Getting Back Into Shape

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One of the nice things about getting wooed back into the booze business is the fine selection of hooch people will break out in order to sway you. I recently made it known to the powers-that-be of the beverage industry that my services were back on the market (via text message, notices on Linkedin, and some low-level stalking), and the calls have been coming in ever since. It’s nice to be missed, I have to say. Having met with one potential suitor in Los Angeles this past weekend, I drove to Sacramento last night to have drinks and check out the Kings game with another. As a night cap, he pulled out a barrel sample of 16 year Willett Family Reserve, and poured it neat into my glass. “You don’t need an ice cube, right?”

Do I need an ice cube? Come on. Look who you’re talking to. I’m a professional.

Correction: I was a professional. Working in tech for the last eight months has allowed my tongue to regenerate. That fucking whiskey lit my mouth on fire and stayed firmly in the back of my throat, from the moment I went to bed until half way through the morning today. I was not prepared for that. Similar to the way my legs felt after spontaneously going for a ten mile run with a colleague last month, my palate was not ready for a Bourbon of that power. There’s no other way to put it: my mouth is out of shape and will need weeks of training before I’m ready to go.

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Sitting outside, however, and slowly enjoying that Willett (out of necessity) next to the fire pit brought back a lot of great memories. While I’m honored (and humbled) that some of the larger companies have reached out with offers and positions, in my heart I’m much more of a family business kind of guy. The freedom to pivot and be daring is a huge part of what makes the alcohol business so exciting to me. To have fifty different irons in the fire, deals coming together from all over the world, multiple brands you’re excited about selling, and relationships at bars and restaurants wherever you go—that’s what gets me hot.

That, and a big mouthful of 60%+ ABV Bourbon next to a fire pit.

One more meeting to go before I’m off the market. But I think I’ve already made up my mind.

-David Driscoll