-making, tasted many very, very good whiskeys, and the summer weather was the best since we moved to Ireland. But as for the rest of the year – honestly, I wish I could forget it ever existed. Thinking back now, I feel like I was in a near-depressive cloud most of the time, so it’s not strange I didn’t write much.
I never meant to give up writing about whiskey
When I closed my initial blog Irish drams, I didn’t mean to quit whiskey blogging altogether, but it became a very quiet year on the blog. I simply didn’t have the motivation, sometimes I felt I wasn’t good at it and should leave it to more competent people. This is BS of course. If only experts wrote blogs, how boring would that be? I love reading articles from whiskey experts, but likewise, I love reading articles from amateur whiskey enthusiasts expressing their thoughts on whiskey and sharing their tasting experiences. Variety is the spice of life.
This blog gives so much enjoyment
Recently, I decided to move most of my photos to a folder outside of WordPress (the way WP generates a gazillion of different copies of each image drives me nuts!), which means I had to go through each post to include a new URL to each photograph. Yes, it’s a lot of work but I don’t mind. Going through each post like this reminds me of how much fun I had planning the posts, writing, tasting, and preparing the photos. This is especially the case with the posts from 2020 – I wrote every week until sometime in September. I planned posts well in advance and went out in the garden with bottles of whiskey to take photos. Writing on the blog was a lovely distraction until I started overthinking it.
When I read through my posts and see the photos in them, I remember the scents in the garden at the time, what mood I was in, and all the fun I had. It brings back so many good memories and I smile when I think of every one of them.
When the pandemic started, I knew very well that I couldn’t just sit and wait for it to be over. I knew it would take at least a year, maybe two (we now know that that’s VERY optimistic, but who knew at the time?), and that it would be miserable. I had to create a way to focus on something else instead of crying over what normal life was supposed to be like and waiting for it to come back. My strategy became learning new skills, indulging in creative activities, to keep exploring whiskey, and writing on the blog.
During 2020 I started being more active on Twitter and discovered a world of lovely people. The chats made life at the beginning of the pandemic so much easier to cope with, and I wouldn’t have been involved with it if it wasn’t for the existence of my blog. Now I have a feeling that many people I used to chat with have left – or is it the Twitter algorithms that have changed? Twitter is less fun than it used to be, but I’m still thankful for all the connections the whiskey Twitter community has given me, and I’m still there, to enjoy the good bits and ignore the bad.
After the misery that was 2021, I’ve decided to do everything I possibly can to make 2022 better. Coming back to this blog will be part of it.
Moving forward with Whisky queen
Sometimes I miss the name Irish drams because it sort of was my baby – but I do like the name Whisky Queen better. It has more attitude, and it allows me to write about whiskies from outside Ireland if/when I want to.
Having said that, Irish whiskey will always be the main focus here. Irish whiskey is special to me – and to my tastebuds. I’m not Irish but live in Ireland, love this country and love to see the whiskey industry grow and thrive, and I want to support it and promote it in the way I can. And obviously, Irish whiskey is also what I have the most access to.
Whisky Queen is also sort of step 2 with whiskey writing… I was very very new to whiskey when I first kicked off Irish drams. I didn’t write it because I thought I knew something other people didn’t… but to promote Irish whiskey, and because it was a way for me to learn about whiskey. No matter how bad my initial articles were, writing them was a part of my learning journey, and I’m thankful for that experience.
At the time of writing, I’ve just signed up for a new guitar workshop. You have to do what you have to do in order to make January less dull! I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to do this course. But whiskey tastings will also happen, I have plenty of new bottles to explore, lots of other ideas for posts, my motivation is back, and I will be back here soon.