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If all be true that I do think, there are five reasons we should drink: Good wine—a friend— or being dry—or lest we should be by and by—or any other reason why. Henry Aldrich
9 DEBUNKED MYTHS ABOUT SCOTCH WHISKY....
Scotch Whiskey connoisseur and Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador, Jonathan Driver, sat with OCEAN Style to refute some popular myths about the age old libation.
Johnnie Walker invented Scotch whisky. The first record of Scotch Whisky being made is by a priest in 1494. Johnnie Walker were one of the first great blending families; using blending to make great whisky, consistently and of great quality, and then ship it around the world. This recipe for success has led to Johnnie Walker being the best selling and most popular Scotch Whisky around the world, and that’s down to the generations of master blenders who have continuously made whisky for people to enjoy and savour. It would be an exaggeration to say that Johnnie invented Scotch Whisky, but they were certainly one of the most important contributors to its global appeal.
Dark Whisky is better than Pale No doubt that colour affect perception, but there are many influences on what makes one whisky darker than another which have no bearing on whether a darker whisky is better than a lighter one, or vice versa. Light whiskies can be really powerful in flavour; dark whiskies do tend to be heavier, perhaps even sweeter, but it’s impossible to be 100% certain without tasting.
Single malt is better than blended. The truth is that they are both different from each other. Single malt whisky predates blended Scotch Whisky. However these early malt whiskies were inconsistent and variable in quality. It is only when the great blending houses set to blending malt whiskies with grain whiskies in the mid-nineteenth century that a quality and consistency was achieved. They each have loyal followers but are quite different.
Glassware doesn’t matter Glassware matters a lot. Great whisky needs great crystal. You can’t make an average whisky better simply with a good glass, but if you get the right crystal for the right whisky at the right time in the right place then that’s going to be a great experience.
The best comes from Scotland Only Scotch can come from Scotland. Scotch Whisky is unique amongst whiskies since it has an enormous diversity of flavor; more so than any other category of whisky. That said, there are other fine whiskies around the world, but Scotch has the edge in terms of choice and heritage. Johnnie Walker will be 200 years old in 2020, and that’s a lot of whisky sold to a lot of places and people over many, many years. That’s a hard provenance to beat.
Age + price = quality Many people believe that older whiskies are better than younger whiskies. But, and this is the problem, there are some older whiskies that haven’t taken age well and lose their vitality and gain too much character from the wood. Age is only one factor that affects the quality of a whisky. The original distillery character is important both for single malt whiskies and for the blends that they combine to make. Then again the wood, the cask the whisky is kept in, is critical. So is how long the whisky ages; it has to be just right for the style of single malt or the role of an individual Scotch Whisky in a blend. A blend like Johnnie Walker Blue Label has older whiskies from the West Coast (that need longer to mature properly) combined with some relatively younger whiskies from the East, to give both maturity and vitality to the blend.
Whisky is the ultimate man’s man drink Historically that has been the case and the business has suffered as a result. In talking about aroma, taste and flavour, the idea of enjoying great Scotch Whisky is for everyone and not some old fashioned idea about it being just for men. Since the millennium many brands have set out a broader platform to enjoy Scotch Whisky with no real barrier to gender.
Real men drink whisky neat
“…the right crystal for the right whisky at the right time in the right place, then that’s going to be a great experience.”
Real men make their own rules and find out how they like to have their whisky. Nothing is wrong with neat, but there are many other ways to enjoy whisky, and it’s a bit sad if someone (man or woman) is missing out on their preferred way because of a misguided idea that you can only have it that way. Splash a little iced water, put in an ice cube. Enjoy.
Whisky is Best if Drunk Neat. Many folk like their Scotch Whisky neat. Some insist there is no other way to really appreciate a fine Scotch. In reality there are no rules except to find the way of drinking Scotch that you like. Adding a little water can make a big difference. In many whiskies a whole spectrum of new flavours becomes apparent when you add a tiny drop of water. So, experiment away, don’t over dilute, just find the level that you like best. And if neat works for you then stick with that. ut we’re all different, and that’s the great thing about Scotch Whisky: there are a lot of ways to find the flavour you like.
“COMPLIMENTS FROM THE LADY AT THE BAR SIR.”
The BAILEYS and CREAM WITH SPIRIT words, the BB device and associated logos are trade marks © R&A Bailey & Co 2012 oceanstylemagazine.com
CIROC The Secret Is In The Grapes. By Chris Moyer and Deborah Grisham.
ean-Sebastien Robicquet may very well know more about vodka than anyone else in the world. He looks the part: dressed impeccably and aged perfectly. And when he talks about Ciroc—for whom he is Master Distiller—you know he knows what he’s talking about. It’s in his blood—his family’s roots go back generations to the renowned French wine region of Bordeaux in the 17th century. Upon meeting him at the House of Ciroc in France, we learned more about the lineage that has seeded his mastery. The Robicquets were among the very first family-owned businesses in the cognac trade. Jean-Sebastien obtained a diploma in 1988 in oenology (the study of winemaking) and a Master’s degree in Law, Economics, and Management of the 62
Wine Industry two years later. The Great Council of the Bordeaux Wines recognizes him as “Commandeur of Bordeaux.” All of this is relevant because it’s the key to what sets Ciroc apart from other vodkas. Diageo, the company that makes Ciroc, asked Robicquet to develop a vodka made from grapes as opposed to the traditional grains. Robicquet was already devising a process to make various clear liquors from the grapes that he understood so well, and so he focused his intentions with laser-like intensity on one spirit: vodka. There’s a science to it all, and he’s brought it to bear for Ciroc: “The cleaner, the better the wine, the more powerful it will be to distillate,” he explains. “From there,
you can build. You can go to neutral flavour, if you want, or you can make it a highly powerful concentrate of flavours and alcohol that you then blend and distill again for the perfect balance.” The transition from grapes to vodka is a delicate balancing act, however, and distilling the alcohol enough to be considered vodka (the alcohol content must be above 96%) while still retaining flavor is tricky business. “When you do the distillation, depending on the alcohol, if you are at 96%, the flavours are going like that. There are no flavours after 96 percent, but if you remain between 93 percent and 80 percent, then you will have a concentration of flavours and alcohol.” How, then, does Robicquet manage to distill the oceanstylemagazine.com
vodka with a high enough concentration to be considered vodka without sacrificing flavor? It all boils down to the math, he explains. “We do it at 96.4 percent, where it’s neutral. 96 percent is cool, so if you take a high profile, highly concentrated wine and distillate at 93%, and you put 30 litres in 2000 litres and distillate at 96% or 93% alcohol, it will be over 96%. Coming out, it’s still a vodka, but it’s not as flavourless.” So, the intricacies of the distillation process are what set Ciroc apart from other vodkas, as well as the raw materials—especially the grapes. The final step is Ciroc’s charcoal filtration, which further raises the caliber of the drink. “If we do charcoal filtration, we will sweep out everything,” Robicquet says. “This is where we can carve the profile…You still have the ghost of the raw material, which is the grapes. It’s more yummy, juicy, and smooth than grain or beer. Grape juice or beer would be different, of course. This soul, this raw material remains, and we will make it smooth. That’s why people say that Ciroc is smooth. There’s nothing added to it. It’s just because of the raw material.” It seems to be working. Ciroc sold less than 50,000 cases when they launched in the US in 2003. Demand rose but was seen as underperforming at 100,000 cases a year. In 2007, they upped their marketing game, naming Diddy as a celebrity ambassador for the brand, and since then sales have skyrocketed—Ciroc now sells over 2 million cases annually. kling wine. I get in a swimming pool, and I take a big glass, some ice cubes, Cîroc, In the interest of growing and chang- some liqueur, and top it with champagne. ing, the brand has continued to push the It’s very refreshing.” boundaries and try new things. Apart from the classic Ciroc, they’ve introduced That’s not the only way Robicquet relaxes, three additional flavours: Red Berry, Co- though. It’s hard to imagine someone as conut, and Peach. “They are doing very sophisticated and stylish covered in mud well, extremely well. Too well, to a certain and sweat, but Robicquet is a rugby enextent,” said Jean-Sebastien of the new thusiast. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that flavours. Peach, he said, is the more pop- he appreciates the productivity that comes ular flavour. “I think they’re bringing in from healthy teamwork, something that more drinkers, because the growth of the extends into the way Ciroc chooses its classic is pretty stable. The growth of each new flavors. The approval of new flavours of the flavours has been exponential and is done by a rotating committee of five, has now reached a plateau, but still, the though only three are needed to validate. split is pretty unheard of. Normally, the “You can’t do this thing on your own. You flavours would present 15 or 20 percent of always need to have several [people] testthe benchmark of the trademark, but it’s ing almost every day with the five in romore 50 percent-plus, so it’s huge.” Which tation,” he says. And this will result in indoes he drink? Well, the classic. But when novation. He sums it up: “We will develop it comes down to the flavored versions, he more unique, more sophisticated, more prefers the peach with coconut to the red premium, more wine-related, different berry. “I like it with champagne or spar- vineyards, more specific grapes, or speoceanstylemagazine.com
cific distillation processes in order to embrace all the potential of the wine world and convert it to spirits.” That’s the bottom line for Jean-Sebastien Robicquet, and it’s the bottom line for Ciroc: loving the raw materials and applying the right techniques, not the easy ones. He said, ”I’m a scientist, a wine maker. That’s why I will always explain to you and whoever will listen to me—distillation is cool, but distillation is like cooking. What is important are the ingredients and the creation of the raw material that you will then distill. It’s an easy task. It’s to ensure that you get the right seller or the right preparation, and then after, when you put it in the oven, it works and there’s no problem. The whole work is done in the field.” “With the grapes, you mean?” we asked. “With the grapes,” he said. OCEAN Style
Tequila By Laura Dowrich
Innovation at its best
on Julio tequila is one of the leading brands in the world today, but if it weren’t for one man who happened to be a guest at a party held by Don Julio himself, the world would probably never know about this innovative product. Don Julio Gonzales started producing tequila in Mexico in 1942. He spent 40 years perfecting his craft, never believing his concoction was good enough to sell because he was such a perfectionist. It wasn’t until he suffered a stroke and battled subsequent depression and his family decided to throw him a party to celebrate his life that others got to taste what he was distilling. “They made a big party with four hundred, five hundred guests, and they gave that tequila that was there, even though they didn’t have a bottle to serve it,” explained Enrique de Colsa, master distiller for Don Julio tequila. Don Julio, he said, had only two requests: That the drink not be sold and that it be served in short bottles instead of the tall bottles that were popular in Mexico so people could see each other across the tables. The signature squat bottles marked a major innovation in the way tequila was packaged in Mexico, as it was the first short bottle in the industry. “The people said: ‘oh this is amazing, this is a great product, perfect, really getting in love with that’ and then at the end they gave one bottle to each guest, to thank them for getting there.” Two days later a guest called and said he wanted to make his product the greatest in the world, and he put Don Julio on the market.
The tequila became the world’s first luxury tequila and its popularity was driven especially on taste. “To drink Don Julio is something like, you know even the people that don’t have the money to afford Don Julio it is still a special thing. Your daughter is getting married and you want to give a good party, you give them Don Julio,” said Enrique. What sets Don Julio’s taste aside is the Agave plant. Each bottle is made from the pure Weber agave plant grown in the highlands of Jalisco. Each plant is allowed to grow seven to ten years before it is harvested, which contributes to Don Julio’s unique taste. Each agave plant is harvested by hand. The agave plant is cut from its roots, and then the long spear like leaves are sheered off, leaving behind an oval center that’s reminiscent of a pineapple. This core is called a piña and it’s the raw material used to make tequila. The piñas are baked slowly over the course of days and it releases sweet agave syrup. They are crushed and doused with water, and yeast is added to the watery syrup, which is then left to ferment. Once the fermentation process is complete, the sweet, slightly alcoholic agave beer is put into stills, where it’s distilled to become tequila. Blanco tequila is placed in stainless steel tanks where it matures in two months. The others in the product lines are aged in American oak casks. Reposado is aged 60 days to one year and añejo aged one to three years. Don Julio 70, launched last year to celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary, is a unique product called añejo claro, which is a tequila that has been aged for several years like an añejo, but has been filtered to be clear. OCEAN Style
changes the rum game. By Laura Dowrich
nce the domain of pirates and a symbol of all night drunken fests, rum has now found itself in an elite class. Thanks to brands such as Ron Zacapa, rum has entered the league of luxury spirits. “It (Zacapa) has been changing the perception of rum. Rum is embedded as part of our culture, it’s part of our DNA in the Caribbean” said Rebecca Quinonez, brand ambassador of Ron Zacapa. “I love the fact that in the spirit world rum was never looked at as a luxury, refined spirit. Now it’s refined and that’s beautiful; it’s opened the doors for other rum companies to showcase their reserves.” Founded in 1976 in Guatemala by the Botran family, Ron Zacapa was created when they wanted to celebrate the centennial of the city of Zacapa, where their facility was located. Their master blender created a special rum as a gift. “People loved it. Then they started making it in limited quantities. Twenty cases here, 100 bottles there, as gifts for family members, close friends, dignitaries and Presidents. It was a special reserve rum made only in Guatemala. It became so popular that they decided to really get behind a blend and start commercializing it,” said Quinonez. The rum’s popularity grew and Miami was the first to start receiving it in 1986, followed by Mexico, Europe, Italy, Spain and other small markets. Lorena Vasquez, one of a handful of female master blenders in the world, is the true driver behind Ron Zacapa’s success. Nicaraguan by birth, Vásquez finished her degree in chemistry, food technology and business administration and moved to Guatemala after she married a Guatemalan. Learning from the bottom up, she started working in the Zacapa Quality Control department, where she devel-
oped her innate sensitivity to scents and flavours. Vasquez had studied bio-chemistry and was initially hired to manage the fermentation process. She later became master blender. In the early 1980s she saw the value of Zacapa and felt strongly that it would change the scope of rum because of its profile. She asked the owners to age a million liters of rum.
“She is really the soul of the brand because she had the foresight, the pioneer believing that this is what it would become.” Today Zacapa is truly a global brand; its largest markets are Italy and Spain. Interestingly, Quinonez notes that Zacapa is not just competing against other rums but also whiskey and cognac.
“A million liters of rum is a million dollars. They took a step back but went along be- Quinonez adds, “We are actually seeing cause they believed in what she believed that consumer of whiskey, consumers of in. Sure enough that’s why we are here.” single malts, (because of) the profile and the balanced taste are gravitating to ZacaAt the time Zacapa’s production was 20,000 pa 23. Cognac drinkers are gravitating to liters, so that it was a tremendous gamble the Zacapa XO. We’re not just playing in when Zacapa decided to let Vasquez have the rum category; we’re (also) playing in the whiskey and cognac categories.” her way. oceanstylemagazine.com
CÎROC® WHITE GRAPE MARTINI Ingredients »» 1.5 oz. CÎROC® »» .75 oz. sparkling grape juice Preparation »» Add vodka and sparkling grape juice to a shaker »» Shake with ice and strain into champagne flute »» Garnish with sugar rim and a frozen grape
C Î R O C™
“MADE USING THE FINEST GRAPES, SOURCED FROM THE HEART OF FRANCE, C Î R O C ™ V O D K A I S A F R E S H , S E N S U A L I N G R E D I E N T T H AT ’ S A P L E A S U R E T O B O T H E Y E A N D P A L AT E . T H I S C O M B I N E D W I T H A F R E S H C I T R U S F L A V O U R A N D A S O F T F I N I S H , M A K E S I T T H E P E R F E C T PA I R I N G F O R C H A M PA G N E . ”
ENJOY THE WORLD CLASS COLLECTION RESPONSIBLY. WWW.DRINKiQ.COM The CÎROC words and associated logos are trade marks.
GUATEMALAN PRESS Ingredients »» 1.5 oz. of ZACAPA® 23 »» 3 oz. Tonic water »» Lime Preparation »» Pour rum and tonic into a highball glass »» Squeeze quarter lime into glass »» Stir and serve with lime garnish
Private Jet Experience In many eyes it’s the ultimate in saying “I’ve arrived,” and snide commentary (and budgetary considerations) aside it’s simply the best way to travel. At rates that range from $3600 (Learjet 60) to $8600 per hour (Gulfstream 550) it certainly isn’t cheap, but it sure is memorable. How about tickets to the Masters or the Super Bowl? Include in there to/from via private jet and he’ll be raving about this present for years to come! Cost based on flight arrangements. Sky Limo. www.skylimoaircharter.com
Men Aren’t that
So what do you get him—you know if you really, really want to impress? You’ve seen the polite smile and laugh that speaks to piss-poor acting to signal his “appreciation” for that most recent present. Well if your goal is to ‘move the needle’ as they say with your gift giving and bestow upon that loved one something that will set his tongue a-wagger in the bar, gym, golf course and just about every other man-cave he visits, here you go….the OCEAN Style gift guide of gift guides.
Ulysse Nardin Black Toro. $57,400. With this prezzie you can bet he’ll never be late again…..or at least he won’t have any good excuses if he is!
Aston Martin Vanquish. For the man who wishes to be acknowledged for his subtle sophistication, this automotive thoroughbred matches modern machine with the understated elegance of the famous brand. $282K.
Bentley GT Convertible. Power and Class. 616HP, 590lb-ft of torque. 0-60 in 4.0 seconds. $180K-$220K. The newest take on this classic.
Art of Shaving Kit. Artofshaving.com $115.
The Whiskey Lover. Combat over-dilution in your favourite whisky with whisky stones. These are cubes of soapstone that are chilled in the freezer, ready to be dropped into your glass. They’ll keep your drink cool without adding water, a nice option for those who prefer their whisky neat. $60.00 teroforma.com
Jaguar F-Type. $70K-$92K (Playboy bunny not included).
Mercedes SLS. $202K-$276K. mercedes-bens.com Ultimate Golf & Whisky Outing – Gleneagles. Scotland. Stay the weekend, play this incredible course, retracing the steps of so many famous faces….then take a cross-country across the heartland of whiskey country to some of the distilleries throughout Scotland.
Roots Rock Bluetooth Portable Audio System. This ecofriendly music system brings chic and cool along with clear and crisp sound to the Bluetooth listening space. We recommend. Plus, the Marleys say this is how you should listen to your Reggae. House of Marley. $199.
BWM M6 Grande Touring. $76K-$98K. bmw.com Hangover Ground Zero. Bangkok - The ultimate boy’s trip! Go on, let him loose with some buddies. The rich, vibrant and pulsating nightlife with the serene, spiritual and rich culture make Bangkok a smash by night and a sobering awakening by day. Best Place to Stay. The Peninsula.
Bespoke Shopping Experience - Savile Row London. A swank hotel (Soho London or The Sanderson, perhaps?) followed by an afternoon in the care of one of Savile Row’s famous ateliers makes for a memorable and exquisite gift. $800 - $10,000
Braven 850. Incredible Bluetooth Speakers. $300.00. braven.com
POP Bluetooth Phone $29.99. nativeunion.com
M55 Electric Bicycle. Or as the company calls it the ‘Ferrari of electric bikes.’ Five speeds, a 14-gear Rohloff Speedhub and a top speed of 43 mph. Onepiece aluminum frame, Brembo disk brakes and an integrated 39.6V battery pack. Price still TBD.
Cordito Cord Wrap $ 44.99
Norman Copenhagen Cognac Glasses. $50.
Canon S110. This little photography dynamo will allow him to be cool and inconspicuous but give him the sort of ease of use and quality images that could very easily awaken his inner Ansel Adams. canon.com
Slingbox 500. Streaming Excellence. $300.00 slingbox.com
Guys Deserve Better!
JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABELTM
JOHNNIE WALKER® PLATINUM LABELTM
JOHNNIE WALKER® GOLD LABEL RESERVETM
JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL is the pinnacle of the House of Walker, established in 1820. The whiskies that comprise BLUE LABEL are drawn from only the finest casks from JOHNNIE WALKER reserves, all aged to perfection. More than 10,000 casks are examined for every one that is chosen for this ultra-premium Scotch whisky. The result is a complex whisky, with a remarkable smoothness and velvety texture. BLUE LABEL is a great gift for guys who know the value of both rarity and power. This premium whisky needs no mixing at all – just pour into a rocks glass and enjoy with a splash of chilled spring water or ice.
JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL reflects the John Walker & Sons tradition of ‘private blends,’ and is the most unbelievably rich and perfectly crafted 18-year-old Scotch the House of Walker has ever created. Crafted from single malt and grain whiskies, PLATINUM LABEL is a complex blend with deep layers of flavor that perfectly balance the diverse character of the distilleries from which it is born and the wood in which it has rested. PLATINUM LABEL is rich and refined – delivering the depth and complexity one would expect from a JOHNNIE WALKER blend. It is a sophisticated Scotch whisky for sophisticated gentlemen - style and substance skillfully blended.
JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE is a celebration of the blender’s art. At the heart of the JOHNNIE WALKER story is the art of the Master Blender. Inspired by an unbroken 190-year lineage today’s Master Blender, Jim Beveridge, has personally crafted JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE as a vibrant celebration of his art. He has handpicked his favorite whiskies, including casks of Clynelish malt whisky from selected reserves and then skillfully blended them to create a bold, confident blended Scotch whisky that is as luxurious and indulgent as its name suggests perfect for sharing celebratory moments with the special man in your life.
Instead of giving him a tie or a pair of cufflinks, show the special man in your life that you know what he really wants by giving him one of these fantastic Scotch whiskies!
BUCHANAN’S® MASTERTM BUCHANAN’S, established in 1884 in the emblematic regions of Scotland by James Buchanan, a Scotch whisky pioneer, has always remained true to his exacting standards. BUCHANAN’S MASTER blended Scotch whisky is the personal creation of current Master Blender, Keith Law. Using his expertise and craftsmanship, he has selected the finest casks of mature whisky to create this distinctive expression, perfect for distinctive gentlemen, which offers rich notes of honey, citrus fruit and dark chocolate, backed by smokey, peppery spice. A hint of roasted almonds lingers through the finish that men are sure to love.
BUCHANAN’S® RED SEALTM
OLD PARR® SUPERIORTM
BUCHANAN'S RED SEAL is a premium Scotch whisky that is aged in the most unique casks of Dalwhinnie distillery in the Scottish Highlands. In 1901, James Buchanan created this Scotch whisky exclusively for His Majesty King Edward VII of England. RED SEAL is made carefully using traditional and laborious production methods and tastes silky, smooth and rich, with a long finish that is warm and tasty. RED SEAL embodies prestige and tradition that will delight the taste of guys everywhere.
OLD PARR whisky was first trademarked in 1909 by James and Samuel Greenlees, Scottish brothers who became two of the most skilled and successful pioneers of the blended whisky business. Their conviction that they could create whiskies of the highest quality through the skilled blending of various carefully selected malts revolutionized the whisky market. The “heart” of the OLD PARR blend is the distinctive CRAGGANMORE single malt. As its longevity and popularity increase, the OLD PARR brand continues to reflect its founders’ prodigious dedication to quality and craftsmanship that discerning fellows are sure to appreciate.
reminds you to please drink responsibly. Visit www.DRINKiQ.com.
Published on Aug 14, 2013