The beginning, the middle and the end.
The beginning, the middle and the end.

A lot of people ask me how I got into whiskey. It’s not like I grew up bathing in the stuff. In fact, both my parents don’t even drink! Something that I too aspired to for years. That all changed in 2007 when I met Rose, my wife. Yes…..I keep reminding her she drove me to drink! Well wine to be exact and then beer! So where does whiskey fit into all this? At work we are partnered up with another person and in 2009 I got a new entrant into the office as my partner. And the awful man that is Mike Thompson made me try whiskey. Jameson 12 actually. There was no turning back. I was hooked. From here whiskey slowly became an obsession.

I’ve always been interested in history and a good story and whiskey was steeped in both. Slowly but surely, I worked my way through Irish whiskey and onto Scotch and Japanese. I have stayed away from American Whiskey, I just could never palate it although I keep saying maybe that’s because I’m trying the wrong juice. I joined the Irish Whiskey Society when it came to Cork and have stayed with the Cork Whiskey Society when it went independent two years ago. My wife recognised my obsession from early days and sent me to the Irish Whiskey Academy in Midleton as a birthday present. To this day, it is still one of the single best whiskey experiences I’ve had. I’ve also been fortunate to tour Scotland in 2017. No it wasn’t to see the scenery. It was for distilleries….lots of them! Highlands and Speyside took a hit that weekend. We drove for the sole reason of being able to bring back oceans of whisky! What an amazing adventure that was! Around the time I was at the academy, I also started writing for our internal magazine in my job. Once a quarter, just a small whiskey article covering bits and pieces and trying to encourage the enjoyment of whiskey. This continued until December 2017 when my darling wife suggested that I go ahead with a blog which I had talked about for months. Boy has she regretted giving that the green light! So it came to pass that on 9th January 2018, the blog That’s Dram Good launched on the web and across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It isn’t easy putting yourself out there, letting everyone know your thoughts. It has gained me a new-found respect for some journalists. Often you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. But I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed the nine months so far. The challenge to keep everything ticking over is fantastic and, if I’m honest, the rush you get from seeing the statistics is even better. As of the second week in September, our views have broken 20,500. Nine short months has amassed a following across social media I never knew possible for a small-time blog. I just can’t believe so many people are interested in my reviews and thoughts on whiskey! I must say though that my favourite part of writing a blog is the interaction I have with our readers on social media posts. It’s what keeps me going and keeps the reviews and news flowing! So where does this all end? I have absolutely no idea. I often get asked do I want to go into the industry full time and really, the answer is, I don’t think so. I love my job and I love my passion for whiskey. I would be afraid that if it became a job, the passion may end. And so, as I sit here supping on a Túath glass of Irish whiskey, I say sláinte to all you fine people who follow, read, challenge, encourage and even criticise the blog. You set the challenge, and I hope I am rising to it.

Omar Fitzell
That’s Dram Good

Twitter: @thatsdramgood
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