Tag Archives: The Balvenie

Whisky is For Yogis Too!

When traveling near or far I make sure to get my yoga fix in. Thanks to FYM Productions and Clay From the Bay for the action shots! How do you stay fit on the road?

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The Balvenie Announces Winner of The American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award

On February 6th The American Craft Council along with The Balvenie declared Douglas Brooks, Vermont Boat Builder, as the winner of the American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award.  The award was presented at an exclusive luncheon at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City where a select group of influencers including the longest standing Malt Master in history, David Stewart honored the five nominated craftspeople and their respective traditional art forms.

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The American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award in association with The Balvenie recognizes one winner and four finalists who are awarded annually in recognition and support of contributions to the maintenance and revival of traditional or rare crafts in America.  To be considered for the Fellowship, individuals must demonstrate a contribution to the preservation of traditional and rare craft techniques, processes, or products and meet a quality criterion.  Hundreds were vetted and five were selected as finalists with Douglas Brooks honored as the 2014 Fellow.  Brooks will receive an exclusive trip to Scotland and a $10,000 endowment to go towards materials and continuing his craft.  The four additional finalists received a $5,000 endowment and a trip to New York City where they showcased their work at the awards luncheon.

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The once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland awarded to Brooks will provide the Fellow with an opportunity to spend time at the legendary distillery, apprenticing under a local craftsman of his choosing.  The two-week Fellowship will feature a week at the historic Balvenie distillery, where Brooks will learn more about the traditional crafts of whisky making while also receiving the rare opportunity to work with legendary malt master David Stewart, who was part of the jury that selected the finalists and awarded Brooks with this unique opportunity.

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To illustrate the passion and commitment to craft of the Fellow and the nominees, each of them were showcased in a short film that was premiered at the luncheon.  The beautiful films were shot over two months from FYM Productions, a New York City based production company.  Click on each of the names below to take a look in to the workshops some of the men and women who are keeping craft alive in America!

Douglass Brooks |Boat Builder Vergennes, Vermont *2014 Fellow

Scott Baxendale | Luthier Athens, Georgia

Stephen Bilenky | Bicycle Builder Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ubaldo Vitali | Silversmith Newark, New Jersey

Ina Grau | Shoemakers Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cheers!


The Balvenie hits Chelsea Market!

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Fall has officially been here for 2.5 weeks and I am fully mode for all things pumpkin spiced and whisky!  It’s that time of the year when delicious whisky events pop up all over my calendar and I get the chance to sip on some exciting spirits.  Now some might say I am a bit biased, but this week is an extraordinary six daylong event located in the heart of Chelsea Market and presented by The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Over the past two years The Balvenie has searched the nation for craftspeople whose works exist as the foundation of rare craft in America.  To celebrate some of the best examples of American craftsmanship, The Balvenie has teamed up with renowned menswear designer Todd Snyder who has curated the Rare Craft Collection – a series of gallery-style events that honor the practice and preservation of traditional crafts.

If you like whisky and want to see some beautiful items, make your way over this week.  A sample of the craftspeople to be featured in the Rare Craft Collection includes:

  • Graham Thompson of Optimo Hats in Chicago, Illinois along with his team of expert hat makers, create top of the line fedoras, porkpies, homburgs as well as many other styles for hat lovers around the world.
  • Rick Kelly of Kelly Guitars based in Greenwich Village, New York, crafts guitars by hand, using reclaimed lumber, specifically white pine that he rescues from trash heaps and decomposition.
  • Schirley Zisman of Golden Bear Sportswear in San Francisco, California is the lead designer for the authentic leather and wool outerwear manufacturer that has produced Varsity, Bomber and Motorcycle jackets since the 1950’s.

To RSVP for The Rare Craft Collection or to learn more, please visit TheBalvenie.com/Collection. Must be 21 and over to attend.

 

Cheers!


Entertaining With Whiskey

When the temperature dips to freezing and the first sign of snowflakes sprinkle from the sky I can’t help but crave a glass of whiskey and an evening in with friends.  And with the holidays just around the corner it is the perfect time to entertain with my favorite tipples and some sole warming food.

One of the great aspects of a quality whiskey is that it is the perfect accompaniment to a meal.  Different whiskey flavors naturally compliment certain food types and flavors, although it can be even more fun to experiment and find your own food pairings to serve up!

When throwing a whiskey fete I like to have a number of different types of whiskies to make sure everyone’s taste buds are satisfied.  Below is a guide to four whiskey taste profiles and the foods I enjoy with each.

Smoky Whiskies

These whiskies tend to have a slightly bitter undertone.  I enjoy pairing them with less sweet foods like crumbly blue cheese or bite size Swedish meatballs.  For a sweet fix serve a smoky Lagavulin 16YO neat alongside broken bits of dark chocolate (if you happen to be in New York City try out Jacques Torres Big Daddy Bar).

Floral Whiskies

The undertones of a floral whiskey are delicate yet often complex.  They pair well with lighter food options such as smoked salmon or goat’s cheese spread.  As a sweet option a whiskey like Glenfiddich 12YO tastes great next to a homemade apple crisp!

Sweet Whiskies

Sweeter whiskies often offer undertones of vanilla and honey and pair well with bold, rich or sweet foods.  Try a seasoned flank steak or soft creamy baked Brie.  Adding a sweet bourbon like Makers Mark to old fashioned vanilla ice cream is the perfect end to a meal!

Oaky Whiskies

Oaky whiskies are naturally creamy and a touch sweet.  They pair wonderfully with roasted meats and caramelized roasted vegetables.  To intensify your dessert, pair The Balvenie PortWood 21YO with a tangy key lime pie.

Cheers to entertaining with great friends and a fabulous whiskey!


How to Entertain Like an Adult

I have finally gotten to that stage in my life where it is time to retire the “college drinking habits” and act like a grown up!  For clarification once you hit 26 it is no longer acceptable to text “BYOB” when inviting friends over for drinks or to serve cheap vodka in bright red solo cups.  Instead of cramming 50 of your closest friends (that you just met a week ago) into your 600 square foot apartment, refine your list and make it something enjoyable!

Entertaining can get expensive, especially living in a city such as New York, but that doesn’t mean you can’t properly entertain on a budget!  Think about your guests’ wants; an inviting atmosphere, something tasty to snack on and a delicious drink in hand. 

So please, throw the funnel away and follow these steps to an adult drinking occasion in Whiskey Dame style!

The Atmosphere

Make sure your apartment/home is clean and inviting.  I like to light a candle for a fresh scent.  Set the mood with some good background music, Pandora usually does the trick!  Invest in some simple plates and pretty glassware.  My favorite place to shop is Fishs Eddy; you can purchase items in any quantity which eliminates having extra or not having enough.

Tasty Snacks

It is absolutely imperative to serve food if you are drinking!  Take the food out of their packaging and put them in matching bowls and platters.  This will give it a less college dorm room look and feel =)  Make sure you have something for everyone.  These days many people have special dietary needs.  Stick with simple things like hummus, assorted dips, pretzels etc.  For an affordable and easy option I like to go to Trader Joes.  They have great frozen appetizers that just require re-heating!

Delicious Drinks

The easiest option is to serve beer or wine, but this could get a little mundane.  My new favorite thing to do is to serve a delicious punch.  You can pre-batch these the evening before and store in the refrigerator to pull out after work.  Punches are impressive looking and pretty while also being efficient; rather than making each person a cocktail they just dip from the punch bowl.  Below are three amazing punch recipes that will turn anyone into a whisk(e)y drinker!

Blood & Sand Punch

1 oz Balvenie 12 Year Old

1 oz Cherry Herring Liqueur

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

1 oz fresh orange juice

Garnish with an orange half moon slice

Night Howler’s Punch

1.5 oz Glenfiddich 15

3 dashes Lavender Bitters

0.5 oz Bols Apricot Brandy

0.5 oz Honey Syrup

0.5 oz Sparkling Wine

0.5 Chilled Water

0.5 Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Lemon Wheel garnish

Auld Alliance Punch

2 oz Balvenie Peated Cask

0.75 oz Orgeat or Monin Almond

0.75 fresh lime juice

0.75 oz chilled water

0.5 oz nutmeg

Multiply each amount buy the number of drinks you would like to serve to get punch recipe

Combine everything in a large bucket and pour over a large block of ice in a punch bowl, keep garnishes fresh and fill up bowl each time as needed.

Cheers to some grown up entertaining!


Things My Grandfather Taught Me

It was the evening of my 26th birthday and I was in my apartment – a Balvenie 14 Year Old in one hand and the weight of my future in the other.  A lot had changed over the past year and it got me thinking about the person I am, the person I want to be, and how I had gotten to this 26th year.  My mind wandered down years of memories scooping up the moments that built my character and highlighting the people who have influenced me.  From the very start of these memories, my Grandfather held a vivid presence.

To those who know him well, this should come as no shock.  He is one of those people who is contagious to be around and to me he has always been the epitome of a role model.  A New York born Northern Italian, he is filled with a quick wit and an easy charm.  He is an expert in numerous things including art and languages, and a true entrepreneur.

Exactly two months ago he suffered a sever stroke.  It all happened at the speed of light and suddenly I found myself at the foot of his hospital bed frozen and at a loss for words.  This was my Grandpa – the guy who walked 6 miles a day and avoided the microwave for fear of radiation.  I didn’t get it.  I couldn’t comprehend how in the matter of seconds he became glued to a hospital bed.

As the days turned into weeks my Grandfather started getting stronger, his speech clearer and his memory sharper.  It became clear to me that his strong will and perseverance were still pushing through.  Ever since I can remember, my Grandfather had been teaching me things and at this moment I can see that he still is.  So as I gear up for what the next 26 years are going to be I’d like to remember the things my Grandfather taught me.

1. Perseverance – I’ll never forget my 7-year-old self sitting around a white clothed table on an exciting outing to the local Chinese restaurant.  My Grandfather began to show me how to use chopsticks.  Placing them in my hand he helped me pick up single grains of rice until I could do it on my own.  I remember being so excited when I could finally do it – a little practice and anything is possible!  To this day I find it fascinating when someone does not know how to use chopsticks!

2. Humor – You can count on my Grandfather for a good joke and a quick sense of humor.  He has always had people laughing, from his impersonations to his gag gifts and beyond.  No matter what prank you conjure up, he is always one step ahead.  Laughter is so important in people and the fact that he could ignite it tells me he had a pretty good grasp on life and what it should be about.

3. Creativity – Growing up I have countless memories of art projects with my Grandfather.  While most little girls were handed a box of Crayola Crayons and a Cinderella coloring book, I was handed a jar of charcoal and a pad of Strathmore profession paper.  Instead of playing with Play Dough or paints from the toy store, he would give me lumps of Sculpty and tubes of oils.  I was fascinated and that fascination turned in to begging my parents to take me to Pearl Paint to buy my own supplies.

4. Adventure – My Grandfather always inspired a sense of adventure in me.  He is a great story-teller and from a young age I was captured by his stories of the places he travelled.  It is obvious he looked for challenges in travel as he was always conjuring up some adventurous trip!  The Lomaglio family did not sit on the beaches of the Jersey shore – instead they slept in tents on the banks of tropical islands, hiked the mountains of Colorado and had rocks thrown at their car in Morocco.  I can imagine family vacations were never boring!

5. Passion – Most importantly, my Grandfather has a tremendous passion that extends through everything he does.  Passion for traveling, learning languages, playing music, building a business, making people laugh and most importantly passion for his family.  Flipping through memories he has always been there – sitting in the audience of dance recitals, handing out presents at Christmas, clipping news paper articles for me to read and so much more.  And for this I am so grateful because I believe passion is one of the greatest gifts a person can have.

I have to say, we are a lucky bunch to have Al Lomaglio in our lives.    Let’s raise a dram to that!

Cheers!