When our first blog post popped up on 28 March 2008 it was difficult to imagine that Whisky For Everyone would still be going a decade later. Our fledgling interest in whisky, and Scotch in particular, led us to want to find out more. Writing things down seemed a good way to make facts, figures and tasting notes stick in our brains. If people read what we wrote then so be it - we gave it a working title of Whisky For Everyone and it was our vehicle for learning.
The odds were firmly against any sort of longevity - we were new to whisky, we did not know anyone within the industry or have any formal journalistic training. We wrote down things as they came out of our heads, which we still do. But we are both stubborn and determined.
Not only is the whisky landscape very different now than it was a decade ago, but so is the one for blogging. Whisky knowledge and interest has grown to almost unprecedented levels, whilst technology and the explosion of social media has made the sharing of knowledge, expertise and opinions widespread.
Back in 2008 there were very few good websites about whisky to be found - Dr. Whisky, Malt Maniacs and WhiskyFun are ones that immediately spring to mind. However, all seemed pitched at a higher connoisseur level rather than the beginner. Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy and Instagram did not even exist. Imagine a world without any of them now?
At some point early on someone told us that they liked what we were doing - that no one else was really catering for the whisky beginner - and that they felt our 'working title' reflected our approach. Reader numbers increased, as did interest from brands.
We kept doing what we were doing and went from strength to strength. To date we have had over 1.75 million unique visits to Whisky For Everyone from almost every country in the world. These have resulted in 3.25 million page views and 20,000+ followers across various social media platforms. We still cannot quite believe these figures.
We have definitely benefited from the general rise in popularity of whisky that was happening at the time and whisky blogging became cool. As whisky sales grew in new markets and the interest in whisky investments and auctions took hold, the number of whisky blogs grew to unprecedented and uncontrollable levels it seemed. Now in the last couple of years some balance has been restored. Many of the best blogs remain. Others have fallen by the wayside.
Over the last 10 years we have been fortunate to meet many influential and fantastic people. There are way too many to name individually but they cover all facets of the industry from those that work at the distilleries to those that do the marketing or PR to those that work deep within the whisky companies to those that we consider our blogging and journalist contemporaries. Many have become close friends over the years.
|Our ex-Oloroso sherry octave at Glenglassaugh.|
Highlights have been many – the numerous press trips to distilleries, the invitations to launch events, the awards that we have been nominated for and the brand dinners that we have been lucky enough to be guests at. One that sticks in our minds has to be our first trip to Islay thanks to Lagavulin. Islay is a ‘must visit’ for any whisky fan and our visit did not disappoint. We even own our own cask of whisky, which is slowly maturing away at the Glenglassaugh distillery in the east Highlands.
Maybe the ultimate highlight was our induction as Keepers Of The Quaich in April 2015, an honour bestowed on those that significantly impact the promotion of Scotch whisky around the world. Numerous journalists have received this in the past but we remain as two of the very few bloggers to be recognised in this way.
|Us at our Keepers of the Quaich induction ceremony in Blair Castle.|
So, after a decade we are still here. And we do not intend to go anywhere either. What started a hobby in our spare time has now led to both of us having jobs within the whisky industry. While that has diminished the amount of time that we can spend on the blog and the number of events that we can attend, it definitely does not diminish our passion for writing Whisky For Everyone and helping people learn about the spirit that we love.
Here is to the next 10 years and thank you to everyone that has read, helped and influenced us over the last decade.
Karen & Matt.