“Don’t you have some sort of a plan?’ he asked. “A schedule of whiskies to review, or topics, or something?”
“Not really,” I responded.
“You mean you just get on the treadmill and start typing?”
“Yeah, pretty much.” I could see that this particular acquaintance who is a writer as well was getting rather frustrated. I took another sip of the Laphroaig Cairdeas sitting near the edge of the table. “I just turn on the computer, press number four on the treadmill, and see what happens. So far, something always shows up. The routine seems to produce.”
“Do you prepare anything, maybe use an outline?”
“Nope. I do leave myself little notes on my phone’s voice recorder every now and then as a way to remember things I see during the day that would make for a great post, but even those are never forced to fit. Sometimes I use them. Sometimes I don’t. Everything just works out. I really can’t explain it. Well, actually, I’ve explained it before like…”
“Do you ever get worried that you’ll end up with writer’s block?” he interrupted. I went ahead and took another sip.
“I suppose there have been a few lulls in the past few years, times when I felt a little dry.” I could see that he was strangely relieved by this answer. “But still, those were mainly because I was far too busy to do much writing. When your mind is preoccupied with a gazillion other priorities that have nothing to do with writing, you get those hammered out first, and then you get back to it when you can.”
“You were going to say,” he said giving me a chance to finish my previous thought.
“I wrote a post a long time ago when I first started the blog, but it’s no longer on the site. It was more of a theological paper, but I used it to introduce myself. In it, I essentially confessed somewhat tongue-in-cheek that I have a writing addiction. I must write.”
“You must write?”
“Yes,” I confirmed. “I must write. As a pastor writing sermons, I write at least a five page paper pretty much every week. In a single year, with special feasts, weddings, and everything else, I will have written close to eighty or ninety sermons. That’s a 450 page book every year, and that’s not even taking into consideration writing assignments from other sources. But in the end, it still isn’t enough for me. I need to write more. The only way to explain it is that I sometimes feel as though my head will split open and spray words all over people if the pressure is not in some way released. Starting a blog was something that my wife suggested, and once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. Angelsportion has become for me an incredible release valve that lets me reach into every corner of my brain as a human and not just the theological bins.”
“If that’s how you feel, I can see how the blog would help,” he decided.
“And besides,” I said volleying my own interruption, “writer’s block is nearly impossible in my opinion because there’s always so much happening. As long as you are looking around and paying attention, there’s always something to write about. There’s a lot of stuff in all those others bins.”
“Would you like to get paid to do what you are doing?”
“That’s a good question,” I answered. “My agent, is shopping the book manuscript to some pretty significant publishing houses right now, and that’s really cool. If a good contract gets landed, I will work really hard to make it successful – both literarily and financially, but in the end I have to agree with my wife. She keeps reminding me that as doors open to be careful to do what I’m doing because I love it and not because I’m selling it. In fact, maybe that’s where writer’s block could be a danger — when you get into areas where you are forced to write as opposed to the way I’m doing it now. So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but I guess if I get paid, great. If not, that’s cool, too. I’ll keep on writing and doing what I’m doing either way.”
The whole time this discussion was unfolding, the Laphroaig Cairdeas Amontillado was fumigating the room – filling the immediate space in a way that suggested a campfire was just outside the window and the neighbor was burning a lacquered bunkbed. I didn’t necessarily mind it, but I could see that my fellow conversationalist, the one who prefers the cleaner, more defined whiskies, was struggling a bit. Although, he should be commended for staying the course and not saying a word about it.
You can see from the first photo that I didn’t buy this one. It was sent to me as a gift from a friend and fellow whisky drifter, Nathan. Good man. He likes the smoky beasts. I am liking them more.
Nathan knows I’ll be honest, and so as I noted above, the whisky’s nose isn’t the greatest. I wasn’t necessarily off put, but I’ve had much better from Laphroaig. This one was a bit sour.
The palate was doable, a little salty at first, and this was a confusing sensation because a subtle sweetness crawled up beside the oily lick and became something like warm fruit punch. I’m guessing it is the sherry influence teetering out of balance. Weird, but then again, stimulating.
The finish was shorter than expected, except I should add that perhaps the stranger unsteadiness combined with the higher concentration of alcohol could be at fault. In my experience, a higher ABV often translates into a longer finish, but this time it seemed to burn out the palate like a bottle rocket that only reached half of its promised altitude. I didn’t try it, but I think a drop of water would have brought it into stability and the finish probably wouldn’t have sparked out.
Hold on a second. I’m going to try it…
Nope. Still fizzled. My bad.
Don’t misunderstand. This is another Laphroaig most worthy of space on the shelf. If I can find it here in Michigan, I’ll probably buy my own bottle, but I’d suggest going to it only if the 10, 12, 18, or Quarter Cask are empty.
Thanks again, Nathan!