Whisky Advocate

Tonight, yet another reason to open up a special bottle of whisky!

June 18th, 2010

It’s an amazing two weeks. I turned 50 on June 7th, our daughter turned 18 on June 14th, our company joined the M. Shanken Communications group on June 15th, and now tonight our daughter graduates from High School.  (And this Sunday is Father’s Day too!)

There’s been a lot of celebrating here. I’ve opened up some amazing whisky (and other goodies) over the past two weeks, and tonight is no exception.

This is what I am opening up when we get back from graduation. It’s the 150th Anniversary Bottling of Glenfarclas, bottled back in 1986. I’ve waited long enough to enjoy this whisky, and I will do it with some close friends, in honor of Shannon.

Here’s a picture of our daughter Shannon (isn’t she a cutie?), just a couple weeks ago on prom night. That’s Amy (my wife) and me also in the picture. I am very proud of them both.

Here’s to Shannon, our soon-to-be-graduate and to all the other parents out there with children graduating from school (whatever type of school it is)!

Now, I better start thinking about what I should open up on Father’s Day. It’s only two days away. 🙂

Let this be a reminder for you to find a reason to open up and enjoy that special bottles you have been saving. That’s what life is all about!

No Responses to “Tonight, yet another reason to open up a special bottle of whisky!”

  1. chris says:

    Cheers! Congratulations on all of these recent events. What you said in the last paragraph is something we should all keep in mind as we live our lives.

  2. Paul M says:

    Congrats to the Graduate and her parents. We also just celebrated our daughters 18th birthday and H.S. graduation. For that I opened a bottle of Glenfarclas 1968. Good luck to Shannon on her future endeavors.

  3. brian bradley (brian47126) says:

    Good luck Shannon, and Congrats John.

    Does Shannon at least get a wee taste of said bottle?

    • John Hansell says:

      She has no interest. That’s a good thing. 🙂

      • brian bradley (brian47126) says:

        Oh, I don’t know, I sort like the idea she would be a total whisky snob heading off to college. The idea of your daughter at a party saying, “uh, Bacardi huh… Do you have any Ardbeg 1974 OB that I could perhaps dram?
        It paints a funny picture; however, I suspose avoiding the stuff is a good idea, despite the fact it is a large part of your life.

        You have a great famly, and it is ovious you have done a good job as a parent–congratulations.

        • John Hansell says:

          Thanks. And remember: she’s still young. I am confident that she will some day appreciate a fine malt. Just not now.

          • Steffen Bräuner says:

            Yes, taste buds change over time and gets more demanding. At a young age they can be quite fragile. I didnt like beer until I was 21 (and I don’t live in USA so could buy it in bars from when I was 18 and shops from 15). I’ve been catching up thou

            I’d still buy a lock for my whiskycupboard John 🙂


  4. Gllaguno says:

    Congrats John! I hope that god keeps you on his blessings and continues to bless all your family and business.

  5. JC Skinner says:

    I have ten bottles of 1993 vintage whiskey (two Irish – Bushmills single bourbon cask and Knappogue Castle, and eight scotch) waiting for my little one’s 18th birthday party in a couple of years’ time.
    Not to mention some Tokaji Essenzia, Sauternes, and Bordeaux from the same year.
    Bottles from my own vintage are heading beyond my tax band due to my own increasing age. But I do have a nice Dallas Dhu for when my 40th comes around.
    They’ll all be opened and drunk when the time comes. Let’s face it – you can’t take them with you when you’re gone!
    I should also add – congrats to Shannon and would it kill you to smile in that pic, John? 😉

    • John Hansell says:

      JC: I am a relaxed smiler. (And I think their teeth are much prettier than mine.) Believe me, I was so happy during that picture.

      Shannon was born in 1992. Both Taylor and Fonseca port houses declared vintages that year and I am sitting on a case of each for her wedding night. More to your heart, I purchased a cask of the Bushmills Millennium 1975 vintage which I organized with a bunch of friends. Her name is (literally) on one of the labels (Bottle #2 I think) and that will be opened when she turns 21. I am hoping she will have some with me, but I will enjoy it tasting it either way.

  6. DavidG says:

    John – please post tasting notes, even informal ones. I too have a bottle of that Glenfarclas and would love a sneak preview before I jump in at a special occasion.
    Thanks, and continued success professionally and personally.

    • John Hansell says:

      Amy and I opened it together earlier and toasted Shannon. Now I’m the only one in the house awake (Shannon’s off to a grad party), so I am having another dram of it while I check out the blog comments.

      It tastes like it’s all from sherry casks, which is not normally the case for Glenfarclas. Lots of ripe fruit. Very lush. Layers of caramelized sugars too. But not sappy or cloying. REALLY delicious! You will enjoy it!

      And thanks for the kind words.

      • DavidG says:

        Thank you – I look forward to the occasion – it will be special whenever it comes – and look forward to enjoying it with a great drink.
        Any guesstimate as to the age of the contents – there is no age statement?

  7. JON HIEB says:

    Congrats ! — Remember : Life begins at 50 !

  8. Michael says:

    Congratulations to you, John. You have such a wonderful family! I was not sure which of these two beautiful ladies is your daughter 😉 All the best to Shannon!

  9. Congratulations to all three of you!

  10. MrTH says:

    Of course she’s a cutie–she looks just like her mother! (Rodney Dangerfield: “I have three beautiful children–thank god my wife fools around!”)

    John, you’ve reminded me of something I wonder about occasionally. I don’t have children, and I think sometimes about what the kids of whisky enthusiasts think about their parent’s hobby. Obviously, your daughter is underage in the US. Does she have any interest in it? Have you ever discussed it with her? I don’t know if this is something you want to talk about here, but maybe some other posters with teenage kids will have something to say.

    • John Hansell says:

      Unlike many households, alcohol is not taboo here. There is no reason to rebel and go out and get drunk. We have offered her a small sip of beer, wine, whisky, etc., when asked, and when she has tried something, she doesn’t like it. And that’s a good thing! She doesn’t even enquire anymore.

      I love that Rodney Dangerfield quote. She does look like her mother though, doesn’t she? Thank God Shannon doesn’t look like me. 🙂

  11. mongo says:

    my son is 1.5 years old; he is going to be taught that whisky is poison.

  12. Keith Sexton says:

    You’re not kidding…your wife and daughter have the exact same smile. Enjoy the Glenfarclas!

  13. Chistian C. says:

    This is my second Father’s Day, my son just turned one last month. It is my first Father’s Day as a liquor store owner, and I am going to be celebrating with a 1967 Glenlivet. I hope it lives up to my expectations. I think it will be hard raising a son, while loving whisky so much, and also owning a liquor store. But, I hope to teach him responsibility throughout all of life’s givings.

  14. Biianca Romano says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful family, and joining the M. Shanken Communications group. Have a great Father’s Day weekend.

  15. B.J. Reed says:

    I think of your life and the challenges you have had and it just makes me happy to see you and your family doing so well. What a terrific story….

  16. John Hansell says:

    BJ, Biianca, et. al: Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

  17. mongo says:

    just to be clear: my son will be taught that whisky is poison, only to keep him from drinking it as he grows up, and to keep him from even worse: drinking it and diluting the bottles to keep me from finding out.

    • John Hansell says:

      Well Mongo, my parents (who are missionaries) told me that whisky is a poison when I was a teenager and it made me want it more because it was taboo and I wanted to rebel. Fair warning…

  18. Red_Arremer says:

    Congrats, John. I work at a high school so I know what a big deal this is. I certainly have some bottles that I’ve been waiting to open my self.

    Btw– I love Glenfarclas, what’s this one like?

    • John Hansell says:

      It’s very nice. Significant sherry impact. (100% sherry cask aging?) but not excessively so. Not a huge wood impact, either. Just nicely balanced.

      But having said this, I would still be happier with the 1968 vintage, or maybe even the 17 year old.

  19. bgulien says:

    John, congrat’s. I see 2 beautiful people and you are not one of them.

  20. […] some great beer on tap (The Lost Abbey Carnivale), delicious wine (Shafer Relentless), and the Glenfarclas 150th Anniversary bottle that I opened up on Friday after our daughter Shannon’s High School graduation. I even […]

  21. Gary says:

    Congratulations to you and your family John. I have a daughter who will be a senior next year. They do grow up fast don’t they? All the best.

  22. Sjoerd de Haan says:

    Hi John,

    First of all, congrats on all the cool stuff happening to you, your family and Malt Advocate!

    I am wondering something. Like many whisky afficionados I tend to save up some special bottles for special occasions. What I am wondering is how you regard such a bottle after opening. You say you have kept it for an occasion like you have many these last couple of days, but is that bottle still considered a celebration after you open it and take another dram?

    I can see how you attach special memories to a bottle and a whisky by keeping them for occasions, but do you drink your specials just any night, or still only when something awesome has happened?


    • John Hansell says:

      Good question. Once I open a bottle (for a special occassion), I try to share it with as many (like minded) people as possible, thus continuing the celebration, until the bottle is empty.

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