Today we’d like to introduce you to John Henderson.
Hi John, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I began my journey in the world of bourbon in my early 20’s. I love to cook and I’m obsessed with flavor. I didn’t set out to become heavily involved in the world of bourbon, but I wanted to be able to make my own bbq sauces and marinades that had more depth of flavor and quality ingredients than the standard store-bought offerings. Little did I know, some of those first recipes utilizing bourbon would shape so much of my future.
As my recipes and, more importantly, my palate evolved through the years, I found myself seeking out bottles I had yet to try. I wound up on a quest to try as many different bourbons as I could. After years of tastings, comparisons, and recipes I decided to take what I had learned to the Internet and share my thoughts on my website. Once again this evolved into more than I could have guessed.
Fast-forward to today I am a co-host of YouTube channel (Weekly Whiskey) with another spirits writer and critic, and great friend, Jay “T8ke” West. Jay and I review whiskeys for our audience, interview folks in the whiskey industry, and select single barrels to keep our collective bourbon communities supplied with customized offerings.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d be lying if I said that becoming a creator in today’s media rich world is easy, but at the same time, the constant effort and grind is what makes the process so rewarding.
As someone who creates content in the whiskey space, I contend with plenty of other creators. This is good–no actually it’s great. Having healthy competition spurs me to innovate and try to create the absolute best written and video content possible. The more difficult side of this hobby is presenting content that creates more positivity than negativity.
The beverage alcohol industry comes with more than just a little stigma associated with it and, to be honest, the majority of that is well-deserved. I try to keep my focus on making content that emphasizes responsibility. If I write a blog post or review that creates outreach and generates conversation about whiskey I feel like I’ve done my job. I don’t want to encourage people to drink or buy whiskey irresponsibly. Tasting whiskeys and enjoying America’s native spirit of bourbon can be a fun, but it needs to be done responsibly.
The bourbon world today is something special. The amount of growth in products, sales, and enthusiasm for this hobby in the past decade is unprecedented. With this comes the trolls and other folks who partake in malicious activities in the hobby. Derisive nicknames for people who want to buy popular bottles, people re-selling products for insane markups, and outright fraud happen in the whiskey world. It’s a damn shame, but it’s true. I try to support creators who take a stance against these practices (names such as Fred Minnick, the Bourbon Pursuit Podcast, and Matt Rehwoldt aka Wrestling with Whiskey comes to mind). On a personal level, I do my best to use my platform to share the brighter side of the whiskey world with folks who will (hopefully) appreciate the whiskey and the friends or family they share it with.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
In my day job, I work in the IT industry. I’ve always been a tech-focused person, and I’ve used this to help the whiskey world as much as I can. I write on my blog, thebourbonfinder.com, and I try to generate content there that folks can sink their teeth into. I own a small web design and photography business where I specialize in architectural photography. I try to allow some of the photographer in me to enjoy shooting images of whiskey and make great videos on the Weekly Whiskey YouTube channel. Making content is tough, but rewarding work, but honestly, one of the things I’m most proud of is bringing members of the whiskey world together digitally.
I have been a long time user of the Discord platform. To anyone not familiar this is largely catered to gamers, and offers a myriad of chat options (voice, text, video) where communities can keep in touch. I build and maintain spirits-based Discord servers for a number of the most popular creators in the whiskey world, and having thousands of people chatting in real-time in a positive way without the abusive behavior associated with other media platforms is really, really rewarding.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I think being successful in any venture relies on the ability to be genuine, follow what you love, and focus energy on the positive side of things. You can’t get down on yourself if things aren’t going your way. If what you’re doing isn’t working it’s time to take a step back and make sure you’re doing something you’re passionate about and putting in the honest effort to get there. No shortcuts.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://thebourbonfinder.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/thebourbonfinder
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/finderbourbon
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/c/weeklywhiskey
- Discord: https://discord.gg/URnbP5Z