The Martell Trunk – Just “revealed” yesterday!

May 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

Ok. I’m impressed – you just have to see for yourself.

For access, you will need to go to:

I stumbled upon this and had to share. Keep reading for the VIP access code.

The House of Martell, one of the oldest of cognac distilleries, paired up with Pinel Pinel, one of the best Parisian contemporary trunk/luggage companies, to create a unique Cognac Trunk for Martell. Using the most luxurious materials (including crystal and full-grain leathers) they created this mater piece, the contents of which were only revealed yesterday.

The VIP access code needed to digitally look inside the trunk is 1715 (this may be temporary so if you’re intrigued… take a look soon!).  I love how they designed the key pad – it’s like you’re actually standing infront of it punching in your pin.

Enjoy the close up photos below … now … isn’t Christmas only a “few” months off?  Oh Santa!

Simply Stunning.


Whisk(e)y vs Wine

May 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

Ok, ok – before you start firing up your engines – I want you to know that I’m really not going to take this debate on … yet.

I will, however, say this:

Being a lover of both whisk(e)y and wine, I often find myself leaving a liquor store like so: 1 bottle of whiskey, 2+ bottles of wine (depending on who’s with me to help me carry them home!)

Now here are the facts:  1 bottle of wine lasts 1 night in my home with the occasional double-night stretch.  On the other hand, 1 bottle of whisky will last about 1 month. (side note: in my home, we tend to only open 1-2 different bottles of whisky at a time.  I know in many whisky-loving homes this is not the case and you can easily have upwards of 5 different whiskies opened at a time thus making it harder to know the true timeline of a single bottle).

Obviously there is a difference in how the 2 beverages are consumed – I’m certainly not sipping Jameson with my pasta … although… I digress.

Take into consideration this:  You can buy a great bottle of wine for around $20-$25/bottle.  You can buy a great whisky for around $40-$50/bottle.

Now I know there are all kinds of factors that ought to be taken into consideration, however, I’m choosing to skip over them and simply say this:

For the price of two bottles of wine, I can instead buy myself a beautiful, sweet, spicy, lingering night-cap which will last me 30+ days verses 2.

Whisk(e)y, you have won this round.

Brandy Library

May 11, 2011 § 21 Comments

This past weekend, I was excited to have one of my oldest friends visiting from out of town.  When asked what he wanted to do, his reply was simple: “Something whiskey related”


We quickly agreed to meet in Tribeca at the Brandy Library.  It was one of those perfect spring days where the weather was warm enough to make you not want to be inside but chilly enough that when the wind blew, you were thankful to be able to take the edge off with the help of a beautiful single-malt … or two… or six.

The Brandy Library has an über sexy interior – a dark wooden bar, chocolate brown leather chairs, and the most amazing amber glow thanks to the floor-to-ceiling whisk(e)y bottles that line the walls.  They also have a few chairs on their elevated front porch (which is where we were sitting).  I like that you’re outside but off of the ground a bit – it gives you the feeling of privacy without blocking your view for all of the people watching you’re going to want to be doing!

Trés chic

Menu: What made the Brandy Library a perfect choice is their extensive menu.  Just warning you, it’s a book!  But the staff is really helpful and the book is organized with tabs so you can find the different sections really quickly.  This was helpful because in our group of four, we had covered most of the world with our choices!  Collectively, we ordered a Japanese Whisky (Yamazaki 12yr), a French whiskey (Michel Courvreur 12yr), an Indian Whisky (Amrut Single Malt) and the American Pride tasting … funny that not one person ordered something from either Scotland or Ireland, which where a majority of the whiskies are from.

Aside from the ambiance, what I love about the Brandy Library are their tasting menus.  Each of their flights offer 6 different whiskies (hence the “six” comment above!).  They bring you a shallow box with the numbers & names underneath the corresponding, pre-poured glasses. They place another page with the names & numbers on top of the glasses for you to keep on the side while you work your way through.  (I like this extra copy for note taking… but then again not everyone is a dorky as I am!)  They also bring you a 7th (and empty) glass with a bottle of water for you to play & experiment with how the addition of the water can change and enhance the flavors of the spirits.  The challenge?  They don’t give you the name of the 6th whiskey.  They want you to be able to taste, experiment, and enjoy it without any preconceived notions.

The "American Pride" tasting

Tasting like this can be so educational.  I find that being able to alternate between the glasses and compare their smells and tastes really helps me recognize and define the different flavor components in each whisky.  I personally find this much easier to do when I have multiple spirits to compare verses drinking them one at a time.  Which is why when I’m drinking a whisky at a bar, if I happen to order a second glass and change my choice, I usually try to leave a little in my first glass so I have it to refer back to when I’m ready to compare it to the second.

I should also mention that they do have a full liquor license and serve wine & cocktails … although that’s not why I go!   The Brandy Library also has a great hors d’oeuvres menu.  My personal favorite is the gougères (think perfect bites of warm, cheesy dough)!  De-lish.

The only thing I would have changed would have been to have my friends stay longer.

Have you been to the Brandy Library? Post a comment below!

Catoctin Creek & an easy summer weekend getaway!

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

My friends,

I am urging all of you to seek out a bottle of Catoctin Creek Organic Roundstone Rye Whisky asap.  I never fully understood love-at-first-taste until last night.  Having recently received a bottle as a gift, I was excited to open it up and have a taste.  WOW.  Was I impressed!

This award-winning whiskey has no alcohol “burn” at all and when it hits your tongue, it melts into a creamy, chewy caramel toffee with notes of vanilla.  I was so impressed with it’s smoothness, I am confident I will be a fan for life.  After a brief conversation with the distillery owner, Scott Harris, it became clear that I am not the only one to have had this reaction and apparently, they are so popular that they are struggling to fill their orders for just the VA, MD & DC markets!  Awww shucks. …Well, we’ll just have to take a road trip!

(Click on the image above to be taken to the Catoctin Creek website)

Made in Purcellville, Virginia, this small micro-brewery makes about 10,000 bottles per year.  They are doubling their production to 20,000 this year but I doubt there will be enough to make it up-stream to NY.  Using local grains, their products are both Organic and Kosher and if that’s not good enough, each bottle is signed & dated by hand.

In addition to the Roundstone Rye, they also make Watershed Gin, Mosby’s Spirit (an unaged whiskey which I’m now dying to try!), a pear brandy, an apple brandy and some seasonal fruit liqueurs.

Want a great summer weekend getaway?  Take a trip to our nation’s capitol for a day (or two), then drive about 1hr west to Catoctin Creek Distillery for a tour & tasting.  After a picnic lunch, drive another hour south to visit the Copper Fox Distillery

If you live in the DC area, check out the May Wine & Cultural Celebration Series at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar on Wednesday, May 11th from 6pm-8pm where Catoctin Creek along with many fellow VA distillers, wine makers, farmers and the like will be doing tastings.  For more information including ticket info and reservations, click HERE.

Love to hear from you!  Be sure to post a comment if you’ve ever visited the distillery or tried any of Catoctin Creek’s products!

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