This past week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private scotch tasting. Blueprint Summit, a new New York community for successful business and philanthropic leaders, hosted the event at Alton Lane's New York showroom. Surrounded by Good People and amazing custom mens clothing, sipping scotch from Balvenie just seemed perfect. Balvenie brand ambassador, Andrew Weir (previously know for his role as 'Young Hamish' in Braveheart) walked the group through the stories and subtleties of four different scotches. It was incredible to learn what a difference a couple of years can make. The 12 year old, which typically is my go to, was about what I expected. But, jump up to the 14 and the notes were even more pronounced. The 21 year old was our last sip of the night, but well worth it. The 21 year old scotch is finished in barrels that previously held port wine. The result there were some new depth added to an already great scotch. The warmth of one sip lasted longer than any scotch I've tasted before
As the evening wound down and there was a bit of Q&A, I asked, "Was it the intention of the Malt Master to make a 21 year old scotch when they first put the barley, yeast, and water in the oak barrels in 1989?" Andrew shared the extremely unlikelihood of a barrel making it to 21 years. Every year barrels are taken away and no one knows which ones will make it to the next year. All they know when they begin the process and combine their ingredients needed to make a good barrel of scotch, is that out of the thousands of barrels started each year, only a few of them will last long enough and mature correctly to make the perfection otherwise known as the 21 year old.
I could help but ponder that thought this week. In the rapid and fast paced world I live in, am I thinking about 2031? Am I building things that will grow and mature in 21 years? I am I working with the best ingredients right now to produce amazingness more than two decades from now? Will the final product of my labor today be worthy of the effort then? Am I thinking about a vision that is that big? Am I working toward a defined End Game?
These seem like good questions to ask over a glass of scotch.