Today is a day of reflection. Forty-five trips around the sun – many of those trips filled with satisfaction and joy; others, more difficult. Yet, here I am. Alive. Breathing. I have my health. I have my friends and family. I have so much to be grateful for that I sometimes fear my priorities are misplaced. And, as whiskey enthusiasm skyrockets in popularity, those fears only intensify. I look around at rows and rows of bottles – some mean more than others; some merely occupy space. What’s all of this for? What am I seeking? These questions occasionally come to mind, as they most certainly have today.
I’m not going to bore you with a long existential sermon. I’m neither well-suited or experienced enough to offer proven advice. But, I would like to touch on one thing. In a hobby obsessed with the pursuit of the latest greatest whiskey release, we haphazardly shift focus away from what matters most: our time.
Want to know a secret? The best whiskey in the world doesn’t exist on the pages of elite Instagram influencers. It’s not hiding in the backroom of your local bottle shop. It’s in your cabinet right now. You possess the best whiskey in the world and you may not even realize it.
Don’t believe me? I didn’t think you would. But don’t write off my assertion just yet.
Go to your liquor cabinet and find your most reliable whiskey (I imagine it’s front and center). It might be Wild Turkey 101 or Russell’s Reserve 10-Year, or it might be Crown Royal or Jack Daniel’s. It really doesn’t matter. Grab a favorite everyday bottle and a glass and give yourself a healthy pour – hell, throw some ice or soda in the glass if that’s how you roll. There’s no drink shaming here.
Now, find a quiet place. Try stepping outside if the weather permits.
Sit. Close your eyes. Listen. Hear the sounds of the world around you.
Breathe. Take in the air and appreciate the fact that you can.
Settle your mind. Forget about the worries of the day or woes of society. This is your time – don’t feel guilty taking it.
Slowly bring your glass to your nose. Take note of the scent. Consider the craftsmanship – the centuries of distilling knowledge passed down from generation to generation that made the whiskey in your hands possible.
Open your eyes and take a sip. Savor the spirit’s flavor and the warmth of its finish. Breathe. At this moment there’s nothing but you and your whiskey. Your time. Your whiskey. The best whiskey in the world, dammit.
It’s really that simple. Allocations, fancy bottles, rave reviews, secondary market bullshit – when it comes to what’s truly best, nothing matters more than your time with your whiskey. Take that time. Cherish that time, as it’s never guaranteed. There may never be a better whiskey than the one resting in your glass right now. Make it count.
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