My Two Ounces: Public and Private Houses, part 2

When I joined 1789b, I was expecting a sedate and sober (in a manner of speaking) place where serious bourbon lovers could have a civilized discussion about the world’s finest beverage. What I found was different than what I expected.

At first I was surprised at the number of members who really didn’t seem to be all that interested in bourbon at all. Several introductory posts began something like this, “I don’t know much about bourbon but the co-founder of this site invited me to join. We got to know each other through the Cigar forums.” Odd, I thought, that a place that was supposed to be the home of serious boubon-peoplewas being populated by cigar people whose interest in bourbon seemed to be marginal. The opposite was true too. Ed Phalen, a pillar of the bourbon community, was nominated for membership. The public comments about his nomination were overwhelmingly positive. Then one of the founders of the forum posted that some members had sent him private concerns about Ed and that his nomination was under review. Then the whole thread disappeared.

Other aspects of the membership were curious. I was told that certain classes of people were deliberately excluded from membership. There were to be no people associated with “the industry” at all, even those who work at liquor stores were excluded. But one of the most frequent posters while I was there was someone who was for many years (and to my knowledge still is) an employee of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD). Bloggers (should I have been insulted?) and professional writers on American Whiskey were also excluded to preserve the purity of the
forum.

Another thing that was surprising was that in a forum that was supposed to be for “mature” persons, there was plenty of pettiness. Cheap shots at those excluded critics and bloggers abounded. There was even a thread entitled “John Hansell whining AGAIN” which was a response to this post from Hansell’s blog. Taking shots at someone unable to respond didn’t seem particularly gentlemanly to me.

1789b was most disappointing in how unbelievably BORING it was. One of the most active sub-forums was one devoted to food. Not bourbon & food, just food. Many of the threads were very similar to ones on SB.com, and not the interesting ones either. One of the most potentially exciting sub-forums at 1789b was the “guest of the month” sub-forum. Someone in the American whiskey industry was invited to join 1789b for a month and interact with the membership. The first (and only) month I was there the guest was David Perkins of High West distillers/bottlers. What could have been a very cool experience was nothing but a bunch of softball questions (“How do you find such great whiskeys?”) and more thinly veiled shots at whiskey writers (“What do you think of critics who say things about you?”).

In spite of all this, I stayed. The private bottlings that members of 1789b were getting together for their membership were just too mouth-watering so I decided to stay on to take advantage of those.

I didn’t log on for about a week and a half because I was so bored and annoyed with the forum, and my arthritis had just started to rear its ugly head. When I tried to log on again, I discovered that I couldn’t. I tried again the next day but I still couldn’t get in. So I sent private messages to my friends on SB.com who I knew were 1789b members (including one of the founders) to ask them if they knew what was going on. A few replied but they knew nothing. Neither founder never replied. I replied that I didn’t really have to time to post regularly anyway due to my schedule, which was certainly true. But I was also fed up with the forum and frankly a little miffed that I had not even received an email or message telling me that my account was about to be terminated. As far as I can tell, my account was deleted because I failed to post often enough to fulfill the forum requirements but I have still not received any official explanation.

In the end, I bear no ill-will toward any members of 1789b or the management, although I would like an explanation of why I was booted. I still consider most of the membership of 1789b to be friends and I understand the desire to filter out the “noise” of the internet. I just realized that I am not a gentleman’s club kind of person. I’m a saloon guy. I like the noise, I like the newbies, I like the trolls and most of the time I like the mods. Maybe there’s a place for 1789b in the online whiskey world. They certainly seem to have found their niche, but SB.com is my internet whiskey home and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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15 thoughts on “My Two Ounces: Public and Private Houses, part 2

  1. This is starting to sound like a hip-hop east coast west coast war.
    Us old guys are just so nostalgic for the 1990’s, ah the kids were kinda cool then
    OK, I’m up for it.
    Not a big fan of Biggie or Tupac, big being the key word, I do like some of their tracks.
    I’m more of a Compton Brother so I’ll quote Andrew Young,…
    “…You wanna make noise make noise
    I’ll make a phone call and my Brothers be coming like the Gotti boyz
    Bodies being found on Greenleaf
    with their f-ing heads cut off
    Mother F-er I’m Oscar”

    Oh, btw, luv ya Josh, but what’s up with all the unwritten rules on StraoghtBourbon.com?
    Everytime I turn around I am violating one.
    Ya can’t buy on eBay.
    Ya can’t sell on eBay.
    When ya find some dusties leave some and don’t buy them all.
    Ya can’t have a bottle of bourbon on a shelf for display.
    Ya can drink it with ginger ale, but don’t point that out to that drinker cuz it’s his bourbon and he can do what he wants but not you.
    If you only drink it neat you are a proof monger.
    You love to hoard guns that are designed to kill people.
    If you invite members over they all say yes immediately but at the last minute they cancel because their sock drawer needs to be rearranged.
    Then there is the oh so stupidfly of please OK my liking of this cheap bottle of BS because it’s all I can afford.
    And the this is good bourbon because it only costs 12 bucks,
    Then they laugh at a person who spends 50 bucks on a bottle while they got the rot gut JTS Brown for 10.
    Then there is the “Moderators” on SB.com.
    These guys are a joke.
    None of them moderates.
    One dude with the title is waiting to pounce on a newbie with a bottle that is not to his education.
    The rest are just like, oh well as long as the trash rises to the top we did our job.
    But, ya know what?
    I wish SB.com wasn’t in cyber space and was in real space at a real bar, cuz this dumb ass ‘Bama billy could clean a lot of clocks.
    Not that I would do that, hey, I’m just sayin’.
    And let me repeat, luv ya Josh and when are you and Liz coming over?

      1. Sure, it’s my blog. If you want pictures of naked women I could post a couple for you Ben, but there are other websites out there that are devoted to that sort of thing.

      2. Really!?!? you can get find pictures of women… without any clothes on…. here on the interwebs…. for free… Really!?!? Where have I been?

  2. You crack me up, Oscar. Just remember how the East Coas/West Coast war ended. Both Biggie and Tupac were killed by members of the same gang.

    As for the unwritten rules, you know I love my value bottom-shelfers. Guilty as charged. Although I don’t really care too much for the JTS Brown, I will admit.

    It’s a long weekend anyway, so Liz and V and I would love to come over maybe to hear Jim Nabors sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” and watch the cars go round in a circle. That work for you guys? I’ve post-poned my sock drawer sorting for this weekend and the choir isn’t singing in church this Sunday, so what do you say?

  3. While I’m a Bourbon lover, I actually found this post (and its predecessor) by searching for another 1789B…

    In 1979, the Postal Service issued a stamp honoring John Paul Jones. They contracted the printing to an outside company. The first day of printing, the pins used to perforate the stamps broke in one direction and they had to replace them. Then the pins in the other direction broke. The new pins were a different gauge than the old ones, so there are now three varieties. 1789 is the one from the middle of the run and is common. 1789A is from the end of the run and is slightly more valuable. But 1789B is the rare and unobtainable variety caused by a press that couldn’t go one day without breaking down.

    Draw your own comparisons.

    1. Fancinating! I wondered why so many people were searching for 1789b and clicking on my site. Stamps are something I’ll admit I know very very little about. And the comparisons are interesting. Similar things have happened in the bourbon world. The earliest edition of the Van Winkle 12 y/o “Lot B” had a label slightly higher on the bottle than it is currently. The reasonly seasoned hunters can pick that up in an instant. It’s really amazing how many variables in minutia there can be in any collectable item. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Josh,

        Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

        Mike

        (PS – the 1789B postage stamp will set you back about $3,000 and tasting it is not recommended.)

  4. Just found this post after noticing 1789b.com as a “referrer” in my WordPress stats. Nice to know someone in the gentleman’s club is linking me. I do hope it’s not for the sake of mockery.

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