What does John know, really?December 26th, 2010
Well, to be honest, I know that I’m not a great whisky writer. I read stuff by Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace), Jim Murray, Dave Broom, and more like them in Malt Advocate magazine and they just amaze me. They, are great whisky writers.
I also know that I can’t describe whiskies as eloquently and colorfully as the best ones. (I refer you to the names above once again. They are all brilliant at what they do.)
I’m not crazy about this blog’s name, “What Does John Know?” because it comes across as sounding egotistical–to the point where I am becoming increasingly embarrassed by it. Don’t be surprised if you see it changed sometime soon. It’s really just the Malt Advocate magazine blog, and I am only one part of a great team of people. (But most of you knew that already.)
I feel that I am just a passionate whisky enthusiast, like many of you. The only difference is that I started this great journey thirty years ago, so maybe I just got a head start? That forced me to blaze some trails (and I have the scars to prove it). If I have made your whisky journey more pleasant and easier to navigate, then this is much more than I have ever envisioned and I am a better person for it.
I know that I try to be honest and fair, walking a very thin line promoting this great whisky industry while at the same time being a voice for you, the whisky enthusiast.
Sometimes I feel like I just can’t win. I am accused by some whisky consumers of being biased because Malt Advocate accepts advertising, while at the same time I get chided by some people in the whisky industry for (occasionally, and only when I feel it is warranted) being critical about their whiskies or their practices.
To be completely honest, putting myself in this position is sometimes very stressful and emotionally draining (because I really do care about what people think and say). I have no intention of compromising my principles, but I am also aware of the price I am paying for it personally.
As much as I love whisky, it isn’t the most important thing in my life. Family, friendship, and health (both physical and spiritual) always come first. Maybe that’s why I know I will never be known as the world’s leading whisky expert. To be that person, I would have to sacrifice the other things I feel are more important. I’m just not willing to do that, and I’m okay with that.
Speaking of those more important things, that’s what I’ll be focusing on the rest of this year. I want to thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me here, and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2011.
I’ll see you right here again next week.