Whiskey Story Swap – April 2020

This is the second outing in this experiment. I hope you’ll be inclined to join in…

Posted at the end of every second month, the WHISKEY STORY SWAP is an invitation to readers to share a whiskey story from the past couple months that has stuck with them. Stories from the hunt, a tasting, a bar, a corner store, a gathering of friends (socially distanced of course 😷), a toast gone hilariously wrong, a bottle trade gone spectacularly well… Long, short, funny, sad… You name it.

All I ask is that we keep things clean so everyone can enjoy swapping stories. Whiskey is made of, and for, stories to be shared by everybody.

Please add your story in the comment section below. To kick things off, here’s my own whiskey story for April 2020:

My partner leads multiple choirs through the San Francisco Community Music Center, focused on young kids aged 8-12 and older adults. Both programs are free to the students, very popular, and greatly valued. For some of the seniors, their weekly choir sessions are their only social activity and they attend like a religious service—minus the moral strictures. For some kids, especially the shy kids, it’s their weekly chance to let their voice out fully and freely.

One student from a Thursday older adult choir brings my partner a homemade meal every week. Jarred pulled-chicken and vegetable soup. Fresh focaccia. Carefully spiced meatloaf. Always exceedingly tasty. Since the COVID-19 government shutdowns, these meals have continued. Every Thursday this student stops by our home to deliver her home cooked meal. She wears a mask and handles everything with great care for sanitization. My partner doesn’t drink whiskey outside of a Hot Toddy. But her student is a big Glenlivet scotch fan. I don’t have that brand in stock, so each Thursday I bottle up a 2-ounce introduction to one whiskey or another, thus far including:

As the weeks continue, that list will grow.

As I said my partner is not a big whiskey fan. And yet when it comes to whiskey she has “champagne tastes.” (I once poured her some Van Winkle 15 Year without telling her what it was. One sip and she said, “Now this I like.”) In addition to her choirs, now conducted online via Zoom, she is currently directing a play with MFA students of the American Conservatory Theater. This production is also being directed via Zoom. Anyone now working via Zoom seems to agree it’s twice as exhausting as working in person. So after rehearsal she’s ready to relax, and she loves a good Hot Toddy.

Given her seemingly innate taste for finer liquors, I’ve been making her post-rehearsal Hot Toddies with 120+ proof whiskeys (the legit medicinal ABV level 😉) such as Little Book #3, Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon, or Old Potrero Single Barrel Rye. The cloves, cinnamon sticks, honey, and lemon are all organic. These are premium Toddies, for sure.

a visual recipe for a premium Hot Toddy

I take great pleasure in all of this. For my partner’s student, I have the opportunity to introduce her to sweet whiskeys that might appeal to her Glenlivet-centric palate. For my partner, I enjoy selecting whiskeys that will combine well with the other Hot Toddy ingredients. I then pour myself a neat glass of the same whiskey used in her Hot Toddy, and we toast another hard day’s Zooming. There are some silver linings to be found in quarantine. I’m very lucky.

I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments section down below.


2 thoughts on “Whiskey Story Swap – April 2020

  1. Well this isn’t a very elaborate story but I’m a huge history buff and in fact before all this craziness started I was starting to do some work with the Frazier History Museum working with tour groups teaching bourbon history. During this quarantine I’ve gotten to do a lot of reading and studying and had written an article for Frazier that coincides with the 56th anniversary of congress proclaiming bourbon a “distinctive product of the United States on May 4th. Through a series of events I won’t expound on this article is going to be featured in the Moonshine University blog.


    1. Let me know when the article comes out, John, I’d love to read it! This stay-at-home business has indeed allowed for some deep dives we might not have taken otherwise. Thanks for sharing!


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