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POCKETS Best of Men’s Style

POCKETS SPRING/SUMMER 2010

GOLF IN IRELAND

Maserati Debuts The GT Convertible

Maserati GranTurismo

How Sean Connery Got To Be Bond Triumph T-Bird: Power To Spare

REDBREAST WHISKEY

Rolex Takes Time To Extremes

Dalmatian Coastal Escape

Nick Faldo’s New Irish Greens

TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD

BEST

OF

MEN’S STYLE

SPRING / SUMMER 2010

2010

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The COOL EFFECT Fabric reflects the sun’s rays

AN ENDURING PASSION FOR FABRIC, INNOVATION AND QUALITY SINCE 1910

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{ contents }

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columns The Sporting Life Golf is just one of the pleasures at Lough Erne, a new world-class resort in Northern Ireland.

features

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Seduction on Wheels The Maserati GranTurismo delivers it all: Pininfarina looks, performance, comfort and the throatiest engine on the road.

Malt Complex and balanced, Redbreast is proof that the best Irish whiskey is among the best whiskey anywhere.

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Strong Suits This season’s take-charge clothing styles are tailor-made for the confident male.

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Finishing Touch

Dalmatian Holiday On Korcula, legendary birthplace of Marco Polo, the Lesic Dimitri Palace offers thoroughly modern comfort in an old-world setting.

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What elevates a tuxedo to sartorial perfection? It’s partly design and partly a matter of expert fitting.

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T-Bird Rising A British-built motorcycle with American styling, the 2010 Triumph Thunderbird is an instant classic in the cruiser category.

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Taking Time to Extremes True to its pioneering tradition of conquering Everest and the ocean depths, Rolex keeps pace with life’s adventures.

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departments Hot Stuff

Invitation to Style Cool items for the warm months

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The Pockets Guide Zegna at 100 … Mercedes goes green. … Rice and beans from Margaret’s kitchen … The fine art of neckwear … and more!

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The best furnishings, accessories and shoes for spring and summer, handselected by our team of experts

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Elements of Style Ordering custom shirts is an adventure in choice and distinction.

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Viva Italia! The latest men’s fashion and enduring beauty on a trip to where style is born

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ICON

Sean Connery The actor who made Bond famous is proof that clothes do make the man, and that urbanity can be acquired.

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Cover: Crisp summer suiting by Canali. Photograph by Daniel Springston.

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Authentic denim. Handcrafted in California

AG AVE DE NIM .COM

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{ invitation to style }

POCKETS 48 HIGHLAND PARK VILLAGE, DALLAS, TX 75205 214.368.1167 www.pocketsmenswear.com

Store Hours MONDAY to SATURDAY: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Editorial Director D AV I D S M I T H

Editor & Publisher Creative Director Art Director

MARK DOWDEN AMY A. DOWDEN

S T E P H E N M . V I TA R B O

Contributing Editors J E N N I F E R C E N I C O L A , LEE LUSARDI CONNOR, CAROLINE GOYETTE, J U L I A C . I R E L A N D , T I M O T H Y K E L L E Y, MARIA LISSANDRELLO, EVERETT POTTER, PA U L R O G E R S Contributing Photographer DANIEL SPRINGSTON

Art Associate

LAURA CARAMAGNA

Art Assistant

PAT R I C E H O R VAT H

Corporate Editorial Director R I TA G U A R N A

Publishing Staff Associate Publisher

You are what

Pocket squares are

SHAE MARCUS

you carry; people

a way to dress up a

Senior Advertising Account Executive

notice quality.

sportcoat and add some

JODI LASALA

Advertising Account Executive

You don’t have to be a

color. Come by the store

S T E P H A N I E S TA I A N O

and we’ll show you how

Production Director C H R I S T I N E H A M E L

pocket squares work.

Production Assistant J U L I A N I E D Z W I E C K I

surgeon to want working

Advertising Services Director THOMAS RAGUSA

buttons on your coat cuffs. They are cool, sophisti-

A famous person once said that a well-dressed man

cated and a bit snobby.

should be attentive to the style and condition of his belt (a black dress belt is not right with jeans).

Senior Art Director, Agency Services KIJOO KIM

Marketing Manager A N D R E A S T R E I S F E L D Accounting A G N E S A LV E S , J E S S I C A S O L L O WAY

Published by Chairman C A R R O L L V. D O W D E N President M A R K D O W D E N Executive Vice President DEBORAH JONES BARROW

Vice Presidents A M Y A . D O W D E N , N I G E L E D E L S H A I N , R I TA G U A R N A , SHANNON STEITZ Circulation Director L A U R E N M E N A

COOL IS IN THE D E TA I L S Attention to detail and insistence on quality are what separate the man of style from those dull drones who muddle through life. But you already know this, or you wouldn’t be reading this magazine. At Pockets Menswear, we have always wanted our customers to dress better than they have to, and we delight in seeking out the clothing, casual wear, accessories and furnishings that represent the best combination of stylish design, quality materials, craftsmanship and value. The merchandise pictured above, along with the images you see throughout this issue, are just a taste of the fine selection you’ll find in our Highland Park Village store. In these pages you’ll also read about cool cars, luxury travel destinations and other topics—all carefully selected for the man of style. We hope you enjoy, and we look forward to seeing you in our store soon.

P O C K E T S Magazine is published twice a year by Wainscot Media, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, in association with Pockets. Copyright © 2010 by Wainscot Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Editorial Contributions: Write to Editor, Pockets, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645; telephone 201.782.5730; email mark.dowden@wainscotmedia.com. The magazine is not responsible for the return or loss of unsolicited submissions. Subscription Services: To change an address or request a subscription, write to Subscriptions, POCKETS, Circulation Department, PO Box 1788, Land O Lakes, FL 34639; telephone 813.996.6579; email lauren.mena@wainscotmedia.com. Advertising Inquiries: Contact Shae Marcus at 856.797.2227 or shae.marcus@wainscotmedia.com.

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{ the

pockets guide } Zegna at 100

Mercedes goes green Want to drive a Big Benz, but still be green? Meet the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, the world’s first massproduction car with a lithium ion battery. Known as a mild-hybrid, the S400 boosts fuel efficiency with the assistance of the battery-powered electric motor. The EPA rating for the car is 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. When HybridCars.com tested the S400 on a 150-mile jaunt in Southern Germany, they managed an impressive 29.3 mpg, and that included some stretches on the Autobahn where they let the Benz rip at more than 100 mph. The other green aspect of the car is its toprated carbon emissions profile, which includes zero emissions at stand-still because the engine stops automatically. Weighing only 120 lbs. more than the standard S-Class sedan, the S400 Hybrid offers comparable handling and sure-footedness, with no compromise in cabin volume or cargo space. The price, however, is lower. For a test drive, contact Park Place Motorcars Dallas at 888-354-7176; mercedesbenzdallas.parkplacetexas.com

As Ermenegildo Zegna celebrates its centennial, the brand’s luster continues to grow. Zegna is continually pushing the boundaries of fabric technology—as with its exclusive Cool Effect fabric, which offers heat protection by reflecting the sun’s rays. And then there’s the marvelous clothing itself, with its elegant marriage of traditional tailoring and contemporary Italian styling. For ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and couture, Pockets is proud to be your Dallas source for the best Zegna has to offer.

Straight Up with a Twist Adam Derrick, footwear specialist at To Boot New York, takes pride in his ability to infuse his tradition-inspired collections with the spirit of modern menswear trends. Handcrafted in small Italian factories, each pair of shoes undergoes 200 steps in the journey from concept to final design. Derrick ensures that To Boot footwear is made of only the finest Italian and French-cut leathers and soles, making the company’s shoes and boots both stylish and durable. In addition to offering classic styles in dress shoes (lace-ups, slip-ons and loafers), To Boot New York’s spring-summer line boasts plenty of casual options with sandals, moccasins and sleek drivers. Why not stop by the store and try them on for yourself?

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{ the

pockets guide }

Jeans Genie Skinny or low, distressed or dark blue, laid-back or dressed up—how many kinds of jeans do you need, and, more important, which pair is appropriate for what occasion? Our Pockets staff will be glad to help you figure all that out. Here you can find not only the best jeans available—with brands like Agave, AG (pictured here), Nudie, Hiltl, Zegna and 7 for All Mankind—but also cool casual shoes (see the selection on page 15 of this issue), shirts and jackets. Stop by the store for an education in the ever-evolving world of men’s jeans—and walk out looking better than ever.

THE A-to-Z LIST Pockets features more than 40 designer brands under one roof. See if you don’t find your favorites in the list below. Then stop by the store for a shopping experience you’ll love. AG Jeans Arnold Zimberg Canali Carrot & Gibbs Clint Orms Engravers CP Company Dolcepunta Ermenegildo Zegna Eyebobs Gimo’s Gran Sasso Gravati Hiltl Incotex Inhabit Jake Agave John Varvatos La Matta Lorenzini Luciano Barbera

Martin Dingman Masons Massimo Bizzocchi Michael Toschi Moore & Giles Moreschi Mulholland Nicky Nudie Jeans Pantherella Robert Comstock Saltaire St. Croix 7 for all mankind Tasca To Boot Transit W. Kleinberg Zanella

Canali Moore & Giles

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Visit the Upscale Mall That Started It All Highland Park Village, the home of Pockets since 2004, has been the inspiration for countless upscale retailers. That’s because when it opened in 1931 it was the very first planned shopping center in the U.S. Styles have changed, but the lushly landscaped Highland Park Village still offers a superb range of fine men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and other accoutrements of the good life, from Anne Fontaine through Williams Sonoma. We also love it for its brand-new concierge service (they’ll shop, wrap and deliver for you—and even wash your car while you shop or dine). There’s a real sense of community here, perhaps because there are so many reasons to visit—whether it’s to get your daily Starbucks or get a quick trim at the Village Barber Shop. This fall will see the unveiling of the newly renovated Village Theatre and the Marquee Club, a new restaurant and lounge. To learn more about the great things in store here, visit www.hpvillage.com.

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TIE One On Rolando Scapellato named his necktie collection Dolcepunta (Italian for “soft point”) after its signature detail—the subtly curving tip that demands more skill from a tailor than a standard point. Scapellato’s neckwear is all about craftsmanship. Dolcepunta’s seven-fold tie—a large piece of lightweight silk folded seven times to create a symmetrical triangular-tipped blade—requires four times more silk than the average necktie and heaps more skill. “With that much fabric, the trick is to keep the lightness,” Scapellato has said. “Otherwise you end up with a tarp around your neck.” Dolcepunta ties come in a range of colorful satins, foulard prints and richly colored jacquard weaves, all of which sit lightly on the neck and make a long, chunky, beautifully dimpled knot. You will not find a betterconstructed necktie.

From Margaret’s Kitchen Margaret Smith loves cooking—much to the delight of the Smiths’ family and friends—and has been sharpening her culinary skills since David first bought her a gift certificate for a cooking class in 1972. She prefers simple dishes made with fresh ingredients and flare. Here’s the recipe for one of her specialties: BLACK BEANS AND RICE

1 lb. black beans 1 qt. chicken stock 1 large, meaty ham bone 1 cup chopped onion, sautéed 1 large green pepper, chopped and sautéed 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup of chopped celery 1/2 tsp. dry mustard 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

The Eyes Have It

“Why bother putting on a terrific suit or wearing terrific shoes,” asks eyebobs founder Julie Allinson, “if you are going to put a cheap pair of readers on your face?” Good point, Julie! At Pockets you’ll find a great selection of eyebobs reading glasses to suit any mood and style.

2 cloves garlic, minced Add to taste: Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, sherry or wine Rinse beans and cover with chicken stock and two cups of water. Add ham bone and simmer for about 6 hours. Remove bone; puree half the bean mixture. Add onions, celery, green peppers, puree and remaining ingredients to the pot. Cook for another hour. Serve over rice. Recommended sides: avocado slices, grated cheese, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, lime slices. SPRING

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VIVA ITALIA! Pockets Menswear was one of 17 specialty stores in the U.S. invited by the Italian Government and Esquire Magazine to visit Italy in January. We attended the premier fashion market in the world, Pitti Uomo, in Florence; had VIP seats at the best runway shows during fashion week in Milan; visited the Caruso clothing factory in Parma; and toured Lanificio Zegna, the mill where the world-renowned fabrics of Ermenegildo Zegna are created, in Trivero. When we weren’t touring or shopping for next fall’s offerings at Pockets, we were, of course, soaking up everything beautiful, historic and magical about the people, the food and the culture of Italy. Here are some of favorite moments from an incredible trip. Ciao!

After a hearty lunch at the Antica Corte Pallavicina in Parma, David Smith and Enrique from Caruso smile for the camera.

Historic wooden boxes are employed to store yarn at Lanificio Zegna.

In this typical Milanese street scene behind a vintage electric streetcar. Note the ancient stone pavers. Coming at you: the finale of the Ermenegildo Zegna fashion show in Milan. The brand is celebrating its centennial this year.

Linda, the guide at Casa Zegna, shows off the archive of historic fabrics.

Next season’s Italian-made outerwear on display at Pitti Uomo in Florence On a chilly night in Milan, the Missoni party is the place to be. Models show off Missoni’s fall 2010 menswear collection. Culatello hams custom-cured for Armani aging in a cellar in Parma

Abbondanza: A typical lunch in Tuscany features meat, cheese and more. Boglioli’s display at the Pitti show

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The spectacular Duomo in Milan faces a huge and bustling piazza.

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STYLE. SOPHISTICATION. TORQUE. Nothing turns heads quite like a world-class luxury vehicle from Park Place Maserati. And no one helps you find the perfect fit better than our our sales consultants and service professionals. Their commitment to excellence begins the moment you arrive and continues throughout the life of your vehicle—so it’s no wonder Park Place continues to win praise and awards year after year. It all just goes to show that a truly exceptional dealership experience never goes out of style.

2010 GranTurismo Convertible

5300 Lemmon Avenue

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Dallas, Texas

214.443.5215

ParkPlaceTexas.com

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{ hot stuff }

Beyond

Basics

Every man’s must-haves get an upgrade to first class

Pockets sets you up for the season with an Ermenegildo Zegna Trofeo sportcoat, shirt and tie.

Cool and casual jean belts from Orciani in leather and suede

Classic with a twist: Hush Puppies’ driving moccasin in soft suede with contrast stitching

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Simply irresistible: Alexander Julian Private Reserve sportshirts in watercolor prints, made in Italy

Marcoliani socks are clearly superior— thanks to their fine yarns, perfect fit, easy care and great colors.

With love from Italy: 100 percent silk ties from Ermenegildo Zegna SPRING

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{ hot stuff }

STAFF PICKS

These are a few of our favorite things

Doug Duckworth’s pick: A rugged jean belt of faux gator with a vintage buckle design from Moore & Giles

Andy Weil is wowed by Clint Orms’ western belts fashioned from exotic skins and sterling silver hardware.

David Smith likes “Sawyer,” a peppy sport shoe in smooth calf and suede from To Boot New York

Laura Mcelyea loves a sized-justright, glazed and tumbled leather weekender bag from Brompton; also available in rustic bison

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Happy feet With shoes this good-looking, you’ll be walking on air “Aaron” brown calf cap toe with fine perf detailing from To Boot New York

Split-toe chocolate brown suede shoe with tan saddle from Gravati

Classic two-eye boat shoe in brown suede from Timberland

“Clay” driving shoe in burnished cognac calf from To Boot New York

Brown calf lace-up dress shoe from To Boot New York

“Venetian” in brown oiled calfskin from Timberland’s Counterpane collection

“Venetian” in tan suede from Timberland

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{ elements of style }

COLLARS Multiple collar

MONOGRAMMING

styles are available, from a

Choose from a full array of

classic point to an English

colors to personalize your shirt.

spread. Collars are all sized individually to ensure a perfect fit!

FABRICS Select from hundreds of the world’s most exclusive fabrics, from casual to elegant dress, in every color, texture and style.

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Made to Measure A Pockets custom shirt is an adventure in choice and distinction. Your shirt is tailored to your exact measurments and fashioned to your taste in color, pattern & detail

CUFFS French cuff,

barrel cuff, one button, two button, rounded, angled and squared ... the choice is yours.

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Sean Connery on the set of the 1964 film Woman of Straw, in which he co-starred with Gina Lollobrigida. In the film, which came out just after he made it big as Bond, Connery plotted to murder his wealthy uncle. A rare villainous role for him, it helped cement his sophisticated, sexy image.

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{ icon }

SEAN CONNERY Ask the women in your life about Sean Connery, and odds are

donned in From Russia with Love, the three-piece (complete

they’ll confirm that they find him irresistible. The man who

with lapelled waistcoat) made famous in Goldfinger. So com-

uttered the unforgettable line, “The name is Bond … James

fortable has he become with fashion that this spring, for the

Bond” (in 1962’s Dr. No) was voted Sexiest Man of the Century

eighth year in a row, he hosts the Dressed to Kilt New York

by People magazine in 1999. Recently, at age 79, the actor

fashion show, created to highlight Scottish designers. And

scored 90 percent in “Woman Magnetism” in an online poll.

Louis Vuitton chose him as a style icon for the brand’s ongoing

What’s Sean Connery’s secret? At least to some degree,

Core Values campaign.

he is proof that clothes do make the man, and that urbanity

In the end, it’s not just what Connery wears, but the way

can be acquired. A foul-mouthed ex-milkman and Mr. Universe

he wears it that makes him the emblem of innate cool. Here is

finalist from Edinburgh, Connery was an unlikely choice for

a man with presence. From his 007 days to The Hunt for Red

the role of Bond. Producer

October, in roles ranging

Harry Saltzman claimed he

from Indiana Jones’ father

chose Connery for the role

to a reclusive professor (in

after watching him walk

Finding Forrester), he strikes

down the street. But not

the perfect balance of sua-

only did Ian Fleming him-

vity and swagger, charm and

self have doubts—he called

confidence. His shoulders

Connery

“Glaswegian

stay squared, his arms are

truck driver”—so did Dr.

held slightly away from his

No director Terence Young,

body, his stance is relaxed.

who schooled Connery in

And as Bond, he exempli-

the ways of the well-bred.

fies the “dark triad” of traits

Young reputedly made Con-

study-proven to get the girl:

nery wear a suit around the

narcissism, a penchant for

clock—even to bed—to get

thrill-seeking and an easy

used to the feel.

comfort with deceit.

a

And get used to it he

Assuming that in real

did. Connery exuded style

life, Connery—Sir Sean since

whether sipping a martini

2000—is no more egotistical

or facing imminent death

or deceitful than your aver-

by laser beam. He looks

age bloke, how then can we

utterly at ease in the sleek

sum up his enduring appeal?

gray suit (narrow notched

Venerable film critic Pauline

lapels, angled slit pock-

Kael seems to have nailed it:

ets) he wore in Dr. No, the

“Women want to meet him,

seven-stripe glen plaid he

and men want to be him.”

Connery is proof that clothes do make the man, and that urbanity can be acquired.

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Seduction on

Wheels |

The Maserati GranTurismo delivers it all: Pininfarina looks, performance, comfort and the throatiest engine on the road

BY MARIA LISSANDRELLO

JUST A GLANCE AT THE MASERATI GRANTURISMO in all its curvy glory tells you

this two-door 2+2 coupé is a modern-day classic. No surprise, given its lineage: From nose to tail, the car is a stylish paean to its aerodynamic ancestor, the

original 1947 GranTurismo. Known as the AG 1500 GT, that Pininfarina gem was the first Maserati built for the road, not the raceway, and today’s version follows suit with bold fenders arching closely around 20-inch wheels, a long nose with strong V-shaped lines and dramatic wide-set headlights. As for its most distinctive feature—the trident studding the large concave grille—it arguably stands as the automotive world’s most elegant emblem. But looks aren’t the only thing that makes the GranTurismo so damn, well, sexy: In a 2008 study by British luxury car insurer Hiscox, a whopping 100 percent of female participants had a marked biological response to the mere sound of Maserati’s V8 engine. Turns out the same sexy snarl that gets

With its sophisticated design and superior balance, the GranTurismo owns the curves—both visually and literally. State-of-the-art suspension means smooth driving even at high speeds, but the GT also functions as an elegant touring machine.

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Design in the details: This page, in the new GT Convertible, you can go from enclosed comfort to the joy of open-top motoring in less than 30 seconds; next page, clockwise, on the GT S Automatic, each rear light cluster has 96 LEDs; the 4.7-liter engine sits behind the front axle for superior weight distribution; the passenger cabin is beautifully appointed in the owner’s choice of wood and leather.

the GranTurismo going also sends women’s testosterone levels

the base model and the “S,” but it has the same larger engine and

soaring. (Biology refresher: Women also rely on the “mostly male”

gives up none of the performance. In addition to fully automatic

hormone for a libido lift.) In short, firing up the spectacular GT may

mode (which is surprisingly fluid), the six-speed can be driven in

be literally the most powerful seduction strategy on earth.

semi-manual mode. No clutching is required; the gears are changed

The Trident Marque made the car still throatier last year when it introduced the GranTurismo S. Engine displacement got bumped from 4.2 liters to 4.7, via added bore and stroke. This change ratcheted the

via column-mounted paddles (“down” on the left side of the steering wheel and “up” on the right). No matter your pick, the 4,000-pound machine performs admira-

horses to an ample 440, compared with 405 hp for what is now the

bly, whipping around corners, hurtling up hills, braking at will—with-

base model.

out lurching, rolling or hesitating in the slightest. Credit goes not

Maserati also launched an automatic model of the GranTurismo

just to the smooth transmission but also to the Skyhook adaptive

S in 2009—joining most other high-end makers in a move consid-

suspension system, which makes more than 100 accommodations

ered sacrilegious by some sports-car purists. This is the model we

per second based on every bump in the road to guarantee a ride that

tested. With a sticker starting at $125,900, it’s mid-priced between

is at once stable and thrilling. The true personality of the car emerges in sport mode, with

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M A R I A L I S S A N D R E L L O writes frequently about Italian automobiles,

the simple push of the “sport” button. Flaps in the dual exhaust

food and culture.

open, producing an even throatier thrum when the engine is idling.

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Under way, there’s an immediate difference in feel: The steering is

19 exterior colors and six brake-caliper color options, the Gran-

tauter—the suspension, too—and the shifts from the gearbox are

Turismo is one of the most customizable ways to show off your

quicker. Sport mode rules! What of comfort? It often yields to performance in the sports-car

automotive personality.

THE MASERATI GRANTURISMO S AUTOMATIC

AT A GLANCE

New for 2010 is a drophead version called the GranCabrio, which is sold in

world, but not here. The interior of

BASE PRICE: $125,900

the U.S. as the GranTurismo Convertible.

the GranTurismo is downright sumptu-

STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS:

Unlike the metal-roofed Ferrari California,

ous. Poltrona Frau and Alcantara (or peccary) leather seats cradle the body for the long haul. The leather (available in 10 colors) snakes around the door and dash and can be combined

| 4.7L V8 ENGINE | 361 LB-FT @ 4,750 RPM | 6-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH PADDLE SHIFTER | 440 BHP @ 7,000 RPM | REAR-WHEEL DRIVE | BREMBO ABS 4 WHEEL | 12 MPG CITY, 19 MPG HIGHWAY PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS:

| 0–60 MPH IN 4.8 SECONDS | TOP SPEED: 183 MPH

the GT Convertible features a cloth roof that deploys automatically over the fourseat passenger compartment, a design that neither adds weight nor sacrifices space. This is the first four-seat convert-

with one of three wood trims—wal-

CLOSEST COMPETITORS:

ible in Maserati history, and it sports the

nut, rosewood and wengé—polished

| BMW M6 | ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE | AUDI R8 | MERCEDES CL550

longest wheel-base of any convertible in

to your liking. Indeed, with 18 million

FOR A TEST DRIVE, CONTACT PARK PLACE MASERATI DALLAS

its class. It goes without saying: This is

color and trim combinations, including

214.443.5215; MASERATIDALLAS.PARKPLACETEXAS.COM

no ordinary ragtop. SPRING

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STRONG SUITS

This season’s best tailored clothing is an outward expression of inner confidence

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Opposite, Anderson wears a Canali suit, Ermenegildo Zegna dress shirt and necktie, and Massimo Bizzocchi silk pocket square.This page, Anton wears an Ermenegildo Zegna suit and dress shirt.

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Anderson wears a summerweight wool sportcoat in a stone gray windowpane pattern with coordinating silk necktie, both by Ermenegildo Zegna.

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Anton wears an Ermenegildo Zegna Traveller Micronsphere suit, dress shirt and necktie.

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DALMATIAN

On Korcula, legendary birthplace of Marco Polo, the Lesic Dimitri Palace offers thoroughly

HOLIDAY SAIL ALONG THE DALMATIAN COAST OF CROATIA, and you’ll see more than a thousand islands. Scat-

tered like gemstones, with the mainland mountains as a backdrop, they’re part of one of the most scenic coastlines in Europe. Some are no more than rocky outcroppings, while others are topped with pine forests or vineyards, islands that are home to fishing villages and lively port towns. You could spend many summers sailing the beautiful waters of the Adriatic, seeking paradise. But you could save yourself time simply by asking a well-traveled native to name the most beautiful of all of the islands. Chances are, the reply would be “Korcula.” Twenty miles long and no wider than five miles, Korcula lies about 100 miles from Dubrovnik and just a mile off the Croatian coast. It was once covered with pine trees and thus called Kerkyra Malaina (Black Corfu) by Greeks, who settled here around 400 B.C. When you board a ferry in Orebic or Split to make the journey, you’re crossing to an island that is the essence of fairy-tale Europe, a place you imagined existed in the past but had long since disappeared. That fairy-tale CONTINUED . . .

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|

BY E V E R E T T P O T T E R

modern comfort in a fairy-tale setting

Korcula’s Old Town is surrounded by thick stone walls, circa 14th century. The landmark Cathedral Sveti Marko is the island’s tallest structure.

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quality endures, which may explain why

Korcula has many small and

Korcula, and especially its namesake me-

secluded coves for those seeking

dieval town, has emerged as one of the

privacy, as well as bigger, family-

choicest getaways in the Adriatic.

friendly beaches. Above, the

Crossing the Peljesac Channel and

gorgeous colors in Zitna Bay’s

approaching the marina, you’ll see a fleet

water are the result of its sandy

of vintage fishing boats and the fortress

sea floor. Right, an exterior view

walls of Korcula town. As you disembark,

of the 18th-century Lesic Dimitri

try to ignore the bustle of the dock area

Palace. The town’s streets are

shops and cafes, and go for instant im-

arranged in a fish-bone pattern as

mersion in the past. Climb the19th-

protection against strong winds.

century Grand Staircase with its 15thcentury Revelin tower and walk through the 14th-century Land Gate, built to celebrate the island’s successful defense against the Ottoman navy in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Now you’re in the heart of medieval Korcula, with its tiny streets, winding alleyways and terra-cotta-tiled houses in the Renaissance and Gothic styles. The well-preserved stone buildings may well remind you of

old town is located in a restored 18th-century bishop’s palace and five

Venice. That’s no surprise, given that the Venetians ruled Korcula, an im-

cottages that date from the 15th and 16th centuries. The one- and two-

portant outpost on the spice route, at various times throughout the Middle

story buildings lie on either side of a narrow street that runs from the

Ages. Korcula has even greater fame as the reputed birthplace of the

town center down to the sea.

great explorer Marco Polo, though honestly, there’s nothing to document that assertion. But after a few days here, you’ll come to believe it yourself. Later on, you can walk to the main square, the Pjaceta, overlooked

Lesic Dimitri is less a hotel than a series of six self-contained suites.

by the town hall, and the 17th-century Church of St. Michael. But be-

For example, there is no central lobby per se. Each unit is a luxury

fore you explore the hilly streets and shops, pause to check into one of

apartment. The bigger units have living rooms, private courtyards or

the finest properties in Croatia.

balconies, and as many as four bedrooms apiece.

The Lesic Dimitri Palace, which opened in the summer of 2009, is not an ordinary hotel. Rather, this luxurious retreat in the heart of the 30

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An English-Croatian family spent six years meticulously renovating the palace and managed to retain its unique structure. Which is why

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Inspired by Korcula’s connection with Marco Polo, who supposedly lived next door, each suite has been named after a stop on Marco Polo’s

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A traditional band in uniforms of 13th-century design marches through the old paved streets near the Cathedral Sveti Marko. The ornate 15th-century cathedral was created by some of the same artisans who worked in Renaissance Venice and Dubrovnik.

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Left, oysters, mussels and all manner of seafood are regular features on island menus—often washed down with, a local dry white wine. Above, a lightfilled room in the Arabia residence; right, the Venice residence, with its red-stained ceiling, pays homage to Marco Polo’s Venetian roots.

of grk, a local white wine from the nearby village of Lumbarda. And yes, the word “grk” means Greek, a reference to the grapevines that those early settlers brought centuries ago. On a hot afternoon at the bar, the pace is positively medieval. At night, it’s even quieter. You come to Lesic Dimitri and Korcula for luxurious 13th-century Silk Road. Hence, they are called India, China, Venice, Ceylon, Arabia and Korcula, respectively. The two-bedroom India residence,

relaxation, not nightlife. While you can explore the town and the island on your own, you can

for example, is completely white, and has stone floors and beams, along

also elect to have one of the hotel’s guides take you to local landmarks such

with a Jacuzzi in the room and a private courtyard. The one-bedroom Ara-

as the Korcula Museum and the 14th–century St. Peter’s Church. If you’re

bia has a white, tent-like ceiling, Moorish patterns, a large, low-slung divan

lucky, you’ll be on the island when the Moreska Sword Dance is being

and 360-degree views that encompass the Peljesac Channel and the red

performed. This is pure 15th-century street theater, where 20 costumed

roofs of the town. The three-bedroom, three-bath Venice residence has a

men with swords perform a mock dance/battle that tells of two kings who

private carved wood balcony.

compete for the love of a princess.

While the décor may be varied, all of the residences are elegant,

Have a car and driver take you to the best vineyards on the island,

understated and delicately themed, their tone and taste reminiscent of

passing olive groves and fields of lavender. Or have someone drop you

a Four Seasons property. There’s nothing splashy here. The designer

off at one of the better beaches, such as Vela Przina at Lumbarda. On

has wisely let the architecture speak for itself.

another day, you can hop a ferry for the hour-long trip to Hvar, a hip is-

This is the only luxury hotel within the walls of the old town, and

land that has the air of the Riviera and a harbor full of gleaming yachts.

it is staffed by native Korculanis. Service is gracious, the bathrooms

Or head the other way and ferry to the island of Mljet, which has a

appointed with locally made lavender products. While every residence

national park and two saltwater lakes.

has a kitchen as well as multiple plasma TVs and iPod docking stations, these 21st–century conveniences almost seem beside the point.

But perhaps the best excursion of all is to arrange a day on the Lesic Dimitri’s vintage wooden sailing boat, Vipera. It’s a lazy day spent exploring

There are two Thai masseuses on staff (a coy reference, perhaps, to

the coast of Korcula and other nearby islands, with a trained skipper at the

the Silk Road), and they offer massages in your residence—a fine interim

helm and cold drinks on board. Plan on jumping into the Adriatic when the

solution until the LD Spa opens later in 2010 with four treatment rooms.

mood suits, and lunching on board or at a remote seaside restaurant. It’s a

The hotel’s restaurant also will open this summer, so breakfast is

voyage that Marco Polo himself would have envied.

served in your room. But the LD Bar—a wine bar on the seafront below the hotel—already has become a hit. The drink of choice here is a glass

PLANNING YOUR TRIP LESIC DIMITRI PALACE, KORCULA, CROATIA

E V E R E T T P O T T E R writes frequently about travel. 32

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Doubles from $348 per person, including continental breakfast. www.lesic-dimitri.com

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The bell tower of the Cathedral Sveti Marko, a marvel of artisan stonework. Among the treasures inside are two paintings by Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto— one, the main altarpiece, and the other the famous “Our Lady of the Islond” icon, said to have protected Korcula from Turkish invasion in 1571.

FA L L

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T-Bird Rising The 2010 Triumph Thunderbird is an instant classic in the cruiser category

MARLON BRANDO TERRORIZED A SMALL TOWN —and made his bike the ultimate

symbol of rebellion—when he showed up on his 1950 Triumph Thunderbird in

the film The Wild One. Since that time, the Triumph motorcycle brand has had its ups and downs in the marketplace. But it’s safe to say that, with the reintroduction of the Thunderbird this year, the cruiser has regained its iconic status. Triumph put muscle in this model: Its water-cooled, 1600cc engine puts out 85 horsepower and 108 foot-pounds of torque. Unique among cruisers, the engine is a parallel-twin rather than the expected V-twin. And instead of a chain drive, Triumph uses a belt drive—its first since 1922—to transfer all that torque from the engine to the wheels. The rap on cruisers is that they don’t handle well, but the T-Bird, voted Cruiser of the Year by Cycle World magazine, has earned widespread praise for its acceleration, maneuverability and braking. And then there’s the matter of looks. British Triumph tapped American designer Tim Prentice to craft the appearance of the new T-Bird. The result of the threeyear project is a clean-lined bike—with long exhaust pipes and plenty of chrome, of course—that highlights the uncluttered engine. The teardrop fuel tank, a defining design detail of any cruiser, is especially fat, curvaceous and just plain beautiful.

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TAKING TIME TO

True to its pioneering tradition, Rolex keeps pace with life’s adventures

|

BY CAROLINE GOYETTE

EXTREMES A ROLEX WATCH IS COVETED for its superior

legend in its own right, Rolex continues

reliability, fine craftsmanship and iconic

to push watchmaking boundaries, per-

design. But beyond such attributes lies

petually redefining what we can expect

an extraordinary history of adventure to

from a luxury timepiece.

which few brands can lay claim. Since

The Rolex story begins in 1905 with

the company’s founding more than a

Bavarian-born Hans Wilsdorf. Founder of a

century ago, Rolex watches have joined

London company specializing in the distribu-

in exploration the world over, accompany-

tion of timepieces throughout the British

ing pioneering expeditions to the summit

Empire, he was determined to change

of Mount Everest; breaking the sound

public perception of the wristwatch. At the

barrier with American pilot Chuck Yeager; and plunging to the depths of the Pacific Ocean with Swiss

time, pocket watches were the industry standard, while wristwatches were viewed as imprecise and

engineer Jacques Piccard. A

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primarily decorative. Yet Wilsdorf saw their great potential for the demands

disrupt the Oyster’s precision and function, and the company celebrat-

of modern life. To advance his case and ensure reliability, he outfitted his

ed the watch’s success on the front page of London’s Daily Mail.

timepieces with highly precise movements manufactured by a Swiss com-

Then, in 1931, Rolex created the Perpetual Rotor, an invention that

pany in Bienne. His creation would be called “Rolex,” he decided—a name

paved the way for the modern automatic watch. Rather than relying on

pronounceable in all European languages and concise enough to fit on a

attentive winding by its owner, the watch could wind itself with every

watch dial. Soon, the new product garnered its first awards for precision,

flick of the wearer’s wrist. Low maintenance and reliable, Rolex quickly

and the wristwatch and Rolex were on their way to global acclaim.

became the watch of choice for professional adventurers. Whether the

The coming years saw Rolex introduce innovations that would

agenda included mountain climbing or deep-sea diving, racing or avia-

cement its status as a forerunner and a legendary brand. One such

tion, Rolex stood up to test after test of the most extreme conditions.

breakthrough came in 1926, when Rolex unveiled the first waterproof

Soon, the company began offering capabilities beyond basic time

and dustproof watch. Called the “Oyster,” the timepiece featured a

function to aid explorers in their quests. The Submariner, a diver’s watch

hermetically sealed case that worked like a safe to protect the watch’s

guaranteed to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet), had a rotatable bezel

delicate mechanisms. The technology was soon put to the test by a

(the ring surrounding the face of the watch) to calculate time under

young swimmer named Mercedes Gleitze, who wore it as she swam

water. The GMT-Master presented two different time zones, while the

across the English Channel. Ten hours of chilly water did nothing to

Milgauss boasted resistance to strong magnetic fields. While scientists and explorers favored Rolex for its remarkable utility, collectors marveled

Clockwise from top left: Hans Wilsdorf, visionary creator of Rolex watches, as a young man; a Rolex factory outside of Geneva; an original model of the celebrated Rolex Oyster watch, which debuted in 1926 with a fully waterproof case.

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over the horologic advances and the brand rapidly gained prestige. Today, Rolex’s commitment to adventure carries on through the Enterprise Awards, which honor achievement in the sciences and

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The Grand Reverso 101 is set with nearly 4 carats of F-G color, top-quality diamonds.

other fields, as well as through the brand’s involvement in five major

nents are designed to withstand the very harshest environments.

sports: golf, sailing, tennis, equestrian sports and automobile racing.

Celebrated as the premiere “race driver’s watch,” the versatile

Based in Geneva, where Wilsdorf moved the company after World

Cosmograph Daytona boasts a precision ability to measure elapsed

War I, Rolex maintains its headquarters along with two development

time and calculate average speed. The Yacht-Master II helps sailing

and manufacturing sites in the area. A fourth site in Bienne is home

enthusiasts keep tabs on a regatta with a programmable countdown

to the precise watch movements upon which Wilsdorf built the busi-

function and mechanical memory, the first complication of its kind.

ness. Overseeing the manufacture of vital watch components affords

Having grown from the vision of its founder to a company of glob-

Rolex quality control over its product, but the company also relies on

al significance, Rolex’s legacy may be best described as forward-look-

the expertise of nearly 4,000 watchmakers, who assemble the time-

ing. As such, ownership of such a fine timepiece is inevitably about the

pieces by hand and maintain them through careful after-sales service.

future: both the goals and adventures that lie ahead for its wearer, and

Meanwhile, the company persists in innovation, eager to keep

the next generation to whom he or she might hand it down.

pace with the needs of its enterprising clientele. The Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, for example, builds on a legendary model introduced

Clockwise from top left: The Rolex Oyster made it to the summit of Mt. Everest in

in 1953 to mark the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. Strong

the famed 1953 expedition with Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay;

and sleek in appearance, the watch features a 24-hour fixed bezel

the Rolex Submariner, designed for diving, has appeared in several James Bond

and 24-hour hand to display two time zones; its 904L steel compo-

films; an ad placed in London’s Daily Mail after swimmer Mercedes Gleitze swam the English Channel with her Oyster; the bathyscaphe Trieste, the

CAROLINE GOYETTE specializes in writing about design and the arts.

submersion vehicle used by Jacques Piccard to go to the bottom of the

She lives in New Orleans.

Mariana Trench with a special Rolex DeepSea watch attached to it.

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{ the sporting life }

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TeeatTime

The Faldo Championship Course is just one of the pleasures at this new world-class resort in Northern Ireland

Lough Erne B Y PA U L R O G E R S

WELL BEFORE TIGER WOODS took his indefinite leave from

least populated county in Ulster and one of the least

professional golf, avid followers of the sport widely

populated in all of Ireland. Fermanagh has been largely

agreed on who was poised to become its next great

known—to the extent that it’s been known at all—for

star: the gifted young Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy.

the opportunities to go fishing, birding and canoeing

In keeping with golf’s global reach, the cap that McIlroy

among the 150-plus islands that dot its waterways.

wears over his bushy hair bears the name of a hotel

Some of these islands, including Devenish and White,

group based in Dubai. But on his golf bag, emblazoned

offer the added appeal of visiting age-old ruins.

under his name, appears an ad for a destination which

Such attractions remain, but golf now beckons

for McIlroy is much closer to home, Lough Erne Golf

as well. Lough Erne developer Jim Treacy hired Nick

Resort (pronounced Lock Earn).

Faldo, the architect, TV commentator and six-time

Just as McIlroy is gaining renown, so, too, it seems

major champion, to design the resort’s flagship course.

safe to say, will this beguiling new getaway in a remote

(Lough Erne also has a modest though scenic second

corner of his native land. The resort sits magnificently on

course, Castle Hume, which was built on the site of

a 600-acre peninsula between two lakes, Lower Lough

a World War II U.S. Army training camp and which

Erne and Castle Hume Lough, in County Fermanagh. Fermanagh (pronounced Fir-MAN-ah) is the

POC.sportingfinal.lc.indd 41

Far and away: Sir Nick Faldo on the 17th hole of the lakeside

southwestern-most of the six counties that make up

course he designed at Lough Erne. It was ranked third in Golf

Northern Ireland. Home to just 54,000 people, it is the

magazine’s Best New Courses of 2009.

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Treacy acquired as part of the development.) Treacy told Faldo he wanted

respect: an emphasis on strategy over might. From the back tees, the

tion from Loch Lomond Golf Club on the fabled bonnie banks in Scotland.

par-72 layout may stretch to a lengthy 7,167 yards, but most if not every

Given the quality of Ireland’s seaside links, convincing international

Take the 565-yard, par-five 16th, which begins a rousing—and

all, boasts two of the world’s finest links, Royal County Down and Royal

watery—closing stretch. Standing on the elevated tee, the player faces

Portrush, the latter being the only course outside of Scotland and England

a decision: Drive up the left side, challenging a large fairway bunker in

ever to host the British Open (in 1951). Nearer to Lough Erne lie a few

hopes of setting up a clear approach to the green, or opt for the safer

more seaside treasures: County Sligo Golf Club, also known as Rosses

route to the right. The second shot poses another question: Go for the

Point; Enniscrone Golf Club; and Donegal Golf Club at Murvagh.

green despite the threat of water to the right and bunkers beyond the putting surface, or lay up to avoid the trouble. At Lough Erne, says Direc-

holds no pretensions of being a links course. Faldo and his design team

tor of Golf Andy Campbell, “it’s not a game of muscle necessarily; you

eschewed trappings, such as ragged-edged bunkers and tall fescues,

must plot your way around.”

that have been used so commonly on non-links sites in recent years as to become cliché. Instead, they fashioned a course very much in keeping with its

Another engaging feature is that the course has two four-hole stretches—one on the front nine, one on the back—that go as follows: par three, par five, par three, par five. Guy Hockley, the lead architect for

bucolic surroundings. The fairways are lush and green. Many of them

Faldo Design, describes this as a “syncopated rhythm.” The designers

flow from a central spine on the property down to either the massive

didn’t set out to do this, he says. They discovered while walking the site

Lower Lough Erne or the much smaller Castle Hume Lough. Some

that the land lent itself to these rather unusual runs.

holes play entirely at the water’s edge, often skirting marshland. Others nose into the woods. /

hole presents a choice of shots to play.

travelers to play an inland layout is no small feat. Northern Ireland, after

Lough Erne’s Faldo Championship Course, which opened last year,

42

The Faldo Course does borrow from the classic links in one key

to have the finest lakeside course in Ireland, urging him to draw inspira-

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No sooner had the course opened than talk began to surface about Lough Erne’s someday hosting a PGA European Tour event. Thousands

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Rock around the lough: clockwise from left, boasting year-round playing conditions, Lough Erne also prides itself on signature touches, such as the 101 Irish whiskeys at the Blaney Bar; the 595-yard 6th hole is a par five; an aerial view of the resort. In construction as well as maintenance, great care is taken to preserve the environment and natural habitat of swans, red squirrels and Irish hares. Below, far left, the resort’s “golf team”: Andy Campbell, Director of Golf, Peter Smyth, Golf Operations Manager, and Dave Peden, Golf Sales Manager.

of spectators turned out for an exhibition between McIlroy and fellow

offers a grazing menu and an exhaustive collection of Irish whiskeys.

Irishman Padraig Harrington in July 2009. The players arrived by seaplane

Rounding out the amenities is a state-of-the-art Thai spa.

and were enthusiastically followed during their match, which McIlroy won by two strokes. Lough Erne’s creators knew, however, that it would take more than

All of which has helped earn Lough Erne the Automobile Association’s (AA) first five-star rating for a hotel in Northern Ireland. What’s more, it would be an opportunity missed to visit the resort

a well-designed course to draw serious attention. The conditioning also

and fail to explore the islands of Fermanagh. Devenish Island is home to

would have to be superb, a challenge because of the area’s frequent rain.

a hundred-foot-tall round tower believed to date back to the 12th century.

So they trucked in tons of sand to cap the fairways and near-roughs to

On White Island, treasures include quartzite carvings of tunic-clad church-

make them drain better and thus allow for year-round play.

men, thought to have been made between 800 and 1000 A.D.

The appeal of Lough Erne also extends well beyond the golf. The

Just how much staying power Lough Erne will have remains to be

resort offers a luxury experience that carries through to the accommoda-

seen. But, like McIlroy, who last year notched his first victory as a profes-

tions: 120 tastefully appointed guest rooms. Visitors can stay in either a

sional at age 19, the Faldo Championship Course and the encompassing

country manor house or one of 25 full-service two- and three-bedroom

resort are each off to an impressive start.

lakeside lodges, several of them designed with cylindrical walls and conical roofs to evoke an old dovecote on a neighboring property. The dining, too, is first-rate. Catalina, the resort’s most ambitious

LOUGH ERNE GOLF RESORT Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

restaurant, has been recognized nationally for its emphasis on local ingre-

www.loughernegolfresort.com

dients and authentic Irish cuisine. The Blaney Bar, a more casual option,

THE FALDO COURSE Architect: Nick Faldo, 2009. Yardage: 7,167. Par: 72. GETTING THERE The resort is two hours by car from Belfast International Airport and

P A U L R O G E R S is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared in

two-and-a-half hours from Dublin International Airport. It’s minutes away from the Enniskillen

numerous magazines. He is a former senior editor of Travel + Leisure Golf.

(St. Angelo) Airport, a private airfield for small planes and helicopters.

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{ malt }

|

BY M A R K D O W D E N

GET YOUR IRISH UP

Beautifully balanced and complex beyond reason, Redbreast is proof that the best Irish whiskey is among the best whiskey anywhere ALTHOUGH THE IRISH ARE SAID to have invented whiskey,

tilled twice), smooth and, many Scotch lovers

their product gets little attention in a world of connoisseur-

would say, bland by comparison.

ship that revolves around Scotch. It’s a pity—and surely

The IDG closed its three historic distilleries

bound to change—because Irish whiskey is enjoying a

and in 1975 opened the New Midleton Distillery

renaissance. Forget any preconceptions about Irish be-

in County Cork. Thus there came to be a single

ing best used to flavor coffee. That’s a fine use for

licensed distillery, albeit a massive one, in all of

Jameson, but it would be a waste to mix Red-

the republic, plus Old Bushmills in the North.

breast, Green Spot or Black Bush with any-

Today the Midleton facility is owned by Pernod

thing other than soft water.

Ricard (yes, the French control most Irish whis-

The commercial history of Irish

key), while Old Bushmills is owned by the other

whiskey follows a curious arc. In

global beverage giant, Diageo. A third player,

the late 19th and early 20th centu-

Cooley Distillery, opened in 1987—independent

ries, Irish outsold Scotch around the

and Irish-owned, by God! In addition to its plant

globe. Then the industry was hit by

in County Louth, Cooley recently reopened the

the double-whammy of Prohibition in

Old Kilbeggan distillery, which had been shut-

the United States and independence

tered for more than half a century.

from the United Kingdom. The break

This brings the number of Irish distilleries

from the U.K. meant that the far-

to only four today—compare that to 90 in Scot-

flung Empire market for Irish whiskey

land—but these four are producing an impres-

dried up completely and swung over

sive range of whiskey styles. The three main

to Scotch. Irish production crashed

categories are malt, single grain and pure pot

and never recovered.

still, the latter a unique Irish style made from

By the 1960s, only three distill-

a mash of malted and unmalted barley. Most

eries remained in Ireland. They were

Irish brands are blends, and some combine

Jameson, Powers and Cork Distill-

two or all three of these styles. Here’s an over-

ers, which banded for survival into

view of the brandscape:

the Irish Distillers Group. In 1972,

Midleton Distillery produces Jameson and

Bushmills in Northern Ireland joined

Jameson’s premium reserve range (of which

the IDG. The members bought into

there are currently six expressions), Powers

the strategy of making a product as

and Midleton Very Rare, which is vintage-dat-

unlike Scotch as possible, and so

ed. These brands are all blends of pot still and

all Irish whiskey for a time was un-

grain spirit. Also made at Midleton are Paddy

peated, triple-distilled (Scotch is dis-

and Tullamore Dew, which add malt whiskey to

Redbreast is a “pure pot still” spirit, the most traditional style of Irish whiskey. Its distinctive flavor profile is reminiscent of the best Speyside Scotch.

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A Luxurious Necessity for the Well- Dressed Home

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These pot stills at the sprawling Midleton Distillery produce brands ranging from Jameson to Redbreast. The old water wheel (right), which dates to 1825 and once provided the power for all distillery operations, is still turning today. The map below shows the four extant distilleries in all of Ireland.

the blend, and two pure pot still whiskies, Redbreast 12-year-

it around the mouth, and all kinds of flavors

old and Green Spot.

come welling up—malt, ginger, toffee, even cinnamon. The finish is long and oily,

Old Bushmills produces triple-distilled malts

with a faint licorice tail.

under the Bushmills brand (including Black

All of this mouth drama comes

Bush, which is blended with Midleton grain whiskey and has a sherried finish)

as an exceptional value. If you

and post-1994 vintages of Knappogue

drink much single-malt Scotch,

Castle single malt.

you may have noticed that prices have shot skyward in the past

The leading brand from Cooley,

two years, financial crisis be

which specializes in reviving old styles and marks, is Connemara, a

damned. Redbreast 12-year-old,

peated single malt that seems un-

by comparison, is a great deal at

Gaelic but in truth harks back to the

about $50 per bottle. (I should add

golden age of Irish whiskey. Cooley

that the same is true of some of the best bourbons.)

also makes the superb Tyrconnell

Does it get any better? Well,

unpeated single malt; Kilbeggan, a blend; and Greenore, the only

yes: Redbreast 15-year-old is com-

Irish single grain whiskey.

ing. This older expression, which

Not long ago, I uncorked

was only released once, in very

a bottle of Redbreast, the pure

limited quantities, in Europe, will be

pot still spirit frequently cited

available in the United States this fall. Meantime, find yourself a bottle

as Ireland’s best. Pure pot still

of the 12-year-old and raise a glass to

as a style has a characteristically

County Cork’s pure pot still perfectionists.

oily mouthfeel and a distinctive

As they say over there, “Up Cork!”

flavor profile. There’s no mistaking Redbreast for an American whiskey, although it is plenty sweet. You might well peg it for a Speyside Scotch, given the fruit and floral notes. Displaying tremendous complexity on the nose and palate, this whiskey requires some quiet time (in my case, by the fireside during a snowstorm) for one to plumb the developing aromas and tastes. There is ripe fruit on the nose, some sherry and vanilla, and a resinous, linseed-like tang. I also found a pleasing note of rye spice, although no rye is used in the mash. Redbreast is positively fat on the tongue. Roll

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TASTING NOTES REDBREAST 12-YEAR-OLD IRISH WHISKEY C O L O R | Deep amber N O S E | Spice cake, nuts, sherry, cream soda, meadow flowers and grass, honey, cherries, linseed oil, rye-like overtones. PA L AT E | Silky mouthfeel, with tastes of ginger cake and treacle sponge, malt, butter, maple syrup, a hint of cinnamon. It’s simultaneously redolent of a Vermont breakfast and a sticky English dessert. Sweet but not cloying.

M A R K D O W D E N , a native of Kentucky who was educated at the

F I N I S H | Oily, spicy and long, with honey, sherry and licorice.

University of St. Andrews, is a fan of all whiskey.

P R I C E | $50

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SUMMER 2010

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Pockets Magazine: Spring/Summer 2010 issue