Whisky Timeline

One of the upsides of not working is that it has afforded me the luxury of reading somewhat more than before. Having left gainful employment, one of the first books I read was about the whisky distilleries of the Scottish islands, written by Ian Buxton and entitled Whiskies Galore.

The crossovers/overlaps in the histories of the distilleries discussed and various characters and companies involved got me thinking that a visual timeline of the history of whisky would be a good thing.

Primarily this timeline was for myself, since numbers, names, and words have always been difficult for me to remember, unless there is some kind of graphical tag associated with them. Hence the visual web based timeline idea was born.

So the task of creating a timeline began; both the technical implementation and the research of the subject itself. The technicalities of a web based timeline proved to be relatively easy … well at least for someone whose hobby & work has been IT since age 12.

Researching the history of whisky proved to be a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole! In fact, I’ve yet to decided where to draw the line … thus the timeline is a true work in progress! See what you think by accessing The Whisky Timeline.

An embedded preview of the whisky timeline is shown below, but the thing does look a lot better when viewed via a device similar to that on which it was first designed e.g. a laptop. On a smartphone I guess it’s okay, but you won’t experience it as this … erm, artist(?) intended.

Note also that some of the graphics are pulled in from the web sites of distillery’s. Unlike their whiskies, their web sites do change from time to time, thus I have found some graphics do go AWOL. If do you spot the signs of a broken link, please contact me and inform me of the offending slide.

The full URL is shown below.


Any subject that you ever come across invariably has its own terminology, buzz words and dreaded TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). In this regard, I reckon astronomy/cosmology/astrophysics may well top trump them all! Well … perhaps not, since sailing has become a recent interest and is replete with different words for the most basic/obvious of things e.g. heads (toilet), sheets/halyards/shrouds/reefing lines (to name but two, for what is a rope!?).

I daresay there is a book available on Amazon which serves the purpose of explaining what they all mean. Nevertheless, here’s my take on those that I’ve come across as I read books, trawl the internet and read magazine articles.

I’ll update this table as and when I come across something new. Lets face it, it is pretty darn small at the mo(!) and, in no time at all, I reckon I’ll fill up all the available … erm, space.

And, erm, forgive the awful formatting of the table below – WordPress table handling/design is the most basic (e.g. worst!) I’ve come across in any web design tool. Something that I need to ring fence some time into resolving. I may just resort to coding the HTML – so much for GUI based design tools!!

Scratch that last sentence, Google docs supports the creation of spreadsheets, so I’m presently tinkling with getting such a thing embedded into a WordPress post. If I can get it to support dynamic updates, this will be far better than having to update a cumbersome blog post.

Anyway, the glossary of terms as it currently stands (in Google docs format) is accessible from:

Winter is Coming

September has so far witnessed a gentle descent into autumn. This past Friday our lawn was cut for possibly (hopefully!) the last time this year. The following day was a gloriously hot summer-like day, which found me in the somewhat odd juxtaposition of sitting on a sun lounger with leaves dropping down on me. The day after I woke up to find the weather back to a seasonal norm, and the lawn hidden from view by a blanket of fallen leaves.

Later that morning, during Monty’s morning constitutional, I looked up through an ever sparser tree canopy and had my first sighting of geese flying south.

Winter is coming.