It’s been a hot minute since my last post. I’ll admit, I posted an update regarding the recent dearth of content on my subreddit but not here since I know most of my audience is there. However, not everyone is on Reddit, and those who aren’t but do follow me here deserve to know what’s up if I intend to keep producing content (which I do). I have also treated this blog as a more “official hub” for my reviews and scoresheets, which it will continue to be, but I have ideas for it down the line, which may include more than just review-based content. So if that’s the case then it only makes that much more sense to give those of you who follow me here a proper update. This is long overdue, so if you want a healthy read (by my standards), then I think this will at least help tide you over.
My recent absence has been a result of me catching Covid late last month. My first symptoms were a light cough and dry throat, which went on for almost three days with little noticeable progression, so I assumed it was just allergies. However, when I came home from work on the third day, I could neither taste nor smell the Coconut Cream Pie ice cream I bought that night. That was an immediate red flag that prompted me to schedule a testing appointment the following day, which brought immense fatigue and cold-like symptoms. Two days later I got my results and sure enough, I tested positive.
For context, I’m fully vaccinated (second Pfizer dose in early April) and my job involves frequent to constant public interaction. The main symptoms I exhibited were overwhelming exhaustion, completely blocked off taste/smell, congestion, headache, and occasional body aches. Fortunately, I began to feel better inside of a week, and by the two-week mark I felt mostly back to normal. With one exception.
My sense of smell (and taste to a lesser extent) is still fairly diminished and the road to recovery has felt like a crawl up a mountain. After two weeks the main things I could smell were garlic and olive oil while cooking, banana-flavored toast, and a few spices if I held them to my nose. I’m currently over the three-week point since losing my senses, and while I can notice improvements, they feel marginal.
This has consequently made reviewing whiskey all but impossible. Almost all of what we taste comes from what we smell, and that’s especially so when it comes to whiskey. Last week I tried doing a blind flight between four bonded whiskeys (Early Times, E.H. Taylor, JTS Brown, and Wilderness Trail) and other than mouthfeel, very little distinguished one from the other. A challenge I recently began was utilizing my 18 one-ounce sample bottles, labeling them, shuffling them into a box, pouring them blindly up to once per day, and seeing if I can correctly guess what it is, be it proof, whiskey style, distillery, expression, etc. Peat registers pretty easily and I can barely tell when I’m drinking or not drinking bourbon, but blinding something still leaves me fairly stumped. If I had to put a number to my taste and smell, I’d say they’re are 85% and 65%, respectively.
What does this mean for content moving forward? Well, scoresheets are going to have to take a backseat. And while I do have other content planned, they’re going to take some time to manifest, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I do have plans for more content and I do think a full recovery is tangible, it’s only a question of when. I won’t divulge my current ideas since I don’t want to commit to something that I may not even go forward with, but I am in the initial process of bringing one into fruition.