A few months ago, I received an email from a friend of mine quoting a Scotch Whisky review blog:

…this Auchentoshan is our second sample courtesy of Saverio Schiralli Agencies Limited…

followed by a heavily emphasis on courtesy, aka free Scotch.  Convinced that we would be showered with hand-selected bottles of Scotland’s finest, we decided to start a whiskey blog.  However, given the fact that I live in Tennessee, and my friends live in Chicago, it was eventually decided that I would blog about interesting bourbons and other American whiskeys, whilst the Scotch reviews would come from the Windy City.  This made sense, as nearly every brand of bourbon under the sun is available in Memphis, while Scotch from small or unknown distilleries are impossible to come by around here.

Around April of 2011, I rolled up my sleeves, pulled the lowball glasses off the shelf, and got to work.  As soon as I had a shelf full of nearly full bourbon bottles and a scratchpad full of tasting notes, it was time to start the blog.  Once again, WordPress was my weapon of choice.  There’s no better way to get a nice looking blog online than with WordPress.  I found a  nice, flashy theme while browsing SmashingMagazine, and did a little PHP-fu to fit it to my needs.  Although the theme was originally intended as a media portfolio, it works just as well for reviews.  I’m able to get four featured reviews, six recent reviews, and a blog post all above the fold without things feeling cluttered.  The slidey panel things are pretty snazzy, too.

What I learned the most from this project is that blogging is hard.  Technically, getting the site up and running was pretty straightforward.  Just a little bit of copy and paste to move some theme elements around, and a smattering of CSS did the trick.  The real effort came in writing the content.  I burst out of the gate with 4 or 5 solid entries and felt pretty confident.  I could almost taste the free bottles of whiskey.

After a couple weeks, though, I hit a wall.  It took ages to get another clever, original post out of my brain.   I kept at it, branching out from reviews to create a few general blog posts, and even a stop-motion-video to keep things fresh.  But as soon as another project popped up and took priority, things came to a grinding halt.  That, and I really don’t drink that much bourbon.  I enjoy a pinch or two on the weekend, but rarely imbibe on a weeknight.  With the lack of time and drinking, BourbonBasement entered into a blog purgatory.  It’s not quite dead, but not really alive either.  This is OK, though.  Whiskey itself ages slowly, and remains undisturbed for months at a time.  It refines itself as the months pass, and emerges years later with maturity and distinction.  In other words, there’s no rush.


  1. My name is Shaun Buchhalter, I am the Director of Operations for a start-up in Nashville, TN. We are looking to hire out some contract work for an AS3 Developer. Below is our job description. Let me know if you are interested in possibly collaborating on this project… or if you know of anyone who might be interested please let me know.

    Job Description:

    Profecient Actionscript 3 developer (Job Description)

    – 3+ years in interactive development
    – Looking to Build Many different types of Object Orientated Quizing Applications that will be assembled together into interactive CD rom
    – Basic Education Applications (Multiple Choice, Basic Games), but then interactive learning tools specific within the industry of stock market trading

    1st Project

    1. We are looking for an AS3 database MYSQL insert / update Class

    Example SQL INSERT
    user_id (int)

    class_id (int)

    quiz_id (int)

    quiz_accuracy (int)

    2. We are looking for an AS3 Interactive Stock Market Line Drawing Tool

    P.S. I love a good bourbon or single malt : )

  2. Hey Shaun, thanks for the heads-up on the AS3 job. I’m currently not taking on any extra work, but if you fill out the contact form at one of my co-workers may be able to take this on.

    For item #1, you can take a look at this open source utility:
    or a paid tool: Adobe Flex Connector for mySQL

    However, it is generally discouraged to create a connection directly from a database to Flex/Flash. Although technically possible, there are a host of security implications that come with it. Actionscript is designed to work with a web service layer or a built-in SQLite database for data storage. Adobe hasn’t really built in a lot of security precautions for a direct DB connection, so it can be very easy to shoot yourself in the foot with a homespun SQL driver. Just a fair warning. Also, it would probably be just as easy to create a simple web service layer in PHP or Coldfusion than it would to wrangle with custom made AS3 SQL drivers.

    And #2 is pretty much what Adobe Flex is built for. Take a look at for an off-the-shelf solution.

    Also, be sure to check out all the cool stuff from your hometown heroes at Corsair distillery :)

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