March 27, 2015 § 19 Comments
Felt compelled to write this quick post as I’ve just returned from launching Brenne in France (yay!), the always-lovely Ian Chang, master distiller of the Taiwanese company Kavalan, just won Icons of Whisky Global “Master Distiller of the Year” (Congrats Ian!), we ourselves have won a few awards for Brenne recently (a Drammie for Most Innovative Whisky and 2 gold medals from Wizards of Whisky for our up-coming Brenne Ten!) AND it’s International Whisky Day.
Point being: World Whiskies are here to stay.
The International Whisky category does not only account for the Japanese whiskies. There are a lot of amazing and note-worthy distilleries from unexpected corners of the earth making phenomenal whiskies. Just look at our friends over at Mackmyra, Amrut & Sullivan’s Cover (to name a few)!
So if you’re contemplating hosting a whisky tasting anytime soon, informally or formally, maybe think about taking a “Single Malt Tour” around the world, trying one from France, Sweden, Japan, Tasmania, Taiwan, Indian … could be a fun way to travel in the comfort of your own home!
There is certainly no shortage of passion within our whisky community and it’s really exciting to experience that expanding in every aspect from what’s actually in our glasses to the conversations we’re having on social media, at the bar and beyond. I’m honored to be part of an ever-growing category and one where I think we may find a lots of innovation now and in the years to come.
So HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WHISKY DAY to you all – I’ll raise a glass of Brenne to you all this weekend!
#worldwhiskies #internationalwhiskyday #drinkbrenne
June 27, 2014 § 7 Comments
I’m super excited to share something totally fun & a little silly with you we’re calling #BrenneVoyage! Every day during the month of July, I’m going to post a photo of Brenne “out and about” and will tag the photo using the hashtag BrenneVoyage on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
As many of you may know, as the founder of Brenne Whisky (pronunciation reminder: “Brenne” rhymes with “zen”), I’m almost always in possession of a bottle of Brenne. It goes with me everywhere and in a lighthearted way, I’ve found myself occasionally referring to these bottles as having personalities and being far from the inanimate objects that they are (after all, I certainly care for them as if they were my children!).
So on a recent trip to Paris, my mother and I had a blast taking Brenne on a sight-seeing trip around town, photographing it’s journey along the way. When we got back and realized just how many of these photos we had, I thought it was only right to share them in a mini-series that you can follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching for the “#BrenneVoyage” hashtag. It was a hilarious way to enjoy a city that I love so much, the theme of which has now taken on a life of it’s own.
I certainly encourage you to grab a bottle of Brenne, your camera and your sense of humor and join me in this month long photographic journey shooting Brenne around town, on your vacation and hanging out with you this summer – just make sure you use the hashtag #BrenneVoyage so we can all see them! (And please respect your local liquor and open-container laws!).
Here’s a taste of the “behind the scenes” …
And below is a teaser of what’s to come …
Hope to see you around the interwebz … I’ll be the one with a bottle of Brenne in her hand galavanting around some of my favorite cities 🙂
#BRENNEVOYAGE STARTING JULY 1 2014
December 9, 2013 § 9 Comments
The holidays wouldn’t be “the holidays” without an annual Holiday Gift Giving post. And this year, I’m forgoing my usual list of bottles & baubles and focusing on BOOKS! (If you want, you can see my former gift posts HERE HERE HERE HERE & HERE)
It was quite a year for the literary set who enjoy indulging in a great dram AND a great read and I’ve pulled together a little mix of books that should make one quite happy this winter. I know I will be curling up fireside with my cozy faux fur blanket (like THIS ONE on sale at Pottery Barn), glass of whisky (Brenne please!) and these books for the long winter months ahead!
In order of the above photo, here’s the quick list. All titles click through to their respective pages on Amazon/Createspace.
- Apothecary Cocktails, Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today by Warren Bobrow ~
- Distilling Rob, Manly Lies and Whisky Truths by Robert Gard (& fellow whisky blogger, Whisky Guy Rob!)
- Drinking With Men, A Memoir by Rosie Schaap
- Guide to Urban Moonshining, How to Make and Drink Whiskey by Colin Spoelman & David Haskell (yes, that’s right, these are the awesome duo behind Kings County Distillery)
- Whiskey Woman, The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick
- Savoring the Shore, Simple to Sophisticated Recipes from Chefts and Home Cooks for NJ Sandy Recovery, by Cheryl Larkin & Kate Kurelji
Beyond the fact that I personally know most of the authors and love supporting wonderful & talented people; I also believe in what each author has accomplished, whether it’s to educate, entertain or give back – read below for my quickfire thoughts on why they made the cut:
Apothecary Cocktails: There’s no question the “Classic Cocktail” movement is upon us – and it’s wonderful! The ever-talented Warren Bobrow takes us back in time with modern upgrades featuring 75 recipes for cocktail libations to soothe the body AND mind! Give this book with a few bottles of bitters for your favorite home mixologist!
Distilling Rob: An engaging story from “one of our own” whisky bloggers as he takes us through his roller-coaster life where at one point, he left his slick LA life to live and work on Islay in Scotland. Using whisky-making and the maturation process as an analogy for how boys mature into men – this is a no-brainer stocking stuffer for anyone!
Drinking With Men: I bought this at a book reading of Rosie’s I attended with a friend and left with 1/2 the eye make-up I went in with due to all of my tears from continuous laughing. This is a wonderfully engaging memoir that will having you wishing to travel through NYC retracing her steps. Sometimes I fall out of habit reading and need a good “hook book” to get back into it again – this is definitely one of those excellent page turners!
Guide To Urban Moonshining: I just got this and can’t WAIT to get started. (The fabric and feel of the book alone will give you instant “great gifter” cred). It’s filled with recipes, distillation techniques, stories, history, and a chapter called “How To Drink Whiskey” in which yours truly, along with Jonathan Wingo and Colin Spoelman, each wrote a couple pages discussing the bottles we’d suggest if we had to build a well rounded whisky bar using only 12 bottles and cover our bases from sipping to cocktails for your novice and experienced drinker. It was super fun and my first experience having any writings of my own published in a book. Yay! Pair this with a bottle of Kings County Bourbon or Moonshine for a great gift set!
Whiskey Women: THE BOOK that ought to be on everyone’s list! For the first time, Fred is sharing the untold stories of the women who have created & saved this most exceptional industry. It’s refreshing to have access to real stories that you haven’t heard before, that are not the same ones we know just told in a new way – no – this is fresh. And fascinating. And will give you a whole new appreciation for many of the whisky women who you may have met today and many of the distilleries whose drams you’ve probably enjoyed for a very long time. A true must read for anyone who enjoys a great book. Pair this with a bottle of Brenne – my own whisky – and support this particular whisky woman’s dream! 🙂
Savoring The Shore: while not a whisky book per se, there are 3 cocktails inside using Brenne Whisky, 2 of which were created by the author of Apothecary Cocktails, Warren Bobrow! But that’s not why it’s on this list. Instead, it’s because all proceeds benefit Hurricane Sandy relief and that is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I spent my childhood & teenage summers at my grandparents beach cottage on the NJ Shore which was completely wiped out by Sandy (we have yet to rebuild, but will as soon as we’re able) and so I have a personal connection with the Sandy Relief efforts. And what a fun way to give back!? You’ll get a great cook book featuring recipes from long-time local “shore folk” and Master Chefts like Bobby Flay, Tom Colicchio & Mike Jurusz.
**Please note that I do NOT benefit financially from the sale of ANY of these books – regardless of whether or not Brenne Whisky or myself were mentioned or as is the case of Guide To Urban Moonshine where I contributed a couple of pages. Instead, I promote them here because of my love of reading great books & supporting awesome, hard working people!**
December 4, 2012 § 11 Comments
I don’t know about you but I sometimes find my days so nuts that if I don’t zero in and take it one detailed piece at a time than I think I would look at the whole day, become so overwhelmed I’d throw up my hands and fold. Perhaps crawling into whichever hole was closest (which, this being NYC, would probably be a subway station …).
As an aside, please accept my apologies now for any and all unanswered emails, tweets, comments, posts, etc. I THANK YOU for staying with me despite my slight disappearing act from this blog.
But you don’t come here to hear me lament about how ‘busy’ I am – we are ALL busy. Especially this month. And in the whirlwind that is my life – I often step back and think about my fellow bloggers & whisky enthusiasts in awe. How do you all do it!? How do you continually publish quality, well written and well researched posts that are both educational and entertaining on a regular basis!?
When I started this blog, I set a goal for myself of posting one article a week and I think I did a pretty good job of keeping to that until October 1 of this year when I launched my own whisky. And then as soon as the 1st month of Brenne’s introduction in the market was coming to a close, we got hit badly by hurricane Sandy. And then as soon as we dusted ourselves off, flicked the light switch on (& actually got light!) and hit the ground running, we ran into Thanksgiving and kicked off the always-busy holiday season.
So there I am; blinders on, bulldozing through the minutes, hours, days and weeks with time whizzing by faster than ever that I found myself Sunday evening happily standing behind a table pouring Brenne (Estate Cask, barrel #261) at the amazing whisky event Robin Robinson put together to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.
Standing there talking to one wonderful whisky lover after another, I spotted the ever familiar white Corsair logo against a black T-shirt peaking through the crowd coming my way. My eyes quickly glanced up from the T-shirt to the wearer of said tee and realized that it was Darek Bell (co-founder & distiller of Corsair Artisan Distillery). Darek and I have crossed paths at many events and I could definitely pick him out of a line up (watch out, Darek!) but we had never before had the opportunity to spend more than a minute conversing until then.
It didn’t take us long at all to jump right into full whisky geek talk (and I love being in the company of true geeky distillers like Derek, there is so much for me to learn and as soon as he started asking me questions about our still configuration – I felt like it was my birthday!) And then he said it, those words you hope you never hear but, whenever you truly expose yourself – like an artist at his debut or an author publishing her book – you have to be ready for: “Allison, I do, however, have one complaint. ” Eek! Sound the alarm! Brace yourself! Wait. No. Calm yourself. Listen & learn. Ok, you can do this. …. “Oh yea? What’s that Darek?” “Ever since you launched Brenne, you’ve kinda ignored your blog.”
Huh? That’s the complaint? You A) read it B) noticed my fewer post publications and C) cared enough to mention it? I’m FLATTERED! I feel the redness leave my face (in the anticipation of a different kind of complaint) and I smile broadly … and somewhat quizzically. Reading my expression, Darek then said, “Yes Allison, people do read your blog and frankly, I like your take on things.”
As I drifted off to sleep the night before last, I was thinking about my backlog of whisky posts. The events that I have been wanting to share with you, the unique whiskies I’ve been buying up as I travel from one whisky store to another hand selling Brenne, the people I have met and the amazing whiskey-based cocktail creations I have experienced. And how I have been getting to the end of my Sunday evenings thinking, “Oh crap, I missed another week … now my post will be too dated.” But last night as I thought about this, I also remembered one of my favorite aspects of whisky; it’s a true art of time. My whisky that is aging in barrels is constantly reminding me that no matter how hard I work or how quickly I move from one thing to the next, the whisky everyone around the world is distilling today still won’t be ready any faster. We all still have to wait years, a decade or even longer until we can pour into our glasses what is being now being distilled through copper vessels. With that in mind, I was thinking how I love that whisky takes so long to age and then stops abruptly as soon as it enters a bottle, almost as if that glass frame is the spirit’s own time-capsule. Perhaps then too, these posts that I have been worried about being just a bit too old will, like our whiskies, get a little better with age and then once they launch themselves into a published post only then do they stop changing, or rather ‘aging’. Perhaps that is a little too philosophical for some of you but I’m sticking to it. 🙂
And until I dust off those recent memories and commit them here, I leave you with this; THANK YOU. Thank you Darek for giving me a bit of a kick in the you-know-what to log back in and continue the conversation. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me and continue subscribing even as my posts have become less regular. And the biggest Thank You to all of you who have not only stayed with me but picked up my slack! Your comments, emails, tweets, re-blogs, and perhaps most importantly, your own personal blog posts mentioning me and/or Brenne have simply made me speechless (… almost 😉 ). I can’t thank you all enough. It’s super fun to get to know you and talk about one of our favorite topics together!!!
October 10, 2012 § 11 Comments
It’s so cool when your friends take that plunge, break from that steady paycheck, and jump off the cliff of stability into the unknown but exciting world of entrepreneurship. One such friend, the amazing & always inspiring Nicholas Pollacchi, has recently taken the dive.
You know Nicholas as the former Brand Ambassador for Balvenie (he’s the one who is always in a beautiful suit, speaks with a thick Scottish accent, wears a welcoming smile & always give a generous pour) and we watched as he rocked it out driving across the US multiple times for the Balvenie Rare Craft Road Shows.
He recently started his own company, The Whisky Dog, curating bespoke whisky experiences. Most of his impeccably tailored events are private but for a few lucky dogs, you too can have your chance to participate next week in NYC.
Here are the details:
September 5, 2012 § 17 Comments
It was 3am. I was staying up late to put the final edits on a blog post I wanted to publish the next morning. Naturally, I was nursing a dram and tabbed over to my Twitter account to see if anyone else was sharing in my late-night debauchery. Why yes! Two of my favorite blog & twitter friends, @BoozeDancing & @CooperedTot. After a quick round of witty whisky banter, I asked them what they were both doing awake. Same answer: editing blog posts.
A couple people I’ve met asked (only after they assumed “yes”) if I was a “full time blogger” to which I had to laugh. Did they really think I hung out in coffee shops all day tweeting around ideas that would come together in my weekly posts? Sounds good! But no, for me, as it is for many of my fellow bloggers, blogging is a passion-project only. Something I think we all actually loose money on (I know I do!) and something we do in between balancing the thousands of other things on our plates. Why? Because we love it. Because I LOVE the #WhiskyFabric community. Because I LOVE the conversations that evolve from the topics we are all living & writing about.
I thought it time to interview the Dancers – shine a light on some of my late-night editor companions and let you in to see a glimpse of what it’s like to run a successful blog. I asked the following questions to each of the 4 writers of the It’s Just the Booze Dancing blog and I love how each of their uniquely wonderful personalities shine through in their different responses. Please enjoy their truthful, funny, thoughtful & of course, entertaining responses:
Who are the writers of the BoozeDancing blog?
G-LO: The Wookie, The ROK, Limpd, & G-LO
The ROK: I go by the alias ‘The ROK’ on the blog.
LimpD: LimpD will suffice.
The Wookie: is a 38 year-old booze, brew, travel, and food lover that like the other Booze Dancers lives in South Jersey just outside of Philadelphia. By day I am a civil engineer and construction management expert consulting on large scale building projects around the world. When not at work I love exploring new brews, spirits, and foods. Beyond booze and food I enjoy cold weather sports and outdoor sports like skiing, ice hockey, snorkeling, and sailing.
How did you all come up with your pen names?
G-LO: G-LO is derived from my real name, and was coined by a guy that used to do improv comedy with my wife about 9 or 10 years ago. I’m not really sure how it happened, but the neighbors caught wind of this nickname and it stuck. There is nothing funnier than hearing yourself called Mr. G-LO by The Wookie’s youngest daughter. And in a whisky related story, Joshua Hatton referred to me as G-LO when he asked Dr. Bill Lumsden of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie a question that I posted on his Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society Blog. Dr. Bill asked, “G-LO? As opposed to J-LO?”. Dr. Bill was very disappointed when he find out that I was a guy.
The ROK: Not much creativity here, ROK are my initials. At neighborhood gatherings, I would write my initials Toby Keith style on the red solo cup and so it kind of stuck as a nickname since its kind of like ‘rock’
LimpD: When we began the blog, I was in need of a hip replacement and had a pronounced limp.
The Wookie: The definition of wookie is “a tall, hairy alien species”. Since I am 6’5″, an incredibly hairy dude, and a bit off center “The Wookie” seems to fit well.
When and why did you all start the BoozeDancing blog?
G-LO: Prior to the formation of the blog, the four of us spent a great deal of time sitting around the fire, drinking whisky, and just talking into the wee hours of the evening. About a month or two prior to the blog’s launch, one of us joked that we should record our fireside chats and start a podcast. Although the podcast never materialized, the blog eventually did.
The ROK: G-LO is really the creative force behind the blog. We got the idea one night sipping whisky on G-lo’s patio. We talked about it for a few weeks and then GLo just went and started it.
LimpD: We began the blog as a somewhat feeble effort to pass off our backyard drinking as research. Additionally, as we ventured further into beer and spirits, it became apparent that we had a fairly significant knowledge base that with G-LO’s urging could be used to both amuse and educate.
The Wookie: You could say that, two years ago, we started the blog to share with the world our thoughts on the “finer things in life” but that would be total bullshit. G-lo was (and still is) the mastermind behind the blog and depending on when/who you ask you may get different answers to “why” we started. Some of those answers include:
1 – We had a few too many and thought the world actually cared about our musings on booze and life
2 – We were trying to score free stuff
3 – We were looking for a public forum to poke fun at each other
4 – We were trying to legitimatize our “exploration” of booze and food
…. and the list goes on.
How frequently do you publish new posts?
G-LO: We typically publish between 3 and 5 posts per week.
LimpD: We aim for three posts a week and try to divide the work load based on our other commitments.
The ROK: My postings have become less and less frequent as job and family responsibilities have taken up much of my time.
The Wookie: Currently we are publishing about a post per day, Monday through Friday.
On average, how much time would you say each writer spends writing and promoting/marketing his posts per day or week?
G-LO: Writing has never been one of my strengths, so depending upon the subject matter, and my level of inspiration, it could take me anywhere from one to three hours to write a post (sometimes more, but rarely less). This does not include the time I spend fussing with the photos or actually evaluating what I’m drinking. As far as the promotions/marketing side, once again, it depends. Since I manage the Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram feeds, several of the post promotions are performed automatically through WordPress. Thanks to people like yourself and other blogging buddies we’ve made along the way, promoting and marketing has been getting easier every day. I like to call it “good blogging karma”.
The ROK: I mostly just write. G-Lo had really gotten into the social media aspects and promotes the blog on facebook and other sites such as digg and reddit.
LimpD: I spend about three hours a week writing, responding to comments and forwarding our posts out to sites like Reddit.
The Wookie: G-lo and LimpD do the lion’s share of the writing publishing 1-3 posts per week. I write more like a sniper picking select targets to write about a few times per month. As far as marketing and promotion goes, G-lo is our social media wizard promoting everyone’s writings through Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc..
What have been some of your biggest surprises as booze bloggers?
G-LO: Of course the biggest surprise is that people actually seem to enjoy reading our blog! The second biggest surprise is how much I enjoy interacting with all of the other great bloggers out there. It always makes me smile when I stumble upon all of the comments that we leave on each other’s blogs. We’re all so connected!
The ROK: The biggest surprise is that anyone actually reads it. I never expected to find such a large community of people who share our enjoyment of whisky and who are willing to share their experiences. In addition, the amount of time it takes to put together a well thought out posting was surprising. Whisky, beer, and just about any spirit can be so complex to try to distill the essence of the experience into 1 or 2 paragraphs takes more effort that it might appear.
LimpD: We actually seem to know what we are talking about and have provided a creative outlet for an expanding “hobby”.
The Wookie: It was and still is surprising that people actually read what we write. I think we all write just for fun, as a hobby. The fact that we get regular feedback from others including distillers, brewers, and the like is surprising and very cool.
What were some of your biggest hurdles/learning curves?
G-LO: I’ve been drinking whisky and beer for a very long time, but I never really sat down to analyze what I was drinking until the past few years. I always thought tasting notes were utter nonsense, but until you actually try to sit down and write them, you don’t realize how difficult it really is. Also, writing in general has never been easy for me, so the fact that I have written so much and actually enjoyed doing it is a friggin miracle!
The ROK: For me, it was broadening my taste palate. When we first starting writing, I wrote mostly about bourbon. I have a sweet-tooth so whiskey based on corn fit right in with me. Over the years, I’ve expanded into Irish and single-malt whisky’s and I find now more and more I reach for a highlands malt over the bourbons I used to favor.
LimpD: We started a little behind the curve and G-LO has invested a significant amount of time pushing our blog with Twitter, Facebook, etc. I found that my taste preferences (softer beer, unpeated whisky, shiny packaging and no demon bourbon) were a bit of mixed blessing. While I certainly had a comfort zone, I was initially a little unwilling to expand my horizons and that hindered my posts.
The Wookie: It took us a bit of time to figure out how to promote what we do and bring all the social media tools together. G-lo is our social media “guru” and helps keep the blog’s visibility high.
How do you stay motivated?
G-LO: I will be the first to admit that there are days when I’m not very motivated to write, but then someone comments on a post, or throws a #FF our way on Twitter, and I remember why I enjoy doing this so much.
The ROK: This is the hard part for me. It gets harder and harder to find the time to down and focus on a blog post. G-Lo keeps it going.
LimpD: Now, I really like to try things and as the Philly/South Jersey area has expanded its offerings, there seems to be a new beer or whisky or bourbon that catches my eye.
The Wookie: It’s still fun. For my part the blog is more a place to catalog my exploration of new things than to share it with anyone. Trying new things is the motivation, writing is just a record of my experiences.
What do you like best about being a blogger?
G-LO: Here are just a few of the things that I like best about being a blogger: interactions with our readers and other bloggers; interactions with brewers, distillers, bar/restaurant owners, and other industry professionals; the thrill of finding the next “Holy Grail” beer or whisky, and then sitting down to write about the experience. There are so many more things that I love about blogging, but I think you get the idea.
The ROK: The free samples. The folks at Master of Malt have been generous in sending us samples to try. It’s really great to get to try something that would probably never make it into a review and be able write about it.
LimpD: The comments and feedback. It is great to write a post but it is even better to have someone respond even if it is to critique the review.
The Wookie: The blog has gotten us invites to and tastes of new things that many others would not get to try. It seems the more we write about things we like the more we are asked to try things we like.
What do you like least about being a blogger?
G-LO: My only complaint is not having the time to write as much as I’d like.
The ROK: To do it well, really takes a lot of time.
LimpD: At times, I find it hard to objectively review something that to me is just awful. You want to review a product and provide some insight without just slamming something.
The Wookie: Until there are paparazzi camped out in front of my house I don’t think there will be anything I don’t like. You write when you want to write and stop when you don’t feel like it.
If you had it to do all over again, would you still have started?
G-LO: Most definitely! My only regret is not knowing as much as I know about Social Media when we first started out. Lots of trial and error in the beginning as far as getting the word out about our blog.
The ROK: It was really G-lo that started it all, so if he started it again, I would freeload off his efforts again, too!
LimpD: Absolutely, I just wish we had started sooner.
The Wookie: G-LO was the mastermind and just took us all along for the ride. I guess if he says yes to doing it again I would say yes to jumping on board for the ride.
Any tips for people considering starting a blog?
G-LO: The common thread in all of my answers has been about how much I truly enjoy the interactions that occur because of the blog. The best way to gain readership is to read other people’s blogs and to leave thoughtful and relevant comments. There is a plethora of great writing happening across the blogosphere. Get out there and get to know the writers. And most importantly, never take yourself too seriously, and try your best to have fun with your writing!
The ROK: You need to consistently post fresh material in order to build an audience. It takes some time, but if you publish consistently and continue to learn about the subject you are writing about, like minded people will find you.
LimpD: I would suggest that collaboration is a key to starting a blog. That spreads the workload and varies the opinions as each writer has some preference. For us, G-LO tends to smokey, peaty whiskies; the ROK is a big fan of bourbon; the Wookie likes to find things off the beaten path; and I look toward the softer, mellower whiskies. The same goes for the diversity in our preferences in beer. I would like to think that this difference has allowed each of us to expand our palates and enhance our knowledge. Also, you don’t want to drink alone; where is the fun in that.
The Wookie: My number one tip is to start blogging with a group of friends/writers rather than going it alone. Producing blog content as a single writer makes it tough to publish regularly and tough to get feedback. If you start with a group of writers you can pick up the slack for each other when someone does not feel like writing and also provide feedback to each other. If nothing else your little group becomes your primary audience and you can just have fun writing things for your circle of friends.
Final thoughts from me to the BoozeDancing crew: I continue to be inspired by your humility & dedication – not just to your own blog but to mine and so many others. You all are important members in the whisky community and as both a reader & blogger, I thank you for your continued support & commitment. Cheers!
August 9, 2012 § 3 Comments
As a woman, it is not entirely unusual for me to consult YouTube for various How-To’s that can impact my appearance (i.e. how to do that new hair style or make your own face scrub) but aside from the “How To Tie a ____ Tie” videos, I can’t say that I think there are a lot of “How To” videos that have you men rushing to preview, learn & possibly apply to your day.
Until I came across this one: How To Wear a Full Formal Kilt Outfit with All Accessories.
Very comprehensive … kinda made me want to run out and get a kilt so I could follow along. Without further adieu, here is the video. Feel free to bookmark this for your next formal event in Scotland :).
Have you worn a kilt? Or do you look to YouTube for specific How To videos? Share below!
June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
So in my week of back-to-back whisky events, I was told that I must attend this soiree (don’t you love friends who insist you join them out for wild, chic, crazy nights?). And, in my theme of doing “heads up” posts on what’s going down around town, I thought I ought to include a little ditty about this… after all, there will be booze & burlesque … how can you go wrong?
Click HERE for more info.
See you around. -WW
June 11, 2012 § 8 Comments
Ok gang, we have 1 week until it’s the day we’re to be giving thanks to our Old Man … and if you’re like me, you haven’t bought anything yet – not even the card. (Ok, perhaps you’re just saying that you haven’t “found the right thing yet” but we all know you gave it a 2 second google search and then were on to the 10 new emails that just reloaded in your inbox). We’ve all been there… I’m not judging.
Instead, I know exactly how you feel. But don’t worry – if you act now, you just might manage to give him the PERFECT Father’s Day gift on time … whisky style.
GIFT OPTION 1: Whisky Tasting Set from Master of Malt
Chose from over 25 different specialized sets – including a “Cigar Lover’s Tasting Set” and a “Father’s Day Gift set” which can be shipped out of London in 24hrs. Act quickly before they’re either sold out (as some are) or it’s too late! Available online at MasterOfMalt.com
GIFT OPTION 2: Personalized Whisky bottle
So you wanna be a baller? Now’s your chance. Give your dad a bottle of whisky (chose from 16 different whiskies from a variety of producers and prices) that’s personalized JUST FOR HIM! Now that’s one way to upstage your siblings … 😉 Available online at MasterOfMalt.com
GIFT OPTION 3: Subscription to Whisky Magazine
Give him a 1 or 2 year subscription to Whisky Magazine and let him keep up monthly with all the latest whisky news from around the world! Available online at WhiskyMag.com.
GIFT OPTION 4: The NEAT Glass
Keep your dad up on the latest nosing glassware trends and get him a set or two of the NEAT glasses! Available at TheNeatGlass.com .
GIFT OPTION 5: Vintage 1950’s-60’s 14k Gold Carafe
Picture this filled with ice water sitting next to your dad’s Double Old-Fashioned glass 1/2 filled with his favorite Scotch. The Wall Street Journal is folded in a slight mess on the floor and if you keep your eyes closed just long enough, you can almost feel the worn leather of his favorite chair and hear his favorite song being hummed in the background… and if that’s NOT your memory of him, make it his reality! At only $12 USD + shipping, you can’t afford not to! Available at BellaLaineVintage on Etsy.com (but act now because there is only 1!)
Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful dad’s out there!!!
May 31, 2012 § 6 Comments
Congrats! You’re moving! Now, what to do with all those bottles you actually want to bring with you and not just consume in one debaucherous night?! Relax, I’m here to help. 😉
Having just moved my rather sizable whiskey and wine collection (200+ total bottles) – I have a better idea now how to do this compared to just a few weeks ago and in my “I’m back to blogging and getting back to life” post (really titled “Spring Cleaning” click HERE) I was asked by Chuck over at the Whiskey World Tour blog if I had any tips for moving one’s collection. Turns out, I do! Too many to write in the comments section so I thought it best to list them here.
Not assuming we’re all starting out with the same base knowledge about this – some of these tips may seem obvious but better to be safe then sorry!
For the quick, get-it-done, rather spend the money not the time person:
- Assess how many bottles you have that are open (don’t risk it, if the seal is broken, just treat it like it’s in the “opened” camp)
- Buy a box (or 2, 3, …) of the 1 gallon size Ziplock bags for your shorter bottles and the 2 gallon size for your taller bottles (I personally like these: Ziploc Double Zipper Freezer Bag and these: Ziploc Resealable 2 Gallon Size) for all of your open bottles. You can do this for all of your closed bottles too if you’d like for just a little extra security.
- Place all of your open bottles in the appropriate size Ziploc bag (ok to turn the bag – not the open bottle – sideways to get the fit nice & snug (see photos)).
- Buy the appropriate number and size packing boxes from either The Spirited Shipper or a similar company. These are specially designed for precious – but heavy – alcohol bottles and I think they are GREAT.
- Follow the packing directions provided by The Spirited Shipper and seal with a healthy amount of heavy-duty packing tape (like THIS one by Scotch)
- Before sealing the box entirely, move it around a bit. If you feel like the bottles are not completely secure or you hear them moving around (even if they are “just” hitting the cardboard sides) add packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or rolled up socks -clean preferably.
- If you see a good amount of space between bottles, you might be able to fit in some of your smaller, 50ml UNopened bottles here if they are well protected and don’t interfere with the packaging around the bigger bottles.
- Buy a set of white (not clear!) printable labels (like THESE by Avery) and print in big, bold letters: FRAGILE – WHISKY (or FRAGILE-HEAVY) and insert an “Up” arrow graphic (like THIS free one from Veryicon.com) –Believe me, you’ll thank me for this step – it’s a huge time saver verses writing all over the boxes
- If I had thought of step 8 before I finished packing, I would have done this not only for the whiskies & wine, but also would have made a stack of labels with the each of the rooms where I wanted the movers to place each box (i.e. “OFFICE” “KITCHEN” “BEDROOM” etc)
- One final tip – using a big bold marker, number all of your boxes and keep a list for yourself (perhaps you will organize it like: “Kitchen – 30 boxes OR: Whiskey- 5 boxes). You don’t want to run the risk of having anything accidentally left on the truck!
For the “I have some time and am trying to save some money” person, try these revisions!/span>
1. STEP 4 revised:
- Instead of purchasing new boxes, ask your local liquor & wine shop if you can grab some boxes after their next delivery. Make sure you inspect the cardboard thoroughly and don’t use any that feel at all flimsy or unstable.
- Also take a look at the inserts – grab as many as you can (if you can’t use them on your spirits, perhaps they’ll come in handy for your dishes or something else).
2. STEP 5 & 6 revised:
- Assuming your whisky collection has bottles of various sizes, you’ll need to spend some time making sure you package all of the bottles of similar sizes in appropriately sized boxes. Get the height of the box as close to the top of your bottles -but not under!- and don’t let a single bottle touch another.
- Use towels, socks, your crazy collection of used wine corks (I did this!), anything that is soft to help secure each bottle in it’s place. Shake that box hard to make sure you don’t hear movement, if you do – add more packing materials.
- If the top of the bottles don’t come up to the top of the box when closed, fill in the top with folded towels or something light but strong. These boxes will get stacked on top of each other and any space left in the top will cause that box to dent when under pressure, causing all of the boxes on top of that one to tilt, or worse, fall.
3. STEP 8 revised:
- Fall in love with your Sharpie marker. You’ll be making lots of “Up” arrow drawings, writing “FRAGILE” and “HEAVY” and “LIVING ROOM” all over these boxes. But it’s okay – you’ll get through it! Pour yourself a quick dram and let the drawing begin!
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you are embarking on a journey that requires you to go through the above – or similar- steps, then I wish you all the luck and patience. If I have left anything out – I’ll be sure to reply/comment/update as necessary.
Here is a photo of my 750ml, 9 1/4″ tall bottle of Bruichladdich in a 1 gallon size Ziploc baggie. I like to pull the baggie over the bottle hard enough that it creates a bit of pressure and holds that cork (or screw cap) securely in place.
Here is a photo of my 750ml bottle, 12″ tall bottle of Tom Lawless that is too tall for the 1 gallon size Ziploc but a perfect candidate for the 2 gallon size. If you can’t close the zipper bag without it tearing – the baggie is too small for that bottle.
Please share your own thoughts/experiences/questions/ideas below. I definitely do not have all of the answers – nor can I or this blog take any responsibilities for your brown beauties should something happen to them during your own move. I just hope you can find some of these tips useful!