Alexis Assadi is the CEO of Pacific Income Capital Corporation and host of the podcast, “Income Investing with Alexis Assadi.” He provides financing to entrepreneurs and real estate investors through Pacific Income and other companies that he owns or operates. Alexis is also an avid writer. He has been blogging at alexisassadi.net since 2014 and has gained tens of thousands of email subscribers. He aims to break down complicated financial concepts and explain them to new readers. Alexis Assadi was born in Switzerland and has lived in Asia, Australia and the United States. Today, he lives in Vancouver, Canada with his family.
What is your hobby?
I enjoy whiskey tasting.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
My father drinks Jack Daniels, so that was the first whiskey I ever tasted. I didn’t like it at first, but I drank it occasionally because he did.
However, I had a friend in university who loved scotch and cigars. We remained friends after graduation. Through him, I discovered different scotches, bourbons, ryes and other international whiskeys. We used to sample them on my parents’ rooftop deck, overlooking the incredible view of Vancouver. We still do each summer.
Over time, I developed a more refined pallet and learned to appreciate the finer tastes. My favorite scotches are heavy with peat, like Ardbeg and Laphraoig. They bring out flavors that I don’t get with other drinks.
What do you love about it?
I associate whiskey with my dad and a couple of my close friends. For that reason, it always brings out feelings of sentiment. You could give me a delicious and expensive wine, but I would still prefer a cheap bourbon because of the mental connection. Obviously, I love the tastes of different whiskeys. But a lot of the experience is in my mind and heart, rather than in my taste buds.
To me, a good evening is to read the New York Times – whiskey in hand, dog in lap – and winding down from a long day.
Are there are any groups or clubs you’re a part of relating to your hobby?
I go to a lot of whiskey tastings around Vancouver. They’re usually held at bars and restaurants, and they’re affordable.
The promoters make it cheap to attend, with the goal of attendees later on buying their products. It works. A few weeks ago, I spent $30 at a tasting event for all the whiskey and chocolate I could possibly consume. The next day, I bought a $60 bottle of Lohin McKinnon Chocolate Malt from a local distillery.
Again, these are social experiences as much as they are for taste. I always go to these events with my family or friends.
Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?
I bought half-a-dozen Glencairn glasses, which are shaped bulbously to bring out the taste and smell of the whiskey. However, I prefer to drink from a normal crystal glass. The fancy ones make me feel pretentious. I only bring them out when we’re trying something new. One of my friends brought over a $400 bottle from Taiwan, so we used the Glencairn classes for that.
Other than that, I have 30 or 40 bottles of whiskey in my office. I guess you could call that an investment!
How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?
Whiskey tasting has brought a social element to my life that I didn’t have before. It’s an easy way to meet people, relax and have fun.
Do you have any advice for others just getting into this hobby?
Try to get away from the well-known whiskeys, like Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet. They are good, but there is so much more out there. I find that people often gravitate towards what’s popular and never try anything else. As such, they don’t realize how diverse the whiskey space is. I don’t mean that in the “connoisseur” way, where only a refined taster could find daylight between two scotches. There is a profound difference between a bourbon, like Booker’s, and a Japanese whiskey, like Nikka.
Also, don’t be fooled by pricing. I have found no correlation between price and taste. My “regular” whiskey is Evan Williams, a bottle of which costs around $20. My favorite, which I drink maybe twice a year, is Laphroaig 10. It costs $70 for a bottle. Drink what tastes good to you; not what marketers want you to.
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