A bit about me, Travis Lawrie, also known on here, Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere, as the Whisky Ninja.
In case you hadn’t gathered by the fact that I’ve started a blog about whisky/whiskey, I’m a bit of a fan of uisce beatha.
I currently live in Canberra, Australia – which sadly is not currently home to any whisky distilleries – we did have one for several years, Baldwin Distilling, but it unfortunately entered administration and then liquidation in early 2019. I was born and raised on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches, but moved to Canberra for uni and settled here – though just in case you were wondering, I still support the NSW Waratahs (Rugby) despite living in the very heart of Brumby territory (although you will find me in the stands cheering the Brumbies on in any game they play except when they play the Waratahs). That’s probably enough sport for a whisky blog though. 🙂
As far as my preferences for whiskies go, I’m a tad eclectic – with whiskies from Islay, Ireland, Speyside, the Highlands, New Zealand, Tasmania, and New South Wales filling in my “top 10” list. You’ll also find a mixture of single malts and pot still in that list, and whiskies that have been either aged or finished in a variety of casks, including Bourbon, wine, sherry, port, and stout. I’m definitely partial to a good peat monster on most occasions – particularly from, but not limited to, Octomore, Port Charlotte, Laphroaig, and Black Gate.
Out of personal preference, and past experiences, I tend to stay away from American, Canadian, and Indian whiskies – but that doesn’t mean that there are no good whiskies from those regions, and generally I like to try anything at least once before dissing it (except for eels – I don’t care what new method you’ve come up with for cooking and/or eating eels; you can just keep them to yourself).
As far as I’m concerned, I’m just starting out on this journey, and although I have some definite favourites and dislikes, the aim of the journey is trying new expressions from distilleries that I have already sampled, trying whiskies from distilleries that I haven’t had the pleasure of yet – from regions that I am already acquainted with, and trying whiskies from regions and countries that I have yet to sample. This is a journey that nobody is ever likely to complete, but that’s fine – it’s the journey itself that gives us experiences.
I’m a firm believer in the theory that there is no wrong way to drink a whisky – if whoever is drinking is enjoying themselves, they’re drinking it the right way. I may well cringe when somebody pours coke over a 30 year old whisky, but if they like it like that, life will go on.
My reviews of whiskies are my personal opinions, and they may mirror yours exactly, or we might have polar opposite views – whichever way we dance, I’m always up for a discussion either in the comments of my posts, or via Twitter.
Although I love whisky, it isn’t my only poison; I also like beer – generally pale ale, wheat beer, and stout, although I do branch out occasionally too. I definitely have a weakness for ginger beer – if you haven’t tried the Brookvale Union ginger beer from the lads at the 4Pines breweries in Manly & Brookvale, you should definitely get on that if you can get your hands on some (probably unlikely if you live outside of Australia – unfortunate for you). I’m also partial to some ginger beers from Bentspoke in Canberra, and Tumut River Brewing Company in Tumut – honestly, it doesn’t take much to get me to drink a ginger beer!