It’s fair to say that the Internet’s full of people who want you to hear what they have to say about whisky. I can’t always say I find them interesting.
HOWEVER… back in January a fella appeared on my Facebook feed courtesy of another whiskychum’s posting, with what sounded an interesting challenge. Ben Bowers has set himself the task of sampling and reviewing 366 whiskies in a year and tying it all up under the fairly neat label of A Dram A Day.
The goal of this escapade is that it’s a fundraising challenge, with him aiming to raise £5000 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund though getting people to sponsor him for publishing 10-15 minute videos every day of the whiskies he’s tasting.
I’ve got to say – I really like his style. Ben generally seems to be a bloke who does his research (although occasionally loses the bit of paper that tells him what the samples he’s been sent are) and he’s tasting these drams sight-unseen, so the reaction you’re seeing is pretty real. A good example of this is his tasting of Haig Club: a whisky which I maintain is targeted for a particular audience and purpose, but which Ben I think fairly provides an honest response to.
You’ve got to admire him sticking with it – often these sorts of things sink without trace 20 or so posts in. However as I write this he’s well over half way and almost at #210. I’m enjoying the way that they’re clearly shot at night time in hushed tones so he doesn’t wake his wife up, although periodically he ventures outside of the kitchen into other rooms – so it’s sort of like a really protracted tour of a house somewhere in the North of England. With many, many drinks breaks.
Earlier in the challenge he was courting donations of whiskies (I sent a few across – including the Berry Brothers & Rudd Glen Mhor that he seemed to quite enjoy) however now he’s got all he needs so it’s just a case of making it through to Burns Night 2017!
I’d urge anyone reading this who’s interested in whisky to have a look at a few of these and perhaps make your way through a few. Having previously worked at The Whisky Shop in York Ben has quite a good vocabulary while at the same time speaking very approachably. And perhaps if you’d like to say thanks for the research and effort by flinging his Justgiving page a few quid then I’m sure that wouldn’t be a bad thing.