To me, a historian is more than a scholar of history. A historian should make the knowledge learned available to others. History is a growing organism that changes every time new documents or artifacts are found. New information can confirm or change ideas as to what happened so I don’t mind it when people disagree with my blogs in a constructive manner. I love to find new sources of information.
In 2018 I found additional ways to make what I know available to others. I started posting book reviews so viewers can understand what I have read and used to gather knowledge. I added a new series of blogs where I discuss people starting with pioneer distillers, but I will carry it forward and add whiskey rectifiers and salesmen. I started a series of blogs on brand histories. I want to make as much of the heritage as I can available to the public.
I only write about what interests me so I like all of my blogs. I have picked ten that I wrote this year that I really enjoyed writing. Here are the top ten in descending order:
10) On Bourbon Barrels: The barrel is an important part of the process and I enjoyed putting to pen some of my knowledge of barrels.
9) Developing Your Tasting Skills: I get a lot of questions from people about this subject so I thought it would make a good blog. It also gives me a place to send people if they ask me about the subject.
8) Hosting a Bourbon Tasting: Another subject I am often asked about. There really does need to be some thought given to planning a tasting.
6) Book Review: The Dictionary of the History of the American Brewing and Distilling Industry: I am happy to start doing book reviews and this book is one of my all-time favorites.
5) Brand History: Old Fitzgerald: There is as much heritage in the brands themselves as the people who created them. They often change hands but survive the new owners most of the time.
4) From My Archive: Schenley and Aging Whiskey: I am glad I started this series to discuss some of the documents in my library and this is a very interesting one to launch the series.
3) Pairing Bourbon with Cheese: My blog about Bourbon and Food is one that gets a view every day so pairing Bourbon with cheese was a natural progression. I really like working with Chef Josh Moore and want to do a follow-up blog this year about sheep and goat cheeses.
2) Planning a Bourbon Staff Training Trip to Bourbon Country: This was inspired by a visit to Bourbon Country by Gary Crunkleton and his staff last January. A little planning does a lot to make the trip successful.
1) Pioneer Distillers: Daniel Weller: I enjoy sharing knowledge of these distillers and I think this is my favorite because Mark Brown told me that they are considering a brand named for Daniel Weller after reading this blog.
These are my favorites from 2018. I look forward to 2019 as I continue with some of the old series of blogs and begin some new ones. Thanks to all of my readers and followers for making the past year a success and I hope you continue to enjoy what I write.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl and Rosemary Miller