Whisky Advocate

Thank you!

January 25th, 2009

I must say that the quantity and quality of your comments to my blog posting really are impressive. They are intelligent, very thoughtful, and honest. And you inject constructive criticism without stepping over the line.

Blogs are two-way streets. I am fortunate to have a direct line to the whisky industry and I want to share what I can with you. Unlike some of the other whisky “experts”, I want to be accessible to anyone who loves whisky and wants to learn more about it. (I put the word “expert” in quotes because I don’t consider myself one. I’m just someone with a passion for whisky who found a way to make a living out of it. Other than that, I feel like I’m just like you.)

For those of you who comment regularly, thank you. And for those of you who are still lurking (and I know there are a lot of you out there who are), please feel free to get involved. It can only make our experiences here better.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to post timely, accurate news information, helpful  and “ahead of the curve” whisky reviews, and topics of discussion that impact all of us. The blog is only a year and a half old, but we’ve come a long way in that time. Let’s keep it going.

Thanks again.  — John

15 Responses to “Thank you!”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    This is a great blog John. And it’s only been getting better. I can scarcely think of a better one on any topic, anywhere, period. Reading over posts from the past couple of months, I see real camaraderie and impressive intellectual acuity. These are good discussions and their quality is a testament– both to the character of whisky-lovers, worldwide, and to the pivotal constructive role that Malt Advocate plays in uniting and informing them. Great work, John– don’t quit.

  2. Tim Spitsberg says:

    Hi John,

    As a relative neophyte transitioning over from craft beer, where the amount of internet ‘knowledge’ is rather more considerable than what I’ve found in the world of whisky, I’ve been very appreciative of your blog and consider it THE place to ‘check the pulse’ of both industry and ‘appreciator’…that being said, this entry provides me the perfect opportunity to ask a question I’ve been sitting on for sometime during my lurking…

    I know as a/the sponsor you don’t want to toot your own horn, but I’d love to know more about the WhiskyFest events and what to expect there…all the links for the upcoming Chicago fest in April are broken/not full yet, and I’d like a bit more info before dropping what’s a considerable chunk of change in my book, especially in this economy.

    Are attendees largely industry/store owners or like myself, ‘amateur’ drinkers :)? Is the focus on tasting or education, both, or neither? What value is there to entering the doors early with the VIP ticket? How crowded will things be and how long the lines? If off-board is the best place to answer, I can appreciate that, but I have to imagine others share at least some of these queries…

    Otherwise, thanks for the blog – keep the info coming. There truly is no substitute for good, thoughtful, personable information you provide here…Tim

  3. John Hansell says:

    Tim, I don’t want to go off topic, but I will say that WhiskyFest is about both education and tasting. I honestly feel that it’s the best investment you can make. You can taste so many whiskies, discover the ones you like and don’t like, learn about them, get first hand information from the guys who make the whisky, etc. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and a great night out. And the Chicago venue is very nice and spaceous.

    Red, thanks for the kind words, but totally unnecessary.

  4. Ethan Prater says:

    And thanks for replying and otherwise following up on comments made by your readers. It gives the blog some legs that others lack, your continuing a story along with the commenters.

  5. Håvard Eide says:

    I’ve been lurking around here for a while, but I must say you have a very good blog going here with lots of information and thoughts ( the “Why are there still disappointing whiskies?” was especially good ).
    Keep up the good work!

  6. I have not been a huge fan of internet blogging – until I discovered this website. What is great about it is that John regular postings maintain consistency and variation at the same time. It’s easier to stay up-to-date with it than it is with many forums. Always a great read! Thanks to you, John!

  7. Tony Menechella says:

    No, THANK YOU John!! The time and commitment that you’ve dedicated to this blog is what makes it so special to us whisky enthusiasts. It’s also not just the frequency of the posts, but the content of what you post. The posts are either informative or conversation stirrers. Your responses and accessibility keep it real, as if we’re all in the same room chatting rather than miles away.

    I’m always lurking, and will comment when I feel that I can contribute to a post, but more often than not, my inexperience, especially when compared to alot of the regular commentors, holds me back.

    Please, keep up the oustanding work!! Cheers!!

  8. lawschooldrunk says:

    Feel free to use my comments for the magazine!

    And feel free to send me free stuff 🙂

    (hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!)

  9. Gary Gillman says:

    John, this is a very important resource for whisk(e)y. Thank YOU for doing it and keeping it going. One of the reasons it is successful is your measured and responsible tone; at the same time, you can’t quite conceal the enthusiastic whisky fan that is in you and I think it is this factor – you put your finger on it – that is the key to its success.

    Once, I read a review of one of Michael Jackson’s later books, I think it was in one of the local Toronto “alternative” papers, that stated that Michael continued to be relevant because he never stopped being a student, he never lost his enthusiasm to learn more. As masterful as he was, this ingenuous impulse communicated itself to his audience who had of course a natural affinity to it. I feel something similar with your approach here and in Malt Advocate. Keep on keepin’ on!


  10. John Hansell says:

    Thanks guys. Gary, I especially appreciate your comment. Michael was a great man and my mentor. I learned much from him, and I hope it shows.

  11. Lucas says:

    Hi John,

    I was quite surprised to read that your blog is only a year and a half old. It certainly looks a bit more mature, the quantity/quality of comments you get (and the way it all googles) is, as you wrote, just amazing.

    In response to what Gary wrote about Michael, I realised similar thing when I read his article about Whisky Live in Japan a few years ago. He wrote that leading representatives of the Scotch whisky industry on stage there was his childhood dream come true. He dreamt of becoming a captain of the national rugby team and leading them on to the pitch during the World Cup. How cool is that! A mature man fulfilling his dream in this awkward but yet beautiful and charming way. He was that small kid inside throughout and that gave him the drive to explore and learn. He was a real whisky expert but he would never call himself one, would he? Grand man.

    I am myself an Edinburgh (Scotland) based whisky blogger who is in fact just starting. Me and my co-writer Chris look up to you, John, as an example of a great, relaxed and informative blogger.

    Thanks a million and looking forward to your new posts!


  12. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Lucas for the kind words, and all the best to you with your new blog.

  13. Greg Gilbert says:


    I’ll echo what’s already been stated, thanks for your passion and willingness to share with the masses. While I would like to contribute more, my whiskey focus centers on bourbon and rye’s. I’ve only put my pinky toe into the Scotch waters so I simply read those without comment. When the topic is bourbon and rye, I contribute when I can. Thanks again.

  14. Louis says:

    Hi John,

    From my vantage point, you have one of the best jobs in the world, being able to make a living doing something you love. Posting to your blog lets me do a little bit of the same.



  15. John Hansell says:

    Greg, I’ll make sure to include plenty of bourbon and rye postings.

    Louis, I really enjoy what I do. Tasting and reviewing new whiskies is a lot of fun. So is being able to spend time with master distillers and blenders. But it’s still a business. Publishing a magazine, hosting WhiskyFest events for more than 2,000 people, etc. and all the stuff these entail can be stressful and overwhelming at times.

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