In case you’re new to the "My Wandering Eye..." series, let me recap. Bourbon prices are creeping up. So much so that even mediocre products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. A $50 750 ml bottle of Cognac or Armagnac doesn’t sound outrageous next to a $50 Old Forester 1870 or a $50 375 mL of the Jim Beam Harvest collection. As a response to this, my eye has started wandering down other aisles of the liquor store. Sometimes I save money. Sometimes I spend the same amount. And other times...
I recently turned 40. Forty is a pretty big birthday. One of the milestones where you take stock of your life and make sure it is where you want it to be. I remember a couple quotes from a terminally ill Steve Jobs.
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
After taking stock of my life, I realized that though my life is pretty good right now, there were a few things I wanted to accomplish yet. If my life ended today, I wouldn't be doing all of the things I want to do.
I recently lost one of my biggest clients. On my birthday, they were found guilty of fraud and are no longer allowed to do business in the state of Minnesota. It's kind of a big deal for my bottom line, but it has allowed me to take stock of where I'm at and realize that though I love being creative, design is only one facet of it. There is so much more that I want to do.
To that end, in addition to my design business, I'm starting a new business venture (details to come soon). I've taken on a freelance writing gig. Basically, I'm in the process of making my freelance design business just one of many ways I make money and express my creativity.
It's a scary and yet satisfying time. It's scary because I've been doing one thing professionally for the last decade and doing anything else is a little uncomfortable. It's scary because I am flexing different parts of my mental muscles so that I might do and create new things. And yet that last one is also the most satisfying part of it all. In the end, I may have to go back to design full time. I may have to pound the pavement and hustle up new clients. Who knows? The future has yet to be written, and I'm just going to do what I love so that I make sure that I am living my life doing what it is that I'd want to do should any particular day end up being my last. At forty, I figure that my story is only half written. It's time to start making sure the second half is the more satisfying one.
In the spirit of the milestone that a round number birthday is, I decided that I wanted to buy myself something special. Due to the previous examples of the "My Wandering Eye..." series, I knew that I was really starting to enjoy brandy. So when I saw an Armagnac on the shelf at one of my local liquor stores distilled the year I was born? Well, I had to get it.
Chateau de Laubade Armagnac, 1976
Purchase info: $159.99 for a 750 mL bottle, Total Wine, Burnsville, MN
Details: Distilled in 1976, blended and bottled November 2015. Bas Armagnac.
Nose: Caramel and brown sugar, ripe fruit, herbal notes and rich leather.
Mouth: Caramel, brown sugar, mint, dried fruit, leather, and oak.
Finish: Sweet caramel coats your throat before making room for a very slight warmth and some lingering oak and herbal notes.
Thoughts: This is a fantastic drink. Worthy of celebrating a milestone. Sweet, fruity and a real treat for the bourbon lover.
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