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O l d Li q u o r s Li f e s t y l e M a g a z i n e | T h e Pa s t & F u t u r e o f L u x u r y Spi r i t s

Old Liquors autumn EDITION 2017

The Nose Knows

Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson

RAR E & LUXURY S P I R I TS | F I N E W I N E S | GASTR O N O MY | ART O F L I V I NG | AU C T I O NS & CO LL E C T I NG


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Old Liquors | autumn Edition 2017


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O L D L I QUO RS MAGAZ IN E

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OLD LIQUORS MAGAZI NE

Foreword Odionse ceperspiet dolut fugia volupistem nonsequ asperatiam harum ut accus dolor ad quiam re dolorecus derovid ut ratem. Quibus reprae volorru nditati voloriae num di occus aditi dolorum quibus at enimaximus doloresequam eium iuscipsae si omni aut mos experio. Et que am hicipideles cus eicimus ditiori rem volupta parcitis iundit dolores ectatem nobis in etur? Qui aut dit quaeces doluptas es nus. Hiciistem dolut duciundit eturemperiae quatin et et veriassit vendis as re laci doluptaerum ilit et reperuptis ditaque nati reped ut lit aditius, sum, sed quiae dolorep eleserf erisciaerum fuga. Et voluptatur alicit eostoru ptibeaq uamenietur, as doluptae. Ut utaecum harion prenimus evenimod qui arciistotat aut od quas sum litium audio volorrum fuga. Gendae nus in resserum Ucia debis pe natemossit qui nis illabo. At assit fugit qui totas voloraerrum quatate mporio et aut doluptas quaspis nat ea sed que con res nobit aut eaquo offic tem volupta arita sus ent, conest experei caborem repuditiam, evelis quiaesse pernatis estio odi officid ut odignis vid molum aut eturion parum fugit omnis earupit omnihillore eium et vidipsum quis qui dunt unditint la doluptus iunt qui utatiisciis mi, qui quam et doluptaqui quam re, ommolessi verciisciam, quiamus ciatur sitis sitaquo ditassi tatisse quosam ea parios comnis et andipsa conecusci tendebist, nonecerum restrum re omnist pre sitaspe pores mod evelit plauditis Postiunt. Borepedia seniam quam am ligention cus con reprae nis se nonsedi re, te lacerna tusdae nobis distiatur sequam, nitiorest que non nobis sitatur autas restis cust, et volorerum re occus as aut

voloritas quodit, similleste dolupta tiuribusae verupic te volum repudist et ius voluptisto temodigni auditia siment liquam, tem. Nequiant, sollabo ratiorem aut odionse ceperspiet dolut fugia volupistem nonsequ asperatiam harum ut accus dolor ad quiam re dolorecus derovid ut ratem. Quibus reprae volorru nditati voloriae num di occus aditi dolorum quibus at enimaximus doloresequam eium iuscipsae si omni aut mos experio. Et que am hicipideles cus eicimus ditiori rem volupta parcitis iundit dolores ectatem nobis in etur? Qui aut dit quaeces doluptas es nus. Hiciistem dolut duciundit eturemperiae quatin et et veriassit vendis as re laci doluptaerum ilit et reperuptis ditaque nati reped ut lit aditius, sum, sed quiae dolorep eleserf erisciaerum fuga. Et voluptatur alicit eostoru ptibeaq uamenietur, as doluptae. Ut utaecum harion prenimus evenimod qui arciistotat aut od quas sum litium audio volorrum fuga. Gendae nus in resserum Ucia debis pe natemossit qui nis illabo. At assit fugit qui totas voloraerrum quatate mporio et aut doluptas quaspis nat ea sed que con res nobit aut eaquo offic tem volupta arita sus ent, conest experei caborem repuditiam, evelis quiaesse pernatis estio odi officid ut odignis vid molum aut eturion parum fugit omnis earupit omnihillore eium et vidipsum quis qui dunt unditint la doluptus iunt qui utatiisciis mi, qui quam et doluptaqui quam re, ommolessi verciisciam, quiamus ciatur sitis sitaquo ditassi tatisse quosam ea parios comnis et andipsa conecusci tendebist, nonecerum restrum re omnist pre sitaspe pores mod evelit plauditis Postiunt.

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O ld Liq u o r s Mag az i n e | T h e Past & F u tu r e of Lu xu ry Spir its

Old Liquo Content The Nose Knows

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Colofon

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Old Liquors Magazine is a quarterly publication that reflects the interests, values, and passions of the Wine, Liqueurs, and Fine and Rare Spirits, Collectors Community.

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Publisher and Editor Bart Laming

Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson

Sip & Smoke Lineup by Tobacconist Mason Foster

Take it to the top A top collector of cognac and single malt scotch reaches for the stars

a Taste of Tme

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Creative Director Carel Schrik

Pre-Prohibition Bourbon

Museum of Cocktails & Spirits

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Paul Ricard’s Private Mediterranean Island

A Scotland Distillery Tour by Classic Car

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For many whiskey tourists, spending a week or more traversing the Scottish countryside and visiting their favorite distilleries is a dream vacation.

Chichvarkin

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Hedonism, and the Future of Wine

Brandy Library

Traffic Manager Mary van den Heuvel

Photo Editor Daniel Caja Robert Marinkovic Copy Editors Robin Marri Miller Peter Letzelter-Smith Advertising Bart Laming To discuss Editorial and Advertising opportunities call 954-315-3836

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The Finest Spirits in NYC

Email the publisher magazine@oldliquors.com President Bay van der Bunt

Old Liquors Magazine is published four times a year. Printed in U.S.A. No portion of the website or of the magazine may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Old Liquors Inc. Publishing Division, 110 East Broward Blvd., Suite 1700 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 The United States of America Email the publisher - magazine@oldliquors.com - Call 954-315-3836.

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Old Liquors Magazine Published four times a year. Printed in U.S.A.


ors

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Chartreuse History of the Last Word Cocktail

A New Way to Enjoy Whiskey

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An Interview with the Creators of the NEAT Glass

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Best dining in Spain El Celler de Can Roca

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Wallace Chan Hong Kong-based Wallace Chan is one of the most gifted designers of his generation.

Fractional Ownership vs

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Buying a Private Jet

Exclusive HeliYoga Experience Las Vegas

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Audemars Piguet Watches

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The Height of Luxury Timepieces

Rum’s Connection To The Sea

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No self-respecting pirate ever actually sang, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”

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Forgotten History Champagne Bollinger Uncovers Its Roots

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Old Liquors | autumn Edition 2017

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T h e n o s e k n ows | R IC HAR D PATE RS O N

The Nose Knows Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson If you’ve ever had the privilege to talk shop with Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson, you’ve likely heard him repeat a quip by Scottish writer Compton Mackenzie that scotch whiskey makes the world “go round twice as fast.”

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“Scotch whiskey makes the world “go round twice as fast” The quote holds truer than ever for Paterson, now 50 years into his iconic career in the whiskey business. It’s as if the five decades have flown by for the third-generation whiskey blender, from his first sip as a kid to his current world tour spreading the gospel of whiskey and pedaling Dalmore 50. A luxurious, limited-edition single malt whiskey, Dalmore 50 was released in September 2016 to honor Paterson’s anniversary. Aged in American white oak, Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks from the González Byass Bodega, and Colheita Port pipes from Portugal, and finished in Henri Giraud Champagne casks, each

crystal decanter containing Dalmore 50-year-old will be handfilled to order and sold in a presentation case with a solid silver stag for £50,000 (about $64,000). Paterson is well-known and loved in the whiskey world for his unparalleled passion and unconventional wisdom. (Have you ever seen him toss whiskey on the floor during a presentation?) Then there’s his £1.5 million nose, once insured to protect the value of his legendary nosing skills. His nickname, after all, is The Nose.

Have you ever seen him toss whiskey on the floor during a presentation?

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T h e n o s e k n ows | R IC HAR D PATE RS O N

Old Liquors Magazine sat down one-on-one with Paterson in early April during the 2017 Universal Whisky Experience at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. A charming, gracious, and truly genuine chap, he discussed his illustrious career, his noteworthy nose, and the celebratory Dalmore 50.

You’ve had many accomplishments over the past five decades. Of which are you most proud? The ones that involve the Dalmore single Highlands malt. We produced the Dalmore 62-year-old, the 64-year-old — these are very rare expressions. For instance, the 64-year-old, there’s only three bottles and they go back to 1868, 1878, 1926, 1939. These three bottles, in fact — two are in America, one is in London — they haven’t been actually opened. But they are really rare gems from our portfolio and our portfolio has many aged Dalmores. It really is to show you what can happen to a great whiskey, providing you look at it.

that the 70s and the 80s, especially in the 90s, people really began to see what single malt whiskey was all about. You must never forget that malt whiskey only accounts for about 10 percent of the market. The other 90 percent is still from blended whiskies. Dalmore comes from one distillery, and one distillery only, like a Chateau Bordeaux wine. That’s what makes it unique. But what also makes it unique is making it change over that period. You can have the 12-, the 15-, the 18-yearold, but what we’re now finding, because of all these whiskey festivals, in particular this one, the consumer is becoming more discerning, and what I must do is make sure we excite our consumer.

“But what also makes it unique is making it change over that period”

Are you concerned at all that the global rise of whiskey brands has flattened the sales of Scotch whiskies? I have to say, you know, back in the ‘80s, the ‘90s, cognacs were rising and I think we became a little bit complacent. We must be aware of the Canadian whiskies, the Irish whiskies, and the Japanese whiskies, but we must make sure that we are leaders in that field. Scotch whiskey still represents around about 51 percent of the spirit market, but we must get our products right. We must get the quality right. We must get the packaging right. That’s so important. I’ve always been a great believer that if you’ve got something that’s wonderful to sell, well make sure it’s encased in the finest packaging. That will draw in the consumer and they will buy it.

How did Dalmore come about? The company had purchased Dalmore Distillery way back in 1960 and when we actually started looking at the different expressions, what we wanted to do, we found that after 1960,

“My father more than anything was the one that influenced me” Who were some of your teachers and mentors over the course of your 50-year career? My father more than anything was the one that influenced me. And when I was 8 years old, he did take me to his warehouses in Glasgow. It would be an experience I would never forget. He took my brother and me to the heart of the Glasgow and he took a big bunch of keys out, and he unlocked these huge

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doors of the warehouse, and he pulled them open, and we stepped into his world for the very first time. The first thing we noticed was the smell, the fumes engulfing our nostrils, and we said, “What the heck’s going on here?” We could see the silhouette of the casks in the background, but it wasn’t really of any interest to us. So we started fooling around. That annoyed my father, so much so that he … went into the cask and he poured me a large glass of whiskey and he said, “Richard, ok you think it’s funny, why don’t you tell me something about the whiskey?”

said, “You’re being silly, you’re being stupid, what I want you to do is to hold the whiskey in the back, hold it down at the bottom, swirl it around bring it up and say, hello, and then go back to it and say, how are you? Are you as heavy as your grandfather or are you perhaps as light as your mother? Or perhaps are you as sweet as your chocolate bar. Or are you dry as the dust on the floor?” So from inherent beginnings, I could see it was heavy and grumpy like my grandfather, but it had a certain sweetness, and this was something that captured my imagination. It brought something into me and I thought this is something I want to be part of my life.

“I took it in my hand and I said, “I don’t know what you mean dad” and that’s when he hit me in the back of the head”

Your brother didn’t follow the whiskey path? No, he decided to go into the Navy and then he became a social worker. I suppose I create the drinks and he, maybe, socially looks after them.

I took it in my hand and I said, “I don’t know what you mean dad” and that’s when he hit me in the back of the head. He

He probably needs it as a social worker. Yes (laughing).

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T h e n o s e k n ows | R IC HAR D PATE RS O N

How did your nickname, “The Nose,” come about? That came about quite a number of years ago because when I started blending I used to nose two-three-four-500 casks per day, and everybody used to say “here’s the nose arriving,” and for some reason, it just stuck with me. As you can see, I’ve got quite a big nose because my great, great grandfather was Cyrano de Bergerac himself. But nevertheless, it is important. A lot of people never manipulate their nose. What you must do is swirl the whiskey around, put it from one nostril to the other, and stop where you think you can actually achieve what you’re looking for … you must make full use of it, the nose … It will tell you 96 percent of what you need to know about the whiskey. Only when you’re not satisfied will you put it in your mouth, hold it, and just see what the rest is going to say to you. It’s not just nosing the whiskey for me, but it’s like, if you don’t mind me saying to you, when I walk in the room, I smell everything, I smell you. I smell what’s going on here. You just become sensitive to these things. Before you open the curtains, can you see is it a dry day? Is it a wet day or what? These are things you just become conscious of, you know? “My great, great grandfather was Cyrano de Bergerac himself” Will someone without your nosing skills be able to detect a relatively light spirit such as the champagne over the sherry, port, and peat in the Dalmore 50? When you really nose the 50-year-old, you will see all these notes, but towards the end you will just detect a little hint,

a softness, a finesse, an elegance … and it’s very tender, it’s very, very beautiful, but what’s more important, it’s not woody, because if you’d been in prison for 50 years, you’d be pretty effected by the prison. Well, this is now refreshed with the port, with the sherry … the champagne. So it is really unique in that way and that’s why 50 bottles, in my mind, done. Beautiful in every way. Did you know it would be a 50-year process? No, no. I just knew really around the ‘80s and ‘90s that we were holding a lot of old stocks and we had to be very careful how we kept them, how we looked after them. But having said that, it’s only in the last 15 years that the market has said we want these whiskeys. We know that they’re going to become rare. We’re not going to possibly see some of them ever again. Like the Dalmore 64-year-old, that will never be seen again, and that style. They take years to put together before we finally put them in the bottle. “Time is my master” You must have so much patience... Well, you need patience, and that’s actually a really good way of putting it. Time is my master. Time is what is needed to manipulate the whiskies, and that’s why I do get pretty angry when I see somebody picking up a glass and then just knocking it back. What I want you to do with the 50-year-old or even the 35-year-old, I want you to put it … underneath your tongue, back in the middle, and you must keep it in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before you swallow it, and even when you swallow it, you must wait ‘til it comes up and then see what’s really inside, the actual soul of the single malt. It’s like opening a box of chocolates, seeing all the different centers, the different flavors. That’s how it should be seen on the tongue. But again, we come back to time. You cannot hurry all these whiskies. Over the years, I’ve gone into the warehouse. It’s been very cold. I smell the whiskey and I say, “Eh, she’s not right, she’s asleep. We need to get her a new dress, we need to leave her,” and then you think, “How long will it take? Will it take two-three years?” And then I go back and say “Nah, she’s not quite right.” And then when I go back the next year … I suddenly say, “Oh, hello, she’s just beginning to turn,” and it’s so invigorating, so enthralling that you can see the change and that change has taken place because you’ve

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given her that new dress or a new suit or a new tie, what have you. It’s managed to stimulate her, and she can really show her true beauty.

“You know, it’s the same with the whiskey. When everything comes together, it is quite enthralling” Do you typically describe whiskey with female qualities? Yeah, I quite often come back to female. Normally, when I see a whiskey that I love I call it a baby, and I say “This is a real beautiful baby, but she …” and then I refer to it as a woman. I just love to see, you know, somebody dressed and then suddenly really dressed and it comes away and you say “Look, isn’t she gorgeous? She’s got a new dress. That dress really suits you, darling.”You know, it’s the same with the whiskey. When everything comes together, it is quite enthralling.

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Ma son Foster | SI P & SM OKE

Sip & Smoke Lineup by Tobacconist Mason Foster At Bourbon Steak D.C., cigar and drink pairings are far from the mundane The finest things in life tend to be even finer when enjoyed in tandem. A perfectly cooked, choice cut of dry-aged steak washed down with a glass of wine from an exceptional vintage comes to mind. As does a good drink in an environment with an awe-inspiring view, or a cigar with a glass of rosÊ. Wait ‌ what?

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Ma s o n Fos t e r | S IP & SM O KE

Certified tobacconist Mason Foster has unveiled a new Sip & Smoke lineup of cigar and drink pairings that are far from the mundane.

At Bourbon Steak, located in the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, certified tobacconist Mason Foster has unveiled a new Sip & Smoke lineup of cigar and drink pairings that are far from the mundane. As it turns out, sitting by the fireside with a cigar in hand and a glass of your favorite whiskey or a snifter of cognac is far from the only way to indulge your cigar-smoking pastime. In fact, atypical libations paired with a fine cigar may provide a more satisfying result. Achieving the Perfect Balance “Having a cigar and a whiskey is the experience people often expect,” says Foster. “They know that that is part of having a ‘good time,’ and there’s nothing wrong with that.” However, the intensity of a whiskey often clashes with the intensity of a cigar, with oak and spice joining forces in a palate tug of war against smoke and heat. “And that’s very well why I suggest against whiskey,” continues Foster. “You’re dealing

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with something hot and powerful with a whiskey … and then you’re taking a lit flame and putting it in your mouth! Whether you’re starting with one or the other, you’re dealing with a lot of powerful forces. Ideally, you want something that will serve as an accent.” As with the more familiar pairing of food and wine, balance is the key, not a fight for power and supremacy. “You want something that comes together, but is also able to go on its own, and that way you can enjoy the cigar for what it is, enjoy the cigar with what you’re drinking with it, and then the drink for what it is,” says Foster. One oft-overlooked component of a perfect pairing is that it’s almost akin to a puzzle with different pieces fitting together, or perhaps even more accurately, an equation, with the ideal outcome being measured as the midway point on the pH scale.


Ma son Foster | SI P & SM OKE

“The most important thing when it comes to pairing anything, you want flavor profiles in each respective item that overlap”

“The pH scale is from 0 to 14,” explains Foster. “From 0 to 7 is acidic, and from 7 to 14 is alkaline. In the center, it’s neutral pH, and this is where you’d ideally like to interpret any flavor profile on your palate. Now a cigar itself is alkaline, so if you have your cigar here [Foster points midway to the alkaline side of a quick drawing he just worked up at the table] and your drink is there [midway on the acidic side] that brings you to the center.”

What is his go-to pairing then, particularly for those new to the world of cigars? A mild cigar with a glass of bubbles. “The most important thing when it comes to pairing anything, you want flavor profiles in each respective item that overlap,” explains Foster. “My classic pairing that I will always go to first: a mild, creamy cigar, traditionally a Davidoff, with champagne. The mild Davidoff has that cream, a little bit of brioche, toast, and then you have the champagne which has all of those flavors except that nuttiness.” The importance of pH neutrality is also why Foster is known to employ a favorite palate-freshening trick: popping a Skittle now and again. “So a classic thing that I do is with Skittles,” he says. “They’re a little sweet. A little acidic. I pop one every 10 or 15 minutes if I feel my palate is getting a little overwhelmed from the same flavor profile over and over.” “Ideally, a cigar is going to change as you’re going through it,” he continues. “It has a different blend of tobacco in the beginning, middle, and end. Through that, you want to experience the cigar through those different blends as it was intended by the producer. So if you’re not refreshing your palate throughout, you’re not really experiencing it the right way.”

Two cocktail pairings are also offered. The first is a Kifu cocktail “made with Ketel One Vodka, Cointreau, lemon, ginger, and basil” alongside an EP Carrillo Seleccion Oscuro Piramide Real. “This is all about pH level, it’s bright, crisp, and refreshing,” says Foster. But his favorite current pairing is the Montecristo Artisan Series Batch 1 with a Fifth Season cocktail, which incorporates Jim Beam Rye, Lagavulin, Galliano Ristretto, and cane syrup. But wait “that’s a whiskey cocktail! What gives, Mason? “For everything that I will say against whiskey or Scotch and a cigar, this one, because it is so diverse, it has that sweetness, it has a little bit of the coffee and chocolate, and then you’re getting the heat from the rye, a little spiciness, the Lagavulin brings the smoke, because it’s a little bit of each one of those it’s able to be accented better as opposed to a pure bourbon or rye or Scotch with a cigar,” he explains.

Sip & Smoke On the Sip & Smoke menu, the champagne and Davidoff duo is seen specifically in the form of a Dom Perignon 2006 paired with a Davidoff Series 702 Aniversario No. 3. Meanwhile, the toughest sell on the list for the steadfast cigar-and-cognac enthusiast may be the aforementioned rosé pairing, such as an Avo Classic No. 9 paired with a Ruinart Brut Rosé from Champagne. “It will be [the toughest sell], 100 percent of the time,” says Foster, but he relishes that challenge of a creating a new convert. “That’s the whole point of what we are doing here.”

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Ma s o n Fos t e r | S IP & SM O KE

Certified tobacconist Mason Foster has unveiled a new Sip & Smoke lineup of cigar and drink pairings that are far from the mundane.

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“The name ‘Fifth Season’ nods to our location at the Four Seasons and the notion of extending beyond the standard,” says head bartender Torrence Swain, who created the drink. “This idea of continuing after something also comes into play as this drink is especially enjoyable as an after-dinner quaff. The melody of its ingredients is best served at room temperature without the introduction of water or ice - both of which would dilute and dampen its flavors. Room temperature cocktails are harder to find on most cocktail menus, so they are intriguing to guests who are curious about trying something new.”

For those who do insist on neat pour of a brown spirit to go hand-in-hand with a cigar, Foster still has wisdom to share. “Cognac and rum have that sweetness, the body, and because of that, they aren’t competing as much with the heat, they work much better,” says Foster. “Even something such as a Hennessy VSOP will taste miles better than say a Bulleit Bourbon. Cognac over whiskey, and rum over cognac.”

As for the cigar, it goes with, Foster calls it a “highlight amongst highlights” from their humidor. “Very few of [the Montecristos] came into town,” he says. “We were able to purchase 90 from W. Curtis Draper, their entire stock, so we would be one of the only few people able to provide it. And having smoked it, I

Further, just as some diners may start with their entree and then pick their wine, while others do the opposite, the same holds true for cigars and drink pairings, too. It works either way. “When people sit down at a restaurant, they have two tracks: you can either choose the wine first, or you could pair the

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could not wait to smoke it again. And when I smoked it again, I still wanted to come back to it.”


Ma son Foster | SI P & SM OKE

wine to the food, and it’s the same situation,” says Foster. “If you’re open to experiencing anything from a milder to a more full-bodied cigar and your palate is open to the full spectrum, and you’re more preferable to your drink, then that’s more important to you. Hallelujah! More power to you. And that’s a whole conversation. On a recent visit, that’s the direction I opted to move towards after seeing Pernod absinthe listed as a pairing option. It was matched with a Partagas Ramon Y Ramon Robusto, tabbed as a medium-bodied cigar offering wood and almonds, leading to an herbal finish. “Partagas is one of the original icons of Cuba,” says Foster. “The Partagas Serie D No. 4 is the go-to Cuban cigar for most people around the world. This is their Dominican version.” The duo performed in true synchronicity with each other. The absinthe offering its enticing herbaceous profile and viscous

mouthfeel, serving almost as a guide for the cigar, introducing the smoke and easing it onto the palate. Not only was that pairing sensational, but also perhaps what was most illuminating about how well the two were balanced was trying a different drink to go with the cigar. In this case, grabbing a sip from a glass of Sancerre at the table. The palate was quickly thrown off kilter, with the new beverage far removed from the seamless interplay between the absinthe and the Partagas.

Clearly, it takes the right touch to create a match made in heaven. Clearly, it takes the right touch to create a match made in heaven. Consider me a convert to a new type of cigar and drink pairing. Bourbon Steak currently has seven cigar and drink pairings listed on their Sip & Smoke menu, priced together from $18 to $55. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own cigars if they prefer or to request a different pairing based around any specific preference. If anybody in town is up to the task, it will be Foster who gets it right for you.

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In t e r view | K e n Ho n i g

Take it to the top A top collector of cognac and single malt scotch reaches for the stars I arrive at Ken Honig’s house in Newport Beach, California, entering through the garage, past the Maserati, and I meet Ken who is decked out in a running shirt, shorts, and socks with flip-flops. When you think of one of the top, private owners of Cognac and Single Malt Scotch, this is not the visual you imagine. But then, Ken is not what you think. “I stopped working when I was 35,” he tells Old Liquors Magazine. “I didn’t quit because I had enough money, I quit because I didn’t want to end up killing myself.”

the highest peaks in Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Asia, as well as scuba dives, fishes, and surfs, and has homes in Fiji, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Furthermore, he is a Team Leader/Diplomat for the US Olympic Wrestling Team and travels the world with them.

Before age 35, he grew up near poor and in numerous houses near Disneyland, started work at age nine, and continued with stints at Arby’s, MacDonald’s, Denny’s, etc. He paid his way through USC working two jobs and selling his blood for food money weekly in downtown L.A. When the savings and loan debacle hit the United States in 1987, Ken capitalized on the real estate opportunities quickly and, as he says, “made my money and got out.”

We step inside a small pantry in his kitchen, surrounded by spices and flour, which, unbeknownst to me, is an elevator taking us downstairs to a low-flung slate room with 250 Single Malt Scotch’s presented on three walls. The bottles are perfectly aligned as if waiting for transportation to a museum. It’s an impressive lineup, but then Ken reveals the pièce de résistance. A hidden door opens in the stone wall, and eight feet below sea level, we step down into a room most men can only dream of; brown pressedtin ceiling, four-foot wall sconces, brown leather club chairs, a small bathroom, large screen TV, and more historic Cognac and Single Malt Scotch than you can imagine. It is the ultimate mancave, a clubroom, a hideaway, a Cognathèque, a treasure trove. He doesn’t allow food here, though he has bought sushi for me as we sit down to talk.

Honig trained with the Paris Search and Rescue and is the only man in the world to be allowed to scale the outside of the Eiffel tower (15 times), rappel down the tallest building in France Tour Montparnasse (3 times), and search for the lost or deceased in the miles of off limit catacombs underneath Paris. He has ascended

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He gave away “seven figures” in 2016, and feels it a moral obligation to be involved in philanthropic work with “direct impact.”


Inter view | Ken Honig

What are some of your prizes here? KH: “I have numerous one of a kind Cognacs from the annual cognac auction in Cognac, France; a Jeroboam of Godet, Louis XIII, I have a 1904 Cognac from Hardy, put in demijohns in 1974. There’s nothing like that anymore. There’s Remy, Hennessey, and Frapin. I have a few of the Macallan Golden Age of Travel, old royal marriage, new royal marriage. There’s the Bowmore 50 bottle number two; Highland Park 50 the first bottle (currently selling for US$20,000); and Glenfiddich 50 the last sale of that at auction was $30,000. I have several offerings from Glenfarclas, Glenmorangie, Macallan Rare Cask Black; The entire Macallan in Lalique Collection. There is also my complete set of Fine and Rare Macallan, I believe about 70 bottles. There are three complete collections in the world two are at hotels, one is here.” (A set of just 19 Macallan Fine & Rare bottles sold in 2016 for US$361,000.)”

What was the impetus to own Cognac and Single Malt Scotch? KH: “I was interested in collecting my birth year, 1961, and it simply took off from there. What grew upon me was the history, knowledge, politics of the different times and places. It’s really very interesting. Amazingly, the collecting aspect was an entrée into a world I never knew existed. We (Ken and his wife Laura) have had the pleasure to be overnight guests at Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas, Macallan, Dalmore, Glenmorangie, etc. In Cognac, we’ve had the incredible luck to be guests of Remy Martin, Courvoisier, Hennessy, Frapin, Hardy. We have made some wonderful friends in both Scotland and France and have experienced food and drink you dream about simply by our involvement in collecting. But, here’s the thing everything in this room is a memory every bottle, magnum, or jeroboam. I mean, there are very cool memories related to people with all these bottles. In the end, it’s not about the bottle or the liquid in the bottle; it’s always about the people you’ve spent time with.”

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In t e r view | K e n Ho n i g

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Inter view | Ken Honig

Do You Consider Yourself a Collector? KH: (He pauses) “No one’s ever asked me that, it’s just merely assumed. To me, these bottles are art, history, special periods of time. Primarily they represent memories of people and places, experiences, knowledge, and special moments. As the prices have gone through the roof, I still look for things, but only very special bottles because I have limited space.” What advice, if any, do you have for collectors? KH:  “I get a lot of guys asking me that, and frankly, it’s too expensive now. But, if you’re buying to drink, fine, then drink it. If you’re buying to invest, it’s a little late as everyone’s doing it now. I continue to purchase from various Scotch auctions online, but strictly for scotch, cognac, or Armagnac I intend to drink.” Do you have any desire to create your own Cognac or Whisky? KH:  “No, honestly I have far too many passions in life and not nearly enough time I will stick to drinking and a little collecting.”

so I sold them in Hong Kong. I will only drink wine in certain situations; when I’m in Paris, I’ll drink rosé; in the Andes, I’ll drink Malbec. I do own a 1987 Nikka Yoichi Single Cask, but I’ve never tried it. I know what I want and don’t want, so it’s not a big question for me. Yes, I’m ignorant about many things, including Irish and Japanese whiskey, for example, but I only have so much time and a million things I want to do. I admit I’m being narrowminded in that regard.” Tell me about this room. KH: It becomes a sacred space for those that allow that to happen. There are no cell phones or food allowed, no kids or pets. My friends call this the therapy room, where you realize that we all share similar issues positive and negative in life. No matter how wealthy or poor, healthy or sick, we’re more or less the same. So, you come down the elevator, open the door, have a drink of what you like, loosen your tie, confess your sins, brag a little bit, and hopefully, leave the room feeling a lot lighter.”

Do you feel you’ve got a great palette? KH: (He pauses, narrows his eyes) “Do you feel you’re a good driver?” (He laughs) “It’s completely subjective. I do have an open palate, but I’m not into frou-frou, and, I won’t torture myself with all of the newest, latest, greatest, etc. I have too much time and experience invested in this, so I know what I like and what I don’t like.” Do you enjoy the rituals associated with drinking Cognac or a fine Scotch? KH: “That depends on what you mean by rituals. My rituals include no phones, no distractions, eye to contact, open conversation. If you are referring to “generally accepted norms” regarding scotch, cognac, and Armagnac “the so-called rules” it can be a very unpleasant experience of unintelligent snobbery. It can be condescending. You certainly do not need to be an expert, just enjoy what you like and how you like it. Ask questions. I know many people are intimidated by the “proper” way to drink a scotch or cognac, yet there is no proper way other than to drink it, and enjoy it.” Are there other spirits or wines you’re interested in? KH: “Not really. I used to collect 1961 Bordeaux (his birth year), but I didn’t drink them. I mean, they’re valuable and expensive,

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Bo u r bon | t h e Taste o f ti m e

a Taste of Pre-Prohibition Bourbon I am going to present something monumental to contemplate: The chance to open and experience a piece of history. Picture a whiskey that was distilled in 1917, just as the world was gathering into an arena for WWI, Old Grand Dad was laid into a barrel, where it stayed until 1933. In that time, WWI and Prohibition had both come and gone. 1933 was the same year Hitler began to rise to power again and the Noble Experiment had finally ended; this was the year this particular bottle of Old Grand Dad was bottled. I’m sure some heavy discussions occurred over that whiskey, and maybe some hard decisions were made too. Surprisingly, if you look carefully, you can still find this whiskey to enjoy. That is only one intriguing aspect of vintage, collectible Spirits. In them, you are presented with a chance to enjoy something that is not available anymore; but without determined effort, commitment, investment—and a healthy dose of luck—you are likely to not find them. We are going to talk about the why, toss in some great tips and steer you in some good directions.

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Bill Thomas, Proprietor Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C., reveals this perspective regarding vintage US Whiskey: “PreProhibition whiskey isn’t as much about collecting for me as it is about drinking history. Sometimes you find that rare bottle that you want to admire for a while but ultimately you need to drink it. Many Pre-Prohibition whiskey bottles are all that’s left of some great old distilleries, that were unable to come back after Prohibition.” He adds: “You can’t have a better tasting of a brand or a distillery, than having 100 years of distillation in front of you. There is something transcendent about drinking a 1918 bottling and contemplating the World Events that took place in that year”.Taking that idea to a marketing level, this 1934 advertisement in Better Home and Gardens magazine perfectly sums up the ‘why’ behind the intrinsic appeal of “Pre-Prohibition Whiskey.” The headline says it all, but the subhead copy drives it home with “It’s dwindling fast and it’s strictly limited so better act quickly if you want to reserve some of this true vintage liquor for your own cellar.”


B ou r bon | the Tast e of t ime

Time

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Bo u r bon | t h e Taste o f ti m e

Pre-Prohibition Bourbon A Taste of Time In A Bottle Their finite rarity is the easiest way to understand the power, the lure, the potency and the beauty of vintage American whiskey—in Prohibition, there was a break that almost broke the industry. After Prohibition was lifted the fortunate few that had been able to coax or cajole their doctors out of medical prescriptions for whiskey had a huge group of friends interested in procuring some of these delicious whiskeys to enjoy for themselves that were still in a surplus that had made it through prohibition. Some of the whiskey lay hidden in cellars, warehouses, and private collections. Also, some of the whiskey had even aged all through Prohibition in barrels, this is what the advertisement above was speaking about, but everyone wanted some of the precious whiskey that came out on the other side of prohibition. People in the know found these American treasures and bought whatever they could, just to have a few bottles or cases of extra rare old American Whiskey on hand for special occasions or to save as a testimony to the future.

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Fast forward into the 2000’s and this treasure is even rarer, but you can still find it. The situation at hand is perfectly described by Wyatt Peabody, a wine and spirits expert at Soutirage, a Yountville, California merchant that retails rare wines and spirits: “Having witnessed [yet another] whiskey explosion over the past five years— which has sent limited-release whiskey prices through the roof—I am fascinated by the relative value of pre-Prohibition-era spirits. When one compares the annual frenzy, and subsequent premiums paid, for highly-allocated perennial brands, with distillates that were made a century ago, the contrast is stark.” Peabody marvels: “People are actually paying more for Pappy 23 (that was made in the 1990s), than a bottle of whiskey distilled in 1916—when Woodrow Wilson was President (of all 48 states), we had yet to enter WWI and General Pershing’s Calvary was pushing Pancho Villa across the Mexican border. I mean, would you rather drink brands or history?”


B ou r bon | the Tast e of t ime

The Golden Era of American Whiskey Can you imagine that? Experiencing Bourbon or Rye from the pinnacle of its production, the absolute peak of its prowess, the summit of natural innovation that leads to what is easily understood as the golden era of American whiskey. After Prohibition, it all changed; it had to. No, the marketplace was more defined, the demand was much higher and a majority of producers did not make it out of Prohibition. With fewer distilleries making more and more whiskey, the resulting structure of the U.S. Spirits industry became a much more industrial process. The rising need for production and the attendant industry consolidation demanded it. Before Prohibition was the time of natural expansion, innovation, evolution, refinement and the defining of what Bourbon (and by extension Rye) needed to be; it was the time of the highest appreciation without the port-Repeal demands of the market dictating production. It was in this era of amazing quality and taste that American whiskey came into its prominence into its figurehead position as the capital spirit and America. We have to remember, even before Prohibition, there were breaks in whiskey’s production that caused big interruptions in supply and a focusing of attention by consumers. There were many battles, but U.S. Whiskey gradually came into its own; there was a refinement of taste preferences and an evolution in the skills of the distiller’s. When WWI ended and production picked back up to full steam, the dissent of the vocal minority of the population eventually led to the “Nobel Experiment”, Prohibition. From a boon of production before Prohibition then, ‘POW’, American Whiskey is illegal. Sure, if you had the foresight to stash some away, or a connection to get a prescription for “medicinal” or “illicit” whiskey you could still have a drink, but was it the beautifully articulated whiskey from before? Some made good medicinal whiskey and some got creative with ‘distribution’, but it is obvious and easy to see that ‘MANY’ distilleries shut their doors never to reopen. Fortunately, there were some that made it; it is a good question to ask is what differed, in production after the end of Prohibition? Most

distilleries, during Prohibition, didn’t maintain their “jug” yeast; this was a key (usually a secret) to the flavors of their whiskey. After Prohibition, distillers were forced to buy yeast (generally favoring faster strains), or go through a laborious process of “finding / creating” a new “jug” yeast. Because of inefficient technique and distillation mechanisms, Bourbon and Rye had previously been distilled to a lower alcoholic proof, and typically entered the barrel for aging at an even lower proof; the impact of this is remarkable. We would also have to address that water sources had changed. If not by sheer locality, the well water had evolved because the change in depletion or this or that distiller had switched to municipal water for convenience, or the use of extreme filtration to control flavor profiles. Water is used in every stage of the production. And these are just a few of the reasons. It is good to keep in mind this wise quote from Edgar Harden, owner of London, England-based Old Spirits Company: “The attraction of vintage Bourbon and Rye is that it both opens a window onto the past and rewards the drinker. This is not to say that every bottle of vintage Bourbon or Rye is delicious and flawless, but on the whole, if one chooses well-preserved examples that have been properly cared for then the whiskey will be interesting at the very least and possibly something that you will always remember.” Harden, who visits the U.S. periodically, notes: “The further back one goes, particularly to the Prohibition era and beyond, the likelihood is high that the whiskey will have been left in barrel for an extended period; and, given the “rough and ready” style of production and the lack of chill-filtration, this prolonged contact with the barrel can yield whiskies of profound depth, richness in scent, color and flavor and smokiness that are truly unlike anything produced since. I sometimes sit, a measure of some American whiskey of extreme age in hand, and contemplate what the industry was like in Kentucky, Pennsylvania or Maryland in the late 19th century through WWII. Which brands are lost and which survive? The rich history is truly conveyed by the whiskey itself.”

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Bo u r bon | t h e Taste o f ti m e

Pre-Prohibition Bourbon The Where and How But where and how do you find these precious treats? Well, I was talking to Peter Jarjour, owner, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky, Studio City, California, and he told me a story about driving from Indiana on the way to visit family and thinking while he was in the area, he went and checked out the local liquor stores to see what he could find. Searching in one of the older shops in town he noticed a pint of Old Sunnybrook bottled just after the Prohibition on display with no price, so he went and asked the clerk about it. The clerk tried to discourage Peter by saying: “You don’t want that. The last one of those my boss sold was SUPER EXPENSIVE”. Peter, unswayed asked: “How much”? The clerk responded $200. Well, needless to say, Peter had a discussion with the store owner and took that bottle with him. The moral of this story is good hunters are always looking! The truth is that Pre-Prohibition spirits are becoming more difficult to find by the day, and the fact is that there are very few of them remaining.

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There are places that specialize in these kinds of things, like aforementioned Old Spirits Company in the UK or Soutirage in the US. Soutirage has one of the most extensive collections in existence—William A. M. Burden, a renowned entrepreneur, and collector of fine wine and spirits; meticulously built it if you call them they will even hunt for you if they don’t have it! If you are in Los Angeles you can visit Peter, at Flask Wine & Whisky. Another piece of advice from him is telling everyone who’ll listen that you love and are looking for vintage whiskey. He puts his rare finds on his website and because everyone knows about this passion, it is widespread knowledge and people contact him out-of-the-blue with bottles to purchase. Sometimes they come in bearing full, unopened wooden crates; sometimes it is just a couple bottles they found in their grandparent’s house after they move out. The point of this is telling everyone what you are interested in, they may have bottles stashed that they will share—sell—have seen or will


B ou r bon | the Tast e of t ime

help you to find while they are traveling. There is a need for caution, warns Scott Spaid from whiskeybent.net, a rich site that is dedicated to the history and collecting of full, sealed American pre-prohibition whiskey bottles, prohibition-era medicinal whiskey bottles, and miniature whiskey bottles. “The biggest thing I have learned from collecting prohibition medicinal whiskeys is that the brand doesn’t matter the vast majority of the time. For example, I have a 1/2 pint Old Fitz and a 1/2 pint Waterfill and Frazier. Both were distilled by Mary M. Dowling, one of a few fascinating female distillers. The juice in both is the same but the brands are completely different. The W&F is correct in that the distiller matches the brand, which is so rare. The Old Fitz, not so much! Notice how the Old Fitz is 15-year-old and the W&F is 16 “Summers” old. Marketing at its best. In a nutshell, with prohibition-era medicinal whiskeys, the most important thing to pay attention to is the tax stamp and NOT the main label.”

That makes me want to go hunting for some dusty whiskey bottles, open them up, and experience flavors from another era. Remember, Whiskey doesn’t change in the bottle if stored properly (very little, if at all). No matter what you will drink history. Every sip will have a story to tell and if you are fortunate a moment to share. This is why we search for these treasures, icons of another time, and testaments to where we have been and what we have done. Here are some great places to learn: http://whiskeybent.net http://bourbonenthusiast.com http://pre-prowhiskeymen.blogspot.com If you happen to travel and would like to some pre-Prohibition Whiskey you could try Jack Rose in D.C., Canon in Seattle, Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library in Portland Oregon, or the Bluegrass Tavern in Lexington, KY.

Discerning “Ancient Liquors” When I asked Warren Bobrow, author of ‘Whiskey Cocktails’, about the subject he said this: “It’s a rarefied world of ancient liquors. I myself have tasted the effect of time on old spirits and can offer the following: airtight. Air is a killer for old spirits. If the bottle gets opened drink up! If the fill is too low, unfortunately, low fill means air got in. You might do better to pass. But, I think if money is no object then, by all means, buy and drink whatever you can afford.” Here are some very nice recommendations from Wyatt Peabody from Soutirage, “I am particularly fond of turn-of-the-century ryes (Pennsylvania and Maryland), Yellow Label and Stewart’s are among my favorites, both of which have evolved with stunning grace and poise; the J.B. Beam 1911 was then a regional brand made in limited quantities; while difficult, if I have a favorite, it’s probably the Old Jordan Sour Mash Whiskey 1891—nostalgia aside, given its age, everything about this whiskey is extraordinary: it was bottled-inbond at a remarkable 112-proof in 1908 and, to this day, it shows the concentration and thickness of an old Cognac, but it’s all Bourbon: mouth coating and unctuous with a touch of salinity.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | MUS E UM O F CO C K TA ILS & SPIRITS

Paul Ricard’s Private Mediterranean Island

Museum of Cocktails & Spirits In the summer of 1958, a tiny Mediterranean islet’s sun-soaked shores played host to a truly pivotal moment in the history of wines and spirits. After years of planning, legendary liquor mogul and industrialist Paul Ricard opened his Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux on the private Île de Bendor, situated on France’s fabled Côte d’Azur. Described by the man himself as a “complete and permanent encyclopedia” of wine and spirits, the EUVS continues to be celebrated by liquor connoisseurs the world over. With a stunning collection of rare and old bottles from around the world, as well as an extensive library of vintage cocktail books, this Provençal jewel should feature high on the itinerary of any serious aficionado visiting the south of France.

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Ar t & Pa ssio n | MUSEUM OF COCK TAI LS & SPI RI TS

Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, a “complete and permanent encyclopedia” of wine and spirits History After surviving a ban during the second world war and fighting off the stiff competition from numerous competitors, Paul Ricard’s eponymous brand of pastis, the anise-flavored French liqueur, was by the 1950s the nation’s most beloved spirit of all. A fragrant, somewhat exotically flavored beverage, the drink conjures images of Ricard’s native Marseille with its blue skies, shimmering waters, and vibrant seaport. According to legend, Ricard had first tasted pastis after a local shepherd had offered it to him whilst it was still banned in the wake of the first world war. Soon after, aged just twenty-one, Ricard had created a more refined version of the liqueur in his bedroom after experimenting with a range of natural anise flavor sources such as fennel, licorice, and star-anise. Indeed, the exact recipe of France and the world’s most popular brand of pastis remains a closely guarded secret to this day. By marketing his drink as “the true pastis of Marseille,” the product of an old Provençal tradition, Paul Ricard was able to overtake competitors such as Pernod, with whom the company would later merge. It was through this success that Ricard was able to purchase the stunning Île de Bendor, which would in July 1958, become home to the Universal Exhibition of Wines and Spirits.

The site, a kind of museum-cum-library, was Ricard’s brainchild, his personal attempt to record the evolution of spirits and wines throughout human history. Paying close attention to the cultural influence of these alcoholic beverages, the EUVS is also home to one of the world’s largest collections of antique cocktail anthologies. Speaking at the opening, Ricard said that the museum was “Not a simple event. It is permanent, eternal, and its expansion will never stop.”

The EUVS is also home to one of the world’s largest collections of antique cocktail anthologies The Exhibit At almost sixty-years-old, the EUVS has managed to develop a considerable collection of some 8,000 bottles of wine and spirits from throughout the world. These include wines from Italy, France, Portugal, and even China. Yet, it is the museum’s collection of spirits which is perhaps most impressive. Over 28 bottles of varying anise-flavored liqueurs call the EUVS home, with many, more than a century old. Indeed, it is truly fascinating to see not only the difference in the style of each beverage, but also that of the varying labels, bottles, and marketing techniques used for each. Examples include arrack from the near-east, Greek ouzo, French anisette, and, of course, many different types of pastis.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | MUS E UM O F CO C K TA ILS & SPIRITS

Yet, the museum also hosts a vast array of non-anise-based liquors, many of which are considerably rare and of great interest to the connoisseur. The Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, as it is known in French, is host to thirty-five spirits categories that include Armagnac, bitter, brandy, cachaça, cognac, gin, rum, whiskey, and many, many, more. Some of the museum’s most interesting and rare pieces include an Amargo Panacea rum from 19th century Dominican Republic, as well as a bottle of Absolute Rent Bränvinn, the precursor to Absolut vodka and the first vodka to be produced through the rectification process. Outside of the museum’s bottles, visitors flock to Île de Bendor to enjoy the EUVS collection of vintage

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cocktail books, which include recipes to many drinks that are now forgotten by even the world’s most knowledgeable of bartenders and mixologists. A total of eleven books, most of which are over a century old, give visitors a unique insight into the alcohol culture of Europe and America in years gone by. Today Since 2007, the museum has been under the direction of spirits and cocktail historians Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown, who have truly brought the EUVS into the 21st century. Using a team of experts and volunteers from across the globe, the duo has managed to extensively repair and clean the site, as well as introduce a number of measures with regard to


Ar t & Pa ssio n | MUSEUM OF COCK TAI LS & SPI RI TS

documentation, historical research, and preservation. These steps only add to the already significant esteem in which the EUVS is held by liquor enthusiasts globally. One of Miller and Brown’s greatest achievements since taking over the museum has been the creation of a free online library that includes the world’s largest database of rare bottles and searchable library of vintage menus, drinks lists, distillation books, and cocktail books. This allows all of those interested in visiting the museum to get a taste of what’s in store before visiting, as well as providing ample opportunity for aficionados to deepen their knowledge from anywhere. As if anybody requires a further reason to visit this truly unique site, Brown himself has shared some insight on the museum: “The building consists of ten soaring frescoed alcoves built along a center hall. The frescoes were painted by young artists, some rumored to have been personally selected by Dali and Picasso, while others won their place through competitions. “Inside, there are nearly 10,000 bottles dating back to bottles of 1811 Roi du Rome Cognac created to celebrate the birth of Napoleon’s son. At the entrance, there are over 600 pieces of rare glassware, plus the museum houses a collection of over 1,300 rare restaurant menus dating from the 1860s to the 1960s, including one created and hand signed by Dali.”

More than a collection of items, or even a conventional museum, today’s EUVS at Île de Bendor is the stunning realization of Paul Ricard’s vision of a “permanent encyclopedia” of wines and spirits. Practical Information The EUVS is open to the public from July 1st to August 31st, every day except Wednesdays. Opening times are from 13:00 to 18:00 and visitors can take a seven-minute ferry to Île de Bendor from nearby Bandol on the French mainland. Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, Bendor, 83150, Bandol, France. We asked award-winning drinks historian, master distiller, and EUVS curator Jared Brown for his favorite cocktails of all time. This is what he told us. . . “Pick a favorite drink or four? Hmmm. . . I’ve always been partial to the martini, as long as the vermouth and garnish are fresh. I love a good negroni and the same goes for the vermouth in this drink, too. Trader Vic created my favorite Mai Tai. Some evenings, it simply has to be a Manhattan. I prefer a Red Snapper to a Bloody Mary, and love to have it garnished with a few fresh oysters as appeared in the earliest-known recipe from 1872.”

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A Scotland Distillery Tour by Classic Car For many whiskey tourists, spending a week or more traversing the Scottish countryside and visiting their favorite distilleries is a dream vacation. There’s an endless array of fantastic food and delicious drams to enjoy, picturesque routes to navigate, ancient sites to explore, and a plethora of additional activities and diversions.

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A Scotl a nd Distil l ery Tou r by Classic C ar

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A Scot la n d D i st i l l e ry Tou r by C l assic C a r

Why not elevate the experience even further, and cruise around in true style? All of that is wonderful enough, but why not elevate the experience even further, and cruise around in true style? That’s what companies such as Caledonian Classic Car Hire offer. They enable you to rent vintage and luxury automobiles for an unimpeachably stylish Scottish sojourn that you’ll never forget. The Caledonian Classic Car Hire Experience Caledonian offers a fleet of classic cars for you to choose from, ranging from a timelessly luxurious two-tone Austin-Healey 2000 MK III convertible to the power and authority of a 1960s-era Jaguar MK II, or an impossibly sleek and sexy Alfa Romeo 2000 Veloce to an exhilarating open-air Caterham Super Seven roadster in British racing green. Another half a dozen options are on offer. When you rent one of their vehicles, you’ll also receive assistance with

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coordinating your tour. They can provide personalized assistance, such as suggesting routes and itineraries, as well as helping with accommodations and reservations. You can even sign on for one of their pre-scheduled group tours. If you’re starting your journey from Caledonian, you’ll be pleased to discover that it’s adjacent to Stirling, known as the “gateway of the Highlands.” It serves as an ideal jumping-off point for your expedition, about an hour’s ride northwest of Edinburgh or 45 minutes east from Glasgow, serving both of the city’s airports equally well. They also offer a night’s accommodation at their Kennels Cottage Bed and Breakfast as part of many of their packages, so you can arrive, rest up, and fortify as you prepare for the road - and the whiskey!


A Scotl a nd Distil l ery Tou r by Classic C ar

For the whiskey-minded, there are also more than 100 distilleries serving as potential way stations.

Breathe deeply, you’re not going to get to them all

Trip Planning Tips It may seem daunting to begin planning a road trip in a foreign country while trying to maximize your experience at each stop along the way. For the whiskeyminded, there are also more than 100 distilleries serving as potential way stations - so breathe deeply, you’re not going to get to them all. Keep in mind that essentially half of Scotland’s distilleries are clustered in the relatively small Speyside region, as opposed to the more sprawling Highlands and Lowlands.

Furthermore, while it’s possible to drive and then ferry to destinations such as Islay, if you want to maximize your onthe-road experience you’ll likely bypass the islands on this journey. Although it should be noted that you can actually drive to the Isle of Skye, home of Talisker, which could serve as a westernmost anchor for a lap around the country.

A straight shot of about 10 miles stretching across the towns of Rothes, Craigellachie, and Dufftown serves as the true heart of the Scotch country, with a distillery seemingly nestled into every nook and cranny of the countryside. Any proper Scotchsoaked road trip will take you in and around this heartland.

The most important starting point, really, is prioritizing two to three of your absolutely favorite distilleries, and making them mandatory destinations. Build around them accordingly as the schedule allows. Perhaps for you that includes a lineup of Glenmorangie, Macallan, and Oban. That gives you a nice circuit to work with and plan around. The Journey Starting with Oban as your first target, you’ll be heading west from Caledonian, spending most of your time on the A84 and A85, working through the scenic upper stretch of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and arriving at the distillery in about 2.5 hours. You could then choose to head north and then west to the aforementioned Talisker, which takes another 3.5 hours — making for a likely overnight on Skye — or take a straight shot north to Ben Nevis. In that case, you’ll be following A828 and A82 along the shores of Loch Linnhe for about 2.5 hours. The views will be worth it, as Ben Nevis is the highest mountain peak in the British Isles.

In either case, your beauty is likely begging to hit the roads once again The next morning, head north once again, following the A82 along the Loch Lochy and then the famous Loch Ness, moving up and around the Beauty Firth to Glenmorangie’s home alongside the Dornoch Firth, another 2.5-hour drive. Perhaps the Glen Ord Distillery caught your eyes along the way; it’s perfectly acceptable to deviate from your plans. That’s what the open road is all about!

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A Scot la n d D i st i l l e ry Tou r by C l assic C a r

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A Scotl a nd Distil l ery Tou r by Classic C ar

All good things must come to an end, and your classic car countryside cruise is at its close After visiting Glenmorangie’s beautiful stillhouse, and gaping at their shimmering rows of stills - the tallest in Scotland - you may have time to visit nearby Balblair. If you already stopped at Glen Ord, then Balblair is perhaps best saved for the following morning. In either case, plan an overnight at the comfortably elegant Glenmorangie House in Tain. You may be in time for one of their Whiskey Tasting weekends, which include a two-night stay and a trip to the distillery, with whiskey tastings galore and activities such as clay pigeon shooting (hopefully with the former occurring after the latter). After your evening or two, it’s time for the majesty of Speyside. Head down and around the Cromarty and Moray Firths, east along the A96, towards the aforementioned Scotch heartland triumvirate of towns.

After this distillery duo, you could plan to spend the night in downtown Glasgow — if the pubs are calling — or opt for a touch of farewell luxury at the Cameron House, at the southern tip of Loch Lomond. A stay there is replete with Michelin-starred cuisine, the Cameron Club golf course, and a luxury spa if the open roads of the Scottish countryside and all of that great Scotch whiskey somehow left you stressed, or another turn at clay pigeon shooting if you please. All good things must come to an end, and your classic car countryside cruise is at its close. But don’t worry - you’ve only scratched the surface of what Scotland has to offer. Better start planning for take two.

Additional stops in the region may include the majestic Ballindalloch Castle, which was finished in 1546, or a visit to the Quaich Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel, with over 900 single malt whiskies. The Craigellachie would also make a fine choice of accommodations if you want to spend the next few days gleefully hopping from one distillery to the next. World-renowned distilleries such as the Macallan, Glenfiddich, the Balvenie, and Aberlour are near at hand. Glen Grant and Glenrothes are essentially within shouting distance. Glenlivet and Tomintoul are not far to the west, Strathisla, Aultmore, and Knockdhu not far to the east. There are dozens of distilleries. Choose wisely, and be sure to pace yourself or leave your lovely vintage ride at the hotel and arrange for transportation. In either case, your beauty is likely begging to hit the roads once again. After several nights within the tightly packed Speyside region, along with who knows how many distilleries and drams, it’s time to keep moving. Head south, essentially staying along A9 for the majority of a 3.5hour drive, passing through the Cairngorms National Park, weaving past Perth, and back through the gateway of the Highlands at Stirling, with two final distilleries in mind outside of Glasgow. Stop in at Glengoyne for a tipple or two of their slow-distilled sherry cask whiskey, and Auchentoshan for a triple-distilled taste of the Lowlands.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | C h ich varki n, Hedo n i sm

Chichvarkin, Hedonism, and the Future of Wine Yevgeny Chichvarkin was once responsible for the largest mobile phone company in Russia, one that he founded and nurtured over the course of many years. After making his fortune with the enterprise, Chichvarkin was forced to sell his stake in 2012, after which he launched a new project that has been causing quite a stir in the world of fine wines and spirits. That project is Hedonism Wines.

Said to be worth more than $1.6 billion, Chichvarkin was born in Moscow but currently resides in London. He founded Hedonism Wines in the heart of London’s Mayfair district as a project of passion, but a project with a strong business plan behind it. Since it opened in 2012, Hedonism Wines has become one of the most talked about wine stores in the city, with wine lovers traveling from across the country and even the continent to see it for themselves. Hedonism Wines stocks thousands of rare spirits and fine wines in a vast store. It was created to satisfy people with a genuine passion for quality wines and spirits and resembles the cool, airy, and somewhat eerie atmosphere of a French wine cellar. It feels like you’re walking into a vino-scented Bordeaux cellar, as opposed to an upmarket central London store. That experience isn’t one you need to enjoy alone either. Hedonism Wines hires a team of knowledgeable wine experts to help you discover these wines and uncover their secrets. Many of these experts have worked as sommeliers

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Ar t & Pa ssio n | C hic hvarkin, Hedo nism

in the finest Michelin-starred restaurants. Hedonism Wines promises that once you step foot into the store, they will be at your beck and call. This all sounds like a wine lover’s dream, and that’s exactly the goal of Hedonism Wines. It’s a store for wine lovers, by wine lovers, and that shows in the fine details found throughout every inch of this beautiful building. Hedonism Wines is as much about the wines as it is about the customer. The in-store conditions are carefully controlled to ensure the very best temperature and humidity for their vast collection. As a result, it can feel a little cold. But there’s plenty of alcohol to warm you up and Hedonism Wines invites you to grab a throw and take a seat at their cozy tasting table. Here you can sample a selection of fine vintages, as well as an assortment of newer wines and spirits. They have a number of Enomatic machines, which are quickly becoming the standard in wine shops and wine cellars around the world. These machines act both as a preserver and a dispenser, keeping the

wine fresh, locking in all of those delicate flavors, and offering the customer an easy way to dispense, drink, and taste at the same time. It’s not just about the tasting or the buying either. With Hedonism Wines Chichvarkin has created a store that can both teach you and inspire you as it satisfies your thirst for the finest wines and spirits. It is a building that serves not only as a store, but also as a library of the greatest alcoholic drinks in the world and a school for the people who are passionate about them. Hedonism Wines also has a very strong team working to keep it at the head of the wine retailing industry. As well as the sommeliers keeping customers informed and enlightened, Chichvarkin also plays an active role in the company. In Tatiana Fokina he hired a CEO who is just as passionate about wine and the store as he is, and in Alistair Viner (who once worked for Harrods) he hired a head buyer who understands this industry inside out.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | C h ich varki n, Hedo n i sm

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When it comes time to purchase, you’ll have hundreds of rare and famous wines and spirits to choose from. This includes some of the most sought-after vintage reds, some of the finest brandies and whiskies, and much more. If you’re seeking something specific, just ask one of the Hedonism wine experts, and they’ll source a bottle for you. Hedonism Wines promises to have “something for every wine and spirits lover.” Some of the finer points of their collection include:

outside of his home country by turning himself into a celebrity in the wine industry. He has created a store—an experience, really—that everyone is talking about, and he now has the future of this industry at his fingertips. Whatever the future holds for Chichvarkin and Hedonism Wines, we can be sure they will continue to play a big part in this industry and will remain a great destination—as well as a big competitor—for wine and spirit collectors all over the world.

Massougnes (1805): Hedonism call this “a real piece of liquid history,” and that’s exactly what it is. One of the rarest cognacs in the world, this drink is more than two centuries old and can be traced through the French royal family. It comes in a 3.41 liter demijohn bottle.

Louis XIII Black Pearl: As prized for its content as it is for its presentation, this incredibly rare bottle comes from the private cellar of one of the most distinguished wine collectors in the world. Taylor’s Scion (1855): This is said to be one of the most unique ports ever produced. It was created via a fusion of two old casks, both created prior to the Great French Wine Blight. With so many concerns about counterfeit wines, there is an increasing level of uncertainty in this industry, with buyers not entirely trusting sellers as they once did. But Hedonism Wines promises that the wine you’re viewing, tasting, and buying is exactly what the label promises. They have carefully sourced each and every bottle in their collection. This means a buyer can enjoy the legitimacy that comes with purchasing from an experienced private owner and the security and customer service that comes with buying from a leading retailer. The future is very bright for Chichvarkin and Hedonism Wines. This telecommunications billionaire has given himself a platform

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T h e Fi n e s t Spi ri ts i n New York C i t y

Brandy Library

The Finest Spirits in NYC Promising to raise the bar “one snifter at a time,” Brandy Library is an upmarket bar in the heart of Tribeca, New York City. This is where soothing spirits and exceptional service combine, which is why Brandy Library has been the destination of choice for many of NYC’s liquor lovers since 2004. Brandy Library is luxury liquor at its very best, headed by a French spirits expert, author, and businessman who created this business as a way of showcasing his passion to the world.

Flavien Desoblin | The Beginning Flavien Desoblin is the man behind the brand. Born and raised in Burgundy, France ’most famous for the rich, deep wine of the same name’ Desoblin has won awards for his excellence and his knowledge. He has also written two books on distilling and has diplomas and degrees in the fields of wines, spirits, and distilling. Desoblin founded Brandy Library in 2004. It is located in Lower Manhattan, an area considered one of the most desirable in all of NYC, with a wealthy populace that craves quality and often embraces premium retailers like Brandy Library. Tribeca is home to countless celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, and it’s also popular with successful entrepreneurs. As a result, there is no shortage of wealthy clientele keen to sample the high-end product on offer.

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Brandy Library Tribeca | Immersive atmosphere The aesthetics of Brandy Library is much like the drink from which it takes its name. It’s dark, it’s soothing, it’s warm, and it’s immensely pleasurable from the first sip to the last. There are expert servers and sommeliers on hand to guide you through the menu and explain the history, provenance, and tasting notes of the drinks, while the menu gives you access to the sort of fine liquors that are typically out of reach to the average consumer. The Brandy Library offers over 1600 spirits from all over the world; they also sell food. They’re known for Gougeres gruyère cheese napoleons, a specialty from burgundy. But this is primarily a bar. Customers come here to sample a selection of finest liquors from an extensive menu, all of which is consumed within the cozy confines of the bar. Think of Brandy Library like a fine restaurant but with the world’s best liquors taking the place of Michelin Star cuisine.


The Fi nest Spir its in New Yo rk Cit y

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T h e Fi n e s t Spi ri ts i n New York C i t y

Pouring Cognac Brandy Library Their menu offers an extensive selection of spirits, wines, and cocktails. There is also a small sample of food designed to complement each drink. You can drop by for their dinner menu or for one of their seasonal menus, sampling a pre-selected assortment of food and drink over three or four courses. You can also simply choose your own food and drink, staying for as long as you want and enjoying as much or as little as you need.

Tasting Room Brandy Library | Learning experience Not only is Brandy Library a great place to unwind, to indulge, and to experience rare drinks, but it’s also a great place to learn. They offer classes on fine liquors, brandy tasting, wine tasting, and more. What’s more, they promise to provide an unbiased view. Producers, manufacturers, and marketing agencies are not involved during any stage, which means the customer gets an honest opinion and a guarantee that drinks are chosen because of quality and rarity. For the connoisseur, this is another chance to sample an unbiased selection of fine spirits. For the amateur drinker, this is the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of brown spirits. With a greater understanding comes a greater appreciation, so these classes are recommended to everyone who wants to become more acquainted with the world’s finest liquors.

“With greater understanding comes a greater appreciation.” Flavien Desoblin

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The Fi nest Spir its in New Yo rk Cit y

The Spirit Collection Bars like Brandy Library are a great way to sample the world’s oldest liquors without paying the full-bottle price. Of course, you can purchase by the bottle if you want, but the best way to enjoy Brandy Library is to order by the snifter, sampling the many great spirits on show and traveling a world of taste in one evening.

Brandy Library Tribeca The Brandy Library menu includes the following aged spirits: Scotch: This drink is a favorite with many New York natives, and is said to be the drink of choice for top NYC chef Anthony Bourdain, as well as Manhattan-born Lady Gaga. Some of the best-blended scotch on the Brandy Library menu include a limited edition Johnny Walker Honour and a rare 15-year-old Usquaebach. Their single malt options include a snifter from the limited edition Devil’s Punch Bowl series by Arran, a 25-year-old Highland Park, a 30-year-old Jura, and a 41-year-old Ladyburn. Cognac:  In 2010, Desoblin was named “Cognac Personality of the Year.” This is a favorite drink of his, which is why there is such an eclectic offering of Cognac on the menu. This includes their own private barrel, which is 86 proof and 22 years old; a 1976 Chateau de Beaulon; an assortment of rare Courvoisier bottles; a 1968 Grosperrin; and some of the finest Rémy Martin bottles ever produced. American Spirits: Desoblin understands quality and appreciates that you often have to travel a long way to find the very best spirits. But he is also keen to showcase the best spirits from the Americas, and there is no shortage of quality on offer here either. The Brandy Library collection includes everything from dark, sweet, and sumptuous Caribbean rum, to light and spicy Mexican Mescal, to cozy Kentucky bourbon.

More: You will also find a large selection of Armagnac, one that is almost as diverse as their Cognac selection; an assortment of the finest Calvados; and an offering of Irish and Japanese whiskeys. Make no mistake, Brandy Library is all about spirits; it’s all about quality; and it’s all about offering the best of everything. If this is your passion, then Brandy Library is like a soothing mirage emerging out of the chaos of the Big Apple that becomes a connoisseur’s oasis.

The Brandy Library 5 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013, Phone 212-226-5545

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A r t & Pa s s ion | GHARTRE USE

Chartreuse: History of the Last Word Cocktail Chartreuse, that herbaceous green spirit created by monks in the French Alps. The story of Chartreuse is one of resilience. Exiled twice -first during the French Revolution and later in the 1900s when the French government tried to regulate and control production- the Chartreuse distillery is now comfortably located in the small town of Voiron, France, deep in the Alps.

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Ar t & Pa ssion | GHARTREUS E

There are very few spirits on a bar shelf that command such a level of reverence while having so much of its history and production steeped in mystery. It seems that you can ask five different people to explain what Chartreuse is and be met with five different answers. However, what exactly  is Chartreuse and why has it become so popular again over this last decade?

You can ask five different people to explain what Chartreuse is and be met with five different answers In 1605, a group of Carthusian monks began to produce an elixir with a unique combination of 130 different ingredients. The herbs and spices used in this recipe were sourced from as far away as the Americas and the Orient, and all grown in the

garden located on the monastery grounds in Paris. It wasn’t until 1789, during the French Revolution, that they fled Paris, escaping further south into the Alpine mountains. One monk saved the original recipe for their elixir, and a new distillery was created. In the beginning, Chartreuse was very different from what we know today; it was a potent spirit created for medicinal purposes. To this day, Elixir Vegetal, the original formula, is sold exclusively in pharmacies throughout France. It wasn’t until the 1800s that the Carthusian monks began taking the original recipe and incorporating it into a tasty, liqueur-style spirit. Still using 130 different herbs and spices, the monks also applied a new and very distinct distillation and maceration process that gives Chartreuse its unique color.

The Last Word helped to get Chartreuse off the back bar and into the spotlight where it belongs. The Chartreuse Distillery I was fortunate enough to travel to the  Chartreuse distillery  and receive an extended tour of their operations. While they wouldn’t reveal all the details surrounding its production, here’s what I was able to put together. . . Chartreuse starts off as a neutral brandy that is distilled for over seven hours in hundred-plus-year-old copper stills. During the distillation process, an unknown number of ingredients are added to the still; this is the first infusion process. The remaining herbs are introduced in the Maceration Room, a reserved space on the second floor of the distillery that only the monks are allowed to enter.

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Ar t & Pa ssion | GHARTREUS E

After three weeks of macerating, it spends an unspecified amount of time resting in oak barrels before being bottled. While there are still just two monks at any given time that know the full recipe and maceration process, today a handful of assistants are used. The staff has also been able to streamline different steps of this time-honored process with computers so that the monks can devote more of their time to their monastic lifestyle. Chartreuse as We Know It Today Chartreuse has never been more popular than it is today. Over 50% of all chartreuse produced is exported internationally, with the U.S. taking the crown away from Spain last year as the largest consumer. How did we get here? The answer, mostly, is in a cocktail, The Last Word. An equal parts mixture of gin, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and finally, green chartreuse, this cocktail is shaken with ice and then strained into a chilled coupe glass. The drink was originally featured on the Detroit Athletic Club’s cocktail menu.  The Last Word  sold for 35 cents and in 1916, was the most expensive drink on the menu. After prohibition, it was featured in the 1951 classic cocktail book  Bottoms Up! and attributed Frank Fogarty as its creator. Fast-forward to 2004, when bartender Murray Stetson of Seattle’s Zig Zag Café stumbled onto the recipe and the rest, as they say, is history. Guests immediately fell in love with the combination of flavors, and it quickly worked its way to the East Coast bartending scene where it further cemented itself as a classic that is here to stay.

The Last Word: .75 lime juice .75 Maraschino Liqueur .75 Vigilant Gin .75 Green Chartreuse Fill a shaker tin with all the ingredients, add ice, and shake vigorously for thirty seconds. Then, strain the blend into a chilled coupe glass. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts If the story of Chartreuse is one of resilience, then the story of its favored cocktail is one of redemption. The Last Word helped to get Chartreuse off the back bar and into the spotlight where it belongs. In today’s bartending world, a skilled bartender has just as much respect for it as a serious ingredient in a cocktail as the monks do when they create this amazing spirit. And, they’ve been doing just that since 1605.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | TH E N E AT GLAS

A New Way to Enjoy Whiskey: An Interview with the Creators of the NEAT Glass As a teenager, I developed a rather unfortunate habit of drinking warm whiskey straight from the bottle. I wasn’t an alcoholic; I was just lazy. Over time, as I began to appreciate whiskey for more than its alcohol content, I had to drink it neat. I didn’t get the same satisfaction from adding water or ice and, quite frankly, whiskey and coke made me gag. Many whiskey drinkers would agree. They believe that adding water changes the drink completely and therefore ruins the experience. I wouldn’t quite go that far; as far as I’m concerned, if you pay over $100 for a premium whiskey, then you’re entitled to do as you please with it.

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Ar t & Pa ssio n | TH E NEAT GLAS

You can add water, ice, or a bag of Skittles if you want

This glass is designed as much for the casual drinker as it is for tasting bars and whiskey enthusiasts

You can add water, ice, or a bag of Skittles if you want, others believe that a little water or ice helps bring out the complex flavors while also reducing the alcohol burn, which would otherwise make it difficult to truly enjoy the aroma and flavor of the drink. This is the “Xbox versus PlayStation” of the whiskey world. You pick a side, make your allegiances, and fight to the death. But this war of words has a new tool and one that could change the way we enjoy whiskey. That tool is the NEAT Glass.

This glass is currently being shipped all over the world and costs just £12.99 each. NEAT’s European distributor is Beaumont PPS Ltd., based in Glasgow, and they sent me a couple. I expected something flimsy, much like your average snifter. But what I got was a solid glass. I personally hate drinking from snifters — they are too dainty, too breakable. But the NEAT glass felt more like a tumbler, which was a pleasant surprise. And it worked. You really do feel like you’re getting more from the whiskey. I even tested it on a friend and fellow whiskey lover. I poured the same drink — a 12-year-old Macallan — into two glasses: a NEAT glass and a snifter glass. After several minutes of sniffing, sipping, and deliberating (which was basically his way of stalling so that he could drink all my whiskey), he concluded that the NEAT glass contained the higher quality whiskey. It’s not exactly the most scientific approach, but this glass is designed as much for the casual drinker as it is for tasting bars and whiskey enthusiasts. And as this product gathers momentum and gains followers, it seems like the experts appreciate it as much as casual drinkers.

NEAT stands for “Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology,” but the acronym is not just a happy accident. The glass was given its name because it was designed to help you enjoy whiskey neat. The shape of the glass directs the intense alcohol burn away from the nose, allowing you to inhale the aroma without the astringency. In other words, you don’t need ice or water. You don’t need to taint your drink with anything other than what the distiller intended.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | TH E N E AT GLAS

So, how did this glass come into being? What was the process behind it? I sat down with the inventors, George Manska and Christine Crnek, to discuss their creative process and learn about the impact their new drinking vessel is having. You described the invention of the NEAT glass as a “glass blowing mistake.” How long before you realized that you might have, inadvertently, created something special? I brought the oddly flared glass from the glassblowing class home and placed it in a curio cabinet in the living room. About two months later I came home with a bottle of cask strength Macallan scotch and realized my regular scotch glasses were in the dishwasher. As I closed the door and turned around, the flared glass met my eye and seemed to be calling to me “use me, use me.” I did, and it changed my life forever, taking Christine and I on a ten-year quest to find the perfect, scientifically designed shape for a spirit glass. As I closed the door and turned around, the flared glass met my eye and seemed to be calling to me “use me, use me” It has taken a long time for the industry to move away from snifters. Why do you think this is? Sifters utilize a huge bowl to allow more air to mix with the evaporating aromas. The problem with snifters is that more air

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volume just gives more room for alcohol to fill the air space. If the concentration of alcohol in the spirit is 40 percent, you can bet the concentration in the snifter is much higher, since the alcohol evaporates easiest and quickest. Since the snifter rim is much smaller than the maximum bowl diameter, you have collected all the alcohol right at your nose, and a couple of sniffs will take most of the olfactory sensors out of action, ruining your sense of smell and judgment. If you refer to the tulip-shaped glasses, they originated from the copita, a glass borrowed over two centuries ago from the sherry producers of Spain, as Great Britain began to dominate world trade and brought Spanish sherry to England. There are three main reasons they have stuck around so long. One, lack of forward thinking. No one ever believed it was possible to separate the alcohol aroma from the spirits’ other characteristic aromas, and it was easier just to devise ways to get around it: adding water, wafting, breathing through the mouth and nose simultaneously, etc. Two, it was always assumed that collecting all aromas together in a tight little opening under the nose would ensure that none could escape detection, in spite of the fact that it also concentrates the nose burn. Three, add to those [a] reluctance to change, and you can understand the tremendous inertia which contributed to the long life of copita and chimney-style glassware.


Ar t & Pa ssio n | TH E NEAT GLAS

The glass will tell you the quality of any spirit if used properly There are only three products in the NEAT range right now. Do you have plans to launch anymore? Those three are all actually the same design, and the “Experience” glass is a limited handcrafted, mouth-blown edition, which will be discontinued when stock runs out. The “Artisan” glass is made of European crystalline and is our mainstay for the collector and true aficionado, and the “Ultimate” glass is our bar- and restaurantgrade glass. We have already begun to insert our patented science into the next evolution of beer and wine glasses. Our science is a game changer. What is the perfect way to enjoy spirits using the NEAT glass? If you use the same methods you have been using with the copitastyle glassware you will completely miss the point of the NEAT glass. The best way is to swirl, hold glass level, and sniff at the center of the rim plane (through the nose only, mouth closed), sip, and savor. Do not add water, ice, or mixers (hence the name NEAT). The heavier character aromas can be detected without alcohol interference in the center, and you can pick up the lighter aromas as you move the nose closer to the rim. Alcohol flows over the rim, so right at the rim edge is the best place to evaluate light aromas.

Is NEAT available all over the world? If not, do you have plans to launch it globally? We are truly excited about the reception of the glass all over the world. Not only are we selling to restaurants, bars, and their suppliers, but also to the major spirits competitions who use it exclusively as their official judging glass. NEAT works for all spirits, because it’s all about handling high alcohol content. It makes no difference if you love whiskey, scotch, tequila, rum, gin, cognac, or after dinner drinks: NEAT will greatly enhance your personal enjoyment. We have distribution in the UK, Denmark, Taiwan, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and the Caribbean, and are actively searching for capable experienced distributors in other countries, including Europe and Japan.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | TH E N E AT GLAS

A New Way to Enjoy Whiskey

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Ar t & Pa ssio n | TH E NEAT GLAS

The NEAT Glass

What has been your biggest market for the NEAT glass?

Are you working on any other products?

The rum and tequila markets love the NEAT glass, and we are also the official glass of the Irish Whiskey Awards. Craft distillers of all spirits in the United States are using our glass in their tasting rooms and selling them in their gift shops. Much of the distribution is done online, and you only have to read the comments to see what a fantastic success we have achieved.

In addition, we are developing beer and wine glasses to round out our product line. All our products are based on science to coax out the best display of aromas for proper evaluation of the beverage and maximize the enjoyment of drinking like never before. What’s your favorite tipple to enjoy in the NEAT glass? George: It depends on my mood. Sometimes I love to sit by the fireplace and savor a great cognac, and on other days, I enjoy a great Speyside scotch or delicate Genever. I drink all spirits NEAT, slightly cooler than room temperature, and the NEAT glass lets me savor the changes that occur as spirit opens up. Christine: In the winter I lean toward a smoky Islay or a nutty sherry, in the summer I love a Speyside, like Macallan, or a barrel strength bourbon. You can learn more about the NEAT Glass by visiting the official website at TheNEATGlass.com or TheNEATGlass.uk *With thanks to George Manska, Christina Crnek, and Gustavo Gonzalez at Beaumont PPS Ltd.

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BE ST D I N I NG I N S PA IN | E L C E LLAR D E C AN R OC A

Best dining in Spain: Girona,

El Celler de Can Roca Many people, especially a foodie like myself, can appreciate a unique dining experience. One where not only the food “but also the wine, service, and ambiance� are each as exceptional as the other.

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B EST D INING IN SPAIN | EL C ELLAR DE C AN R OC A

As a chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I’ve been educated and trained by the industry’s best. In my years of experience, I’ve learned the details, the techniques, and the difficulties of creating each dish. But above all, I’ve learned the flavors! As I was traveling through Spain this past year, I was lucky enough to discover one of the finest restaurants I’ve ever visited. An establishment that delivers all the essential elements for an exceptional dining experience: food, service, decor, wine, and creativity. Welcome to El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia, Spain!

The three brothers Josep, Joan, and Jordi Roca are the owners. Each has individually earned an impressive reputation in the restaurant business, and they have come together to create what many consider the best dining experience in the world. Mentioned several times in the Michelin Guide, El Celler de Can Roca was ranked first in the annual “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list by Restaurant Magazine in 2013 and 2015 (and was named fifth best in 2009, fourth best in 2010, and second best in both 2011 and 2012). The same magazine in 2014 also named Jordi Roca the World’s Best Pastry Chef.

They have come together to create what many consider the best dining experience in the world

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Best dining in Spain: Girona, El Celler de Can Roca

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B EST D INING IN SPAIN | EL C ELLAR DE C AN R OC A

Location Located in Girona, Catalonia, just north of Barcelona in northeastern Spain, El Celler de Can Roca is near Devesa Park, perhaps best known for being the plantation for the plane trees that line the famous Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It is also near the Church of Sant Feliu, known for its life-size 14th-century “Recumbent Christ” and its sarcophaguses dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries. The restaurant originally opened in 1986 in a building close to the Can Roca restaurant owned by the brothers’ parents, but El Celler de Can Roca’s current location—designed as a restaurant to give the brothers more room—opened in 2007.

At midnight on the first of each month, the restaurant opens bookings online Booking and Dress As with many of the best restaurants in the world, you will have to book early to secure a reservation. In the case of El Celler de Can Roca, this means eleven months early! At midnight on the first of each month, the restaurant opens bookings online. To assure yourself a table eleven months later, you will need to make your reservation as quickly as possible.

When booking, you will be asked for a debit or credit card. As with other establishments in Girona, there is no specific dress code for El Celler de Can Roca. Clean casual is the norm during the day; sports coats, shirt, and tie for men are more frequent in the evening. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays, Tuesday mornings, and some holidays. The Setting El Celler de Can Roca’s kitchen is comprised of an impressive warren of small rooms, each packed with state of the art equipment. Diners oftentimes are invited to take a tour around the kitchen or the equally impressive wine cellar. The dining area, which usually caters to around forty-five guests, is equally impressive. To take best advantage of the views through its glass walls, you should make your reservation for daylight hours. The service is also awe-inspiring, with the wait staff battling the thirty-five chefs for excellence.

Even the most discerning wine connoisseurs will find something to suit their palate among the sixty thousand wines on offer

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Best dining in Spain: Girona, El Celler de Can Roca Wine Any wine connoisseur will take notice of a restaurant whose wine cellar is as large as its kitchen. In the case of El Celler de Can Roca, the brothers take as much interest in their wine offerings as they do their dishes. Even the most discerning wine connoisseurs will find something to suit their palate among the sixty thousand wines on offer. And at El Celler de Can Roca wine is not restricted to the wine glass; it is also used generously in the kitchen, adding unique tastes to many of the restaurant’s specialty dishes. The Food Good food, of course, is why most people go to a restaurant. At El Celler de Can Roca no diner leaves disappointed. There is an amazing array of culinary delights to satisfy even the most selective food lover: Pigs trotter carpaccio with penny bun (boletus edulis) oil According to Joan Roca, this is the first new dish he was actually happy with, using his unique imagination for flavors to provide a restaurant favorite. Chicken legs with prawns This is the restaurant’s version of “Surf and Turf” and one of the few dishes that cater to traditional tastes. Cod with spinach, raisins, and pine kernels This still popular firstcourse offering has been available at the restaurant since 1997. Caviar with hens’ eggs This is just one of the restaurant’s many dishes that blends the sweetness of the earth with the salt of the sea. Desserts With one of the owners considered by many to be the world’s best pastry chef, the choice of desserts is as impressive as the main courses, if not more so. Conclusion I hope you have found the answer to the question “Why do I need to eat at El Celler de Can Roca when I visit Barcelona?” Especially since Girona is only forty minutes away via the AVE high-speed train. If you are concerned about what you may want to try at this unique restaurant, there are set menus available “some of which offer more than twenty courses” which will afford you the opportunity to sample a wide variety of unique tastes. A different wine is served with each of the main courses, so each dish and wine pairing complement each other, offering the diner the best culinary experience possible.

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The only downside is the requirement to book a reservation and then wait eleven months to enjoy the experience. But the wait is always worth it.

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A r t & Pa s s ion | Wal l ace C h an

Wallace Chan Hong Kong-based Wallace Chan is one of the most gifted designers of his generation.

His work has featured in exclusive art fairs and exhibitions around the world, selling for tens of millions of dollars. In 1987, Chan created the “Wallace Cut,” a technique that involves carving intricate designs into gemstones. This technique has featured prominently in Chan’s work since then, earning him countless accolades and guaranteeing a place in the annals of art history. In March 2017, Chan will be showing his creations at Maastricht TEFAF for the second time. He will be one of the biggest artists featuring at this prestigious art fair, and we have managed to secure an exclusive interview with him before he prepares his final showcase.

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How would you describe your average buyer? “People who collect jewelry art pieces are successful and confident individuals. They are cultivated persons with a great passion for life and art as well as knowledge in gemstones and jewelry. Artistic values and refined craftsmanship particularly appeal to them. They also prefer jewelry pieces that are unique. They are not confined by tradition and trends, but they do feel engaged with pieces that come with stories and meanings. My collectors appreciate the spirit of the works. ‘Resonance’ is the key word in our artist-collector relationship.” During an interview with Hong Kong Tatler, you described your creative process as “mercurial” and your mindset as “rebellious.” Can you tell us a little more about this process? Change, transformation, and enhancement are three major processes to embrace when I try to create a piece. In the creative process, a design sketch is two-dimensional. No matter how attractive or beautiful the sketch looks, it is just a reminder to me, a way to quickly jot down my idea. The idea must then be re-formed during the process of 3D production when it enters the dimensions of craftsmanship, colors, and light. Therefore, the original idea is constantly twisted and enhanced. This process comes with numerous factors of change–and so mercurial it is. “Curiosity is my biggest drive” “To show respect, I rebel. By rebelling against traditions, I pay respect to the past. By rebelling against the status quo, I pay respect to the present. By rebelling against myself, I pay respect to the future. I believe in thinking outside the box. It is also the respect I pay to each gemstone I use.” How has your creative process been altered by improvements in technology over the last few decades? “Technology has fascinated me since I was young. Whenever I hear of a technology exhibition, I am eager to pay it a visit. Such curiosity for technology has helped my research in metallurgy. “More than a decade ago I read about the pacemaker, and it led

me to research on titanium, a bio-friendly, colorful, light, hard and extremely strong, space-age metal. Using the pacemaker as the starting point, I began my researches in titanium. After 8 years of repeated experiments, I found the ways to freely apply titanium in the creation of jewelry art. “After titanium, I became interested in nanotechnology. By deconstructing and reconstructing a piece of gold, I alter its physical properties. “The improvements in technology have affected our life in many aspects. But as a person whose sole passion is to create, one of the biggest advantages, the improvements of technology, have brought a smoother, freer creative space than before.” You have studied many art disciplines throughout your career, including painting. Has this influenced your work in any way, do you still find time to paint yourself? When it comes to art creation, painters use paint, musicians use notes, and jewelry creators use gemstones. Like paintings, sculptures, music, and poetry, jewelry is a form of expression. I started as a carver in 1973, and since then I have been creating using different materials. From opaque gemstones to transparent gemstones, translucent gemstones, wood, steel, gold, platinum, silver, copper, porcelain, and titanium, etc.., I apply my experiences and knowledge as a carver and sculptor on jewelry creation. I constantly nurture my skills and thinking through the learning of other art forms such as Chinese ink painting, oil painting, music, poetry, and architecture. I believe that all art forms share a common origin.” “My favorite place to see art is the microscope” What project are you working on now? “Creation-wise, I am always working on many projects at once, numerous jewelry pieces, large-scale titanium sculptures, and paintings, as well as different experiments in metallurgy. But event-wise, I am happy to announce my upcoming talk at Central Saint Martins, London on 7 March, where I will be sharing my experiences with inspiring educations and aspiring students. After that, I will be exhibiting at Maastricht TEFAF for the second time.”

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What’s the most indispensable item in your studio? “Me. I have to be there. Every time I am away from the workshop I feel like a fish out of water. I cannot live without it, and it doesn’t have a life without me.” Do you have a favorite alcoholic tipple? “No, I don’t. But the taste of wine or liquor gives me fascinating experiences. When the alcohol touches the tip of my tongue, it seems that I could discover the journey it has been on: from the growth of fruits and its time in the oak barrel to its fermentation process and its intensity. I seldom drink, but when I do, my excited taste buds send signals of an enriching experience straight to my brain. As the alcohol enters my stomach through my mouth, and the sensory signals reach my brain, it feels as if my soul was cleansed in a moment.” Do you have a favorite post-gallery watering hole or restaurant? “If I have to name a place, it would still be my workshop. I order simple takeaways from the nearby restaurants so I do not need to leave my creative process.”

The life of an artist can be lonely, with long hours and little interaction. What do you do to counteract this? “It is difficult to feel lonely as I constantly interact with all things. Through a gemstone, I communicate with the universe. Through an antique artifact, I converse with people in the past. Through different kinds of media, I connect with the subjects of my creations, be it a fish, a fairy, a dragon, or a butterfly. The joy of creation keeps me away from any sense of loneliness.” Who’s your favorite living artist? “Art is too big a category. I admire many artists and enjoy seeing and experiencing new art pieces all the time. I have admired director Ang Lee and architect I. M. Pei for a long time. But when it comes to my favorite, it has to be Mother Nature. Her creations are everywhere and ever-energetic. Even an ant is a magnificent art piece.” What’s the last artwork you purchased? “I bought a white Carrara marble sculpture by Pio Fedi titled Immortalita (1883) and a marble sculpture by Hiram Powers titled Ginevra (1863-1873).” If you could own any piece of art from history, what would it be? “There is nothing that we can truly own on earth. Even if I buy an object, I do not truly own it. I would love to own more time than I do now so I can keep creating more and more. My creations will always be mine, but it is my wish to give them to history.” What is the biggest driving force behind your career? Why do you do what you do? Curiosity is my biggest drive. When I was 5 years old, I moved to Hong Kong from China with my family. We were poor and so I was unable to receive a formal education. By 9 years old, I found a rooftop school that would accept me. But by 13 years, old I had to quit school to work full-time. After a few years of odd jobs, my uncle introduced me to work at his friend’s gemstone carving workshop. “I understood that I had to acquire a skill to make a living and so my life-long love affair with gemstones began. 9 months later. I left the workshop to work on

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my own as my curiosity grew to a point where I could no longer allow myself to spend my time doing repetitive, low-quality production and not explore the fascinating world of gemstone carving. At that time I was 17 years old. “44 years have passed now and I am still curious as a child, waking up with the eyes of a newborn daily. The creative process is a process in which I am constantly looking for the answers to life, the world, and the universe.” What role does the artist have in society? “It really depends on the vision of each individual artist. When art is free, the artist is, too. But generally speaking, an artist expands the viewers’ experiences. Through an artist’s works, the viewers are stimulated to expand their time and space, reaching out to the past, the here and now, and the future, as well as places that they are familiar or not familiar with. A quality art experience gives the viewers transcendental experiences.” What art do you most identify with? “Art is art, although there are many different art forms. I embrace all and choose not to be confined to any formats. Art is often born where the seemingly most irrelevant ideas connect ingeniously.” What’s your favorite place to see art? “When I am in Hong Kong, I often go to the Gagosian Gallery in Central. When I exhibit at TEFAF, I love the fact that all the best galleries are there. I visit the Venice Biennale every two years and Art Basel every year. Wherever I go, I always make sure that I pay a visit to the local museums. “But my favorite place to see art is the microscope. When I place a gemstone underneath a microscope, I enlarge it to one thousandth of a micrometer to see the crystal structure of different forms and colors. It is just like a universe, which contains mountains and waters. When I continue to enlarge it to one hundred thousandth of a micrometer, I discover the greatness of the universe where I no longer see mountains and waters. When I am overwhelmed by nature’s sublime, I feel the smallness of my own being.”

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LUX E RY & TRAV E L | F r ac tion al O w n e rsh ip

Fractional Ownership vs

Buying a Private Jet There is no denying the comfort and the accessibility provided by a private jet. Air travel is something that most of us dread, however, something that is often essential. When you factor in the time at the check-in desk, the time spent waiting around at customs and immigration control, plus waiting for your bags and waiting for delays; it’s a nightmare that can sap hours from your working day or your holiday. Private jets can reduce that wasted time, making everything quicker, easier, and considerably more comfortable. What are the Benefits of a Private Jet? On average, private jets can land at ten times as many airports as commercial airliners. As a result, there’s no need to land at an airport that is miles away from your destination—no one wants to have to worry about taxis, trains, or car rentals after spending hours cramped into a tight, uncomfortable seat. With private jets, you don’t even need to worry about cramped seats because you have the entire plane to yourself. You can sit, lie down, and even go for a walk if you want to. It’s your plane so you can do whatever you want. Furthermore, if you have a private jet, you can reduce the time spent on security and immigration, with the average wait being just 5 minutes. You have more privacy and more safety. Simply put, a private jet turns a situation that none of usare happy with into one that we all enjoy. If you have the money and you fly over

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LUXERY & TRAV EL | Fr ac tional Ownership

If you have the money and you fly over 250 hours a year, then a private jet is something you need to consider

250 hours a year, then a private jet is something you need to consider. If money is little tight and you’re wondering whether it’s worth stretching your budget that far just for the sake of comfort, speed, and accessibility, then there might be a better way: fractional ownership. It is not for everyone, however, if you travel about 25 hours a year, fractional ownership is feasible, and there are almost as many positives to fractional ownership as there are to owning a private jet outright.

What is Fractional Ownership? As the name suggests, fractional ownership essentially allows you to purchase a share in a private jet. Fractional ownership first came onto the market in 1986 when it was announced by NetJets, who remain the dominant players in this industry. It allows you to pay a smaller fee while still getting many of the benefits. You can change your flight at the last minute, you can request specific catering preferences, and you can even apply for a different plane.

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Fractional Ownership vs Buying a Private Jet

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Because while you may be purchasing 1/4, 1/8, or 1/16 of a private jet, you’re not actually buying a single jet and are just acquiring the benefits that come with it. Honda’s advanced light jet, HondaJet, features several innovations that help it achieve far better fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed than conventional aircraft in its class. The result of 20 years of aviation research, critical HondaJet innovations include a patented over-thewing engine mount configuration, a natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and an advanced all-composite fuselage structure. Flexjet, another global player, will offer access to a private jet with just 10 hours notice. You can also avoid those long lines at security and can be in the air just a few minutes after you arrive at the airport. It’s all the privacy, speed, and accessibility that comes with owning a private jet, but you don’t own a private jet, and therein lies the problem. With fractional ownership, you’re paying for a service, as opposed to any part of a private plane. The amount that you own will dictate how many hours you can spend in the air. Flexjet shares begin at 50 hours per year and increase from there, with the price you pay depending on the type of aircraft and service you want, as well as the amount of air miles you purchase. Fractional Ownership vs. Your Own Private Jet Fractional ownership is essentially a way of paying a lot of extra money to take a step beyond first-class. If you can’t bear the wait or the restrictions imposed on commercial airlines and you’re happy to pay the extra fee, then it’s worth it. You don’t own the jet or any part of it, but during those few hours that you spend in the air, it can feel like you do. You can benefit from quicker and easier air travel, and you can also enjoy all of the other benefits afforded to private jet owners, from catering to flying with pets. If you have the extra money to pay for a private jet, there really is no comparison. With a private jet, you get complete control. You have the final say on everything and it’s your plane from the first flight to the last. No one will board it without your say so, and you can hire everyone from the pilot to the onboard staff. Private Jet selection In the very light Private Jet class, the HondaJet will outperform all other aircraft. It will get four people from New York to Miami in under 3 hours. Cost $4.5 million.

The fuel cost per seat per nautical mile is a mere 20 cents. The Bombardier Challenger 350 is the market leader in the Super Midsize Private Jet class. It takes ten passengers from London to New York in about 6.5 hours. Cost $25.9 million Bombardier Challenger Global 6000 In the large private jet class, the Bombardier Global 6000 will allow for up to 13 passengers to travel with you. It was designed to enable you to conduct a business meeting and to get a good night’s sleep before you land. It can fly you from London to Aspen non-stop. A new Bombardier Global 6000 has a list price of $60 million. Moreover, if you take away the initial cost of the jet, it’s also much cheaper to fly with your own jet. You’re saving a lot of money for every hour you spend in the air because you’re

not paying for the privilege of renting a private plane. And because you own this aircraft, it will always be yours to sell, allowing you to recoup some of your investment. If you fly many hundreds of hours a year, a private jet could pay for itself within a decade, while a fractional ownership scheme will forever eat into your bank balance. Money is usually no object in the luxury world of private jets, but in this case, it makes all the difference. In fact, it’s the only defining factor in the question of whether to opt for a fractional ownership scheme or your own private jet.

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Exclusive HeliYoga Experience Las Vegas A trip to Las Vegas isn’t typically viewed as a physical and spiritual journey, but a rare aviation-yoga experience may just change your perspective. A partnership between Las Vegas-based companies, Maverick Helicopters and Silent Savasana, HeliYoga – Limitless transports participants to an open-air sanctuary where few men and women have boldly gone before atop the fiery-red, natural sandstone formations on the highest peak at Valley of Fire State Park in the southwest United States. You can’t drive to this peak. You can’t hike there. It’s only accessible via helicopter.

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The yoga itself is unbelievable, but the location is what really creates the experience On this remote cliff, sounded by scenic views and open skies, students unfurl their yoga mats for a 75-minute, instructor-led class focusing on balance, discipline, focus, determination and strength of mind. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, said Bryan Kroten, vice president of marketing at Maverick Helicopters. “The vibrancy of the area is second to none,” he said. “Doing yoga … you feel like you’re on a pinnacle.” Silent Savasana creator Dray Gardener joked that the Valley of Fire spot looks like Mars. He’s not alone in his unearthly assessment. Scenes portraying Mars in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film Total Recall were shot at Valley of Fire. It was also used to represent planet Veridian III on Star Trek: Generations. “Very few feet have touched this space and that in and of itself, is really one of a kind,” said Gardener. “It’s an amazing spot to do yoga.”

It’s just you, the Valley of Fire and the practice Kroten described it as the world’s most exclusive experience of its kind. For $3,499, a group of six is transported along with an instructor in a tourism-based helicopter, the Airbus EC130/H130 ECO-Star, equipped with voice-activated headsets, leather seating and large windows. The two-and-a-half-hour package starts with a limo ride to the Maverick Helicopters terminal and ends with a champagne toast and flight over downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip. Participants receive a yoga mat from Lululemon at Las Vegas’ Fashion Show Mall. “We’re always looking at different ways to create bucket list experiences for people,” he said, noting that in addition to yoga enthusiasts, the package is good for someone celebrating a special birthday or a bachelorette party.

“The yoga itself is unbelievable, but the location is what really creates the experience,” added Kroten. “It feels like you’re literally on top of the world.”

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L I F E STYL E & FASH IO N | LUX E RY T IM E PIE C E S

Audemars Piguet Watches The Height of Luxury Timepieces Forbes, CNN, ABC, and The Watch Book have all listed Audemars Piguet (AP) as one of the very best luxury watch brands in the world. This is a brand that doesn’t quite have the commercial reach of Rolex or Tag, but it is a brand that is revered in certain circles and practically worshiped by horologists. Classified as an “ultra-luxury” brand, Audemars Piguet is a step above the brands you thought were the most prestigious and sought-after. It is an exclusive, upmarket brand that is relatively unknown to the general public but has a history and a status that many of its competitors can only dream of. What is Audemars Piguet? All Audemars Piguet watches are made in the Le Brassus region, described on the AP website as “a region that beats to the tune of complicated watch mechanisms.” These watches are individual works of art, as Audemars Piguet employs true master craftspeople. This has been the company’s passion for over 140 years, and all of that experience, that skill, and that history can be found in every single AP timepiece.

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L I F E STYL E & FASH IO N | LUX E RY T IM E PIE C E S

Audemars Piguet Watches The Height of Luxury Timepieces AP watches use complex movement and chiming mechanisms, incorporating elements of astronomy. All of their watches benefit from the very best Swiss timekeeping, telling the exact time to within one-fifth of a second and using dozens of components to achieve such accuracy. The company was the first to use tourbillions in their watches, which improved time-keeping precision by accounting for the effects of gravity on a watch’s mechanism, and something that previous technology had not been able to manage. The History of Audemars Piguet The history of AP goes back to long before Audemars Piguet was branded on a watch. The unique geology of the Vallée de Joux made this Swiss mountain region a mecca for watchmakers. Families in the region would use locally extracted iron oxide to craft timepieces during the winter, ensuring they had enough money to get by.Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Selfwinding his is the region where Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet were born. In 1875 these two childhood friends began working together to produce watches that were more complex than anything then being produced. The skills passed down through their families, as well as the methods they learned through a lifetime of tinkering, allowed them to craft beautiful, exquisite, and intricate watches that instantly found a place in the market. Before long they were manufacturing complex watches for world-renowned companies, such as Tiffany & Co., and soon their brand spread around the world. Over the years they introduced new elements to their watches, making them even more complex and bringing innovations to the industry. By 1919 both of the founders had passed away and the business passed onto their children, who continued to grow the brand. To this day AP remains in the hands of the descendants of Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. These days AP employs over 1,450 workers around the globe and their watches can be found in stores in 88 countries. The company’s annual revenue is currently $600 million. AP manufactures around 40,000 timepieces, a fraction of the watches made by brands like Rolex and Tag. The Audemars Piguet Collection AP watches have been worn by countless celebrities over the years, some of whom have acted as ambassadors of the brand. These include Barcelona and

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LIFESTYL E & FASHION | LUXERY TI MEPI ECES

Argentina forward Lionel Messi, Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, former top-ranked men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic, heavyweight boxing great Muhammad Ali, and Hollywood-icon Arnold Schwarzenegger. The ultra-luxury status of the Audemars Piguet brand, as well as the exceptional designs, the jaw-dropping aesthetics, and the intricate mechanisms found in every piece, is what attracts such big names to this watchmaker. Stars of the stage, screen, and sports have coveted this brand for decades, wearing some of their most exclusive pieces, including: Classic Collection: If you prefer your watch to have a little more innate value, the Equation of Time collection could be what you’re looking for. These watches combine precious metal cases with a real leather strap and all the beauty and movement you would expect in an AP watch. Jules Audemars Self-Winding Watch:  Another classic style, this watch has a bracelet strap made of 18k pink gold. The case is also pink gold and is set with beautiful diamonds, adding some glitz and glamor to a timepiece that has a retail price of around $50,000. How to Purchase an Audemars Piguet AP watches are available in luxury boutiques around the world. Watches retail anywhere from $2,000 for a pre-owned classic, to over $1 million. As with other luxury brands, these timepieces are considered an investment and a collectible as much as a fashion statement. Some of the older watches have actually increased in value, both because of their rarity and their age. If you don’t have tens of thousands to spend on a watch, you might want to consider purchasing a preowned Audemars Piguet. These tend to be very well looked after. The watches themselves are made to last, with scratchproof glass and reliable components. The owners also do their best to keep them in good condition, because if you spend more than $10,000 on a watch, you’re going to make sure it’s well cared for. Of course, the better the condition, the more you pay, but you can still shave a considerable amount of money off the recommended retail price by purchasing your Audemars Piguet timepiece secondhand. Pre-owned, brand new, limited edition, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a collector, an investor, or just someone who loves watches, this is one brand that you need to have in your collection.

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R u m’s Co n n ec tion To T h e Se a

Rum’s Connection To The Sea For a spirit made from sugar, rum has been a favorite concoction of the “old salts” of the world’s navies and merchant fleets for hundreds of years. By happy coincidence for British sailors, England captured Jamaica in 1655, just about the time rum was first being distilled in the Caribbean. Captains began allotting their shipmates rations of rum and lime juice. The juice warded off scurvy, and the alcohol killed the bacteria that often made the ships’ water supply questionable.

By the end of the century, thousands of sugarcane fields and processing factories could be found throughout the Caribbean, South America, and Mexico. Sadly, the booming industry formed an integral leg in the slave trade. European and American ships plied the waters of the Atlantic. They bought or captured slaves in Africa and sold them in the West Indies, where they bought molasses and sugar cane. They sold

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No self-respecting pirate ever actually sang, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”

these products to processing plants and distilleries in New England, where they loaded up their ships with textiles, other manufactured goods, and rum. Returning across the Atlantic, traders sold the rum and other cargo to procure more slaves, renewing the “triangle trade.” Less reputable “sailors” also took a liking to rum. Though no self-respecting pirate ever actually sang, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum,” the infamous Blackbeard

knew the value of plentiful grog. “Rum all out. Our company somewhat sober….Rogues plotting. Talk of separation,” he wrote in his journal. “I captured a ship with a large amount of liquor aboard…so all things went well again.” While Blackbeard and his fellow Buccaneers worried little about the amount of rum they consumed, the British Navy, which made rum rations official in 1731, started cutting its sailors allotment.

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R u m’s Co n n ec tion To T h e Se a

Rhum’s connection with the sea and sailors goes back to its very beginning. Originally cultivated in Papua New Guinea, sugarcane flourished throughout the sub-tropical climates of India, northern Africa, and the Mediterranean It found similar success after Christopher Columbus took samples with him to the New World in 1493. After extracting sugar crystals, processors were left with dark, sticky, unusable molasses. Molasses was so worthless that sugar manufacturers fed it to slaves and livestock or dumped it into the ocean. Eventually, some molasses fermented in the humidity, just about the time the British Navy landed on Jamaica. French possessions in the Caribbean also cashed in on rum. In fact, it was a French clergyman, Jean Baptiste Labat, who perfected the distillation of sugar wine. By the early 1800s, however, the British produced rums of superior quality. They were the first to isolate the heart of the distillate, removing harmful methanol and unpalatable heads and tails. By the end of the century, France and some other European nations invested in domestic sugar beets. The strategy not only glutted world markets with sugar but also limited the amount of molasses

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“The vice of drunkenness is but too visibly increasing in our mariners,” observed Admiral Edward Vernon, as he ordered the daily half-pint ration diluted with a quart of water.

available for rum producers in French colonies (beet sugar does not produce molasses). France’s possessions in the West Indies, notably Guadeloupe and Martinique, responded by creating rums directly from sugarcane juice, rather than processing the cane to obtain molasses. The shortcut liquor, rum Agricole, may have saved the islands’ rum industry. Demand for Caribbean rum increased with the onset of World War I. Soldiers required

rum’s liquid courage to face another day in the trenches, and high-proof alcohol was required for bomb production. During Prohibition in the United States (1920-1933) “rum runners” such as Bill McCoy smuggled rum from the Caribbean into Florida for distribution throughout the country. Known for never watering down his contraband, the bootlegger’s quality booze became known as “the real McCoy.”

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Forgotten History:

Champagne Bollinger Uncovers Its Roots Old Liquors Magazine joins Bollingers’ Guy Rivoire for a tasting of vintage Champagne.

In 2010 an intern was sent into the labyrinth-like cellars at Champagne Bollinger in Aÿ, France to begin cataloging some of the three-quarters of a million bottles. What he stumbled upon re-wrote Bollinger history, brought the past to life, caused a sensation at Sotheby’s, and is now the must-see destination in Aÿ. Champagne Bollinger was served at the real life wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in London in 1981 and is the Champagne of choice for the fictional James Bond. Aside from that Bollinger is a circumspect Champagne House, not seeking attention for itself. Established in 1829 it is certainly not one of the oldest houses; Maison Runiart began a century earlier, Taittinger was founded in 1734, and Veuve Clicquot in 1772. But Bollinger has established itself as one of the premier houses, adamantly devoted to quality. It’s not a long drive from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Aÿ in Champagne’s heart and when I arrive it’s late, so I head to the nearby hotel and wait for morning. I walk through the compact unassuming village, observing the cemetery abutting the vineyards, walk down the street, and turn into the magnificent edifice of Bollinger. I’m here to see and to taste history.

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Intern reveals small compartments behind dozens of racks Bollinger began restoration of some of their older vintages as early as 1969 according to Commercial Director Guy de Rivoire. “For most of the bottles it is taking the bottle, opening them, changing the cork, putting on new wire, essentially protecting them, letting them continue on with their life,” he tells Old Liquors Magazine. In 2010 an intern was searching for older vintages and down one of the long tunnels was a small room to his right, one of many small rooms to the right and left dotted throughout the nearly six kilometers of tunnels buried in the Champagne soil. Entering that room was a smaller room immediately to his left. That small room, which I now stand in, was crammed full of dozens of racks of bottles and as these were pulled out there were small compartments, about waist high, closed with small arched wood doors. “The entrance was blocked by walls of 600 empty bottles and magnums,” de Rivoire says. Once the racks were cleared away there were bottles - dozens and dozens of them, full of Champagne, no labels, just codes. Initially, no one knew what they were or why they were here. “No one at Bollinger, nobody of the parents of the employees - because we have several generations working here - no shareholders knew of the existence of these bottles so we don’t know when they were put there. There were marks indicating the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th Century so we think they might have been stored there between the two World Wars, but we don’t really know.” Marked with a code, CB 14, staff frantically searched the written archives. “That was the key discovery of 54 bottles coded CB 14, and we were able to decipher they were from the foundation of Bollinger - these were our very first Champagnes.”

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De Rivoire pauses, sighs, and you understand that this is a very personal thing. “You can imagine the emotion,” he whispers to me. But what does one do with 180-yearold bottles? They had already developed three initiatives back in 1969 - archive, restoration and presentation, and with that, a subterranean gallery was born in order to showcase Bollinger history known as Galerie 1829. “In Galerie 1829 we present all the top vintages of Bollinger starting in 1830.” Of the original 54 bottles found from 1830 only 13 remained in stable condition and are now on display - the others were in such poor condition they could not be saved.

The sound of our shoes echo out from the stone floor and it’s all very sleek and sexy, very James Bond There are 65 distinct vintages showcased here, a total of 7,330 bottles, magnums and jeroboams and 4,000 of those were restored. Galerie 1829 itself is dimly lit; amber tones emanating underneath black lacquered cases and racks; shadows and hues, light and dark playing against wine bottles. The sound of our shoes echo out from the stone floor and it’s all very sleek and sexy, very James Bond. Flanking the vault are bottles from across the century, their date emblazoned with a gold pen. At the end in the far distance is the prize of Bollinger’s possessions - 13 bottles from 1830. It is at once impressive and curiously static. It is also not easy to get invited to Galerie 1829; in fact James Bond could probably not sleuth his way in. A visit is only for the few, the elite collectors and no, there are no tastings of any of the historic vintages. To help cement the exclusivity, Bollinger auctioned

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off a bottle of the 1914 vintage combined with a visit to the estate, which went for $10,00 at Sotheby’s New York in November 2016. I was fortunate enough to not pay that amount and to visit Bollinger and taste through several older vintages including 1992, 1975, 1973 (in jeroboam, magnum and bottle), 1964, 1955, 1928 and the prized 1914. Tasting Notes of Select Vintages 1973: Comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from mainly eight different vineyards, this was served at Lady Diana’s wedding. Harvest and bud break were normal, though hail occurred early May. Classic nose with light tart expression, bright acidity, green apple, baked brie with back notes of honey and stone. Disgorged late 2012 1955: An even growing season lead to an early October harvest. Disgorged in 1967 this is lush and full, nearly perfume-like. The palate is filled with sweet meringue, resin, and a tartness grips the finish and a bright acidity. Sweeter in style (13 grams of sugar), yet wonderfully drinkable and smooth. 1928: The average harvest date of this vintage was September 28. A few frosts were recorded in May but that was tempered by a long harvest. 12 grams per liter of residual sugar are in this, there’s a similar style to Sauternes, but with smoked apple wood oak, sweet butterscotch, honeyed notes and the acidity and comprehensive quality of the wine is still evident. 1914: Made primarily of Bouzy Pinot Noir, records indicated that harvest was late September after a long uninterrupted growing season. This is lighter in style but more viscous, aged on the lees, no ML, still very drinkable. The acidity has waned and the structure is slightly compromised, nonetheless this 103-year-old Champagne is still delightful.

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