Celebrating the individuality of success
My entire working life is based around the importance of asking questions, but recently I’ve realized it’s something that falls to the wayside in the hours that surround that. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve nailed that work/life balance but alas, it is not for that reason. To coin an oh-so-‘Instagrammable’ phrase, I’ve been surviving and not thriving and that is something I’d like to draw to a close. With that in mind I’m asking one singular question of myself as I dive into 2023, and I’d like you to consider it too: what do I need to do today in order to get to where I want to be?
It is very easy when it comes to goal setting, or considering your dreams for the future, to feel completely overwhelmed by the vastness of it all and the unknown space in between. However, when you break it down into small increments and daily behaviors, it suddenly feels far more manageable to work with. Consider it like this: are the actions of today getting you one per cent closer to the outcome you would like? Because, if we’re honest, we all have the capability within us. I have to admit that my recent epiphany is inspired by the unstoppable attitude of the whiskey industry, which is lucky because otherwise this Editor’s Word would quickly turn into a piece of writing that resembles the voicenotes of internal dialogue that I send to my long-suffering friends on a daily basis. (Honestly, being friends with a writer is a full-time job, if you ask me!). You see, a huge part of the process of running a distillery is the ability to forecast your whiskey stocks. What do I need to do today to ensure we have enough whiskey to sustain the fans of today and the future?
Of course, no one could have predicted just how much of a meteoric rise the world of American whiskey was going to have in recent years. The lay of the land when it comes to whiskey in the present day is exponentially different to the way it was in pre-Prohibition years; it’s a success story that will endure. When planning the year ahead, in magazine terms, I like to give each edition a theme. This issue was all about different routes to success and what that success looks like on both an individual and brand basis.
With the rapid growth of the industry and new fans of whiskey joining the party, it is ever-apparent that success does come in many different forms. From the generational distillers, to the new blood, to those blazing a trail for independent bottling, and whiskey lovers turned experts that are showcasing the spirit to a new audience, it’s quite the time to be in whiskey.
When you picked up this edition of American Whiskey you undoubtedly would have noticed the World Whiskies Awards celebration on the cover, alongside the Icons of Whisky and Hall of Fame 2023. That, quite frankly, is a whole lot of success in one magazine and we love to see it. This year’s awards were hosted with a difference, bringing the industry’s great and good to Louisville, Kentucky’s The Brown Hotel to announce the winners and commend the people, places and products that stood out from the crowd. It is no mean feat to achieve these accolades and as always it is a joy to share in those moments of success.
We have also welcomed two new inductees to the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Steve Nally and Lance Winters, two individuals that have dedicated their careers to positively impacting the industry we all love, for many years to come.
So, with all of those inspirational stories and anecdotes in mind, have you thought about my question yet? If it still feels a little overwhelming, then I have a suggestion for you – think of it as a fun little challenge. Perhaps in 2023 you want to expand your knowledge on American single malts; well, why not start out on page 97 by sampling the 2023 winner of the WWA’s Best American Single Malt and reading up on the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission’s plans while you enjoy your dram? See, growth doesn’t have to be daunting, especially when it involves delving into subject matter as rich (and tasty) as whiskey. Enjoy the issue and join me in raising a glass to enriching our lives.