Archive for March, 2016

Having a Hard Time Choosing a Gift for Your Guy?

USL-Diageos-Scotch-Whisky-Gift-Collection

Women can be very complicated that not all men understand them. But try to fit into their shoes when they are looking to buy a gift for their men and you’ll probably learn that men can be just as complicated as well.

Buying gifts for men is one of the most confusing, if not complicated, tasks for women. In fact, some women would say it’s easier to crack Rocket Science! While wallets may seem too casual, giving watch would seem too formal. Clothing and accessories is too main stream and perfumes may send the wrong message. It’s just too difficult to find a good one for an all-occasions gift. This dilemma isn’t only happening to women from daily walks of life, even celebrities are at a loss. Well, fret no more because there’s a perfect gift out there!

Many Bollywood celebrities like Chitrangada Singh and Lisa Haydon chose the USL’s Scotch Whisky Collections to give as a gift to the men of their lives. It can be given not only to your beau or partner, but you can also give it to your male boss, your friend, and even your parents and in-laws.

USL-Diageos-Scotch-Whisky-Gift-Collection

USL-Diageo’s Scotch Whisky Gift Collection. Photo: indianfoodfreak.com

“I believe we have solved the dilemma of gifting for men. Earlier it was a task to find the right gift for the right occasion but the Scotch Whisky Collection is the ideal gift for all occasions. All men appreciate their Scotch whisky and am sure would cherish such a gift,” says Lisa Haydon.

Whether your man is throwing a celebratory party after landing a big deal or just relaxing after a long day’s work, the Scotch Whisky Collection would never go out of style. Whether he is throwing himself a birthday party with his closest friends or just wants to show off his collections at your bar cabinet, Scotch is just the classiest way to do it. In addition to that, each time he would look at his prized Scotch Whisky Collection, he’d always be in awe of your taste in giving gifts!

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Who Says You Can’t Drink Alcohol While Losing Weight?

Losing weight with alcohol

As we all know, alcohol may give us either a beer belly or abs. As a matter of fact, according to a research conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who drink one or two glasses a day are less likely to gain weight than those who take an extra 433 calories on days they consume a couple of drinks.

Although drink-fueled foods may be the culprit for weight gain, 61 percent of the calories come from the alcohol itself. Therefore, if you’ve been trying to lose weight and you want to enjoy drinks on occasion, then you’d better think about the drinks you choose. Here are the best and worst alcohol beverages that you can order.

The Best Alcohol

  • Assuming that you’re drinking from a standard 5-ounce glass, you can expect to take in 100-120 calories per glass of red or white wine. However, you have to consider things when you choose to drink wine. White wine contains fewer carbohydrates, which makes a little difference when you talk about calories. Meanwhile, red wine is richer in antioxidants; the ellargic acid from the red wine helps delay the growth of fat cells, according to the 2014 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
  • “Fortified wine with higher alcohol content and infused spices and herbs, vermouth is a calorie saver if you have it by itself – as it’s commonly served in Europe,” said Georgie Fear, R.D., the author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. It contains 64 calories per 1.5 ounce serving with only 15-18 percent alcohol. It also contains polyphenol compounds that help promote healthy weight loss.
  • Straight Liquor. If you’re worried about the calories, then shots and straight booze on the rocks are the best ways to go. As calories increase with alcohol content, the different isn’t that huge. For example, a shot of 86-proof whiskey has 105 calories, while a shot of 80-proof vodka has 97. Keep in mind, however, that the sweeter the liquor, the more calories it has. Thus, if you want a flavor boost, try low-calorie mixers.
  • Light Beers. With only little carbs and calories, these are the best beers for weight loss. Many of them contain 90 to 100 calories per 12 ounce, while extra-light beers only have 55 to 65 calories. Remember, though, to not use this as an excuse to have more beers than usual or you won’t reap the benefits.
Losing weight with alcohol

Image(c): www.livestrong.com

The Worst Alcohol

  • Cocktails are sugar-laden drinks, which mean it is packed with calories. For instance, when you drink margarita, your body may be overwhelmed with alcohol that your body won’t properly metabolize the sugar; instead, it will store it as fat.
  • Craft Beers. For the past few years, craft beers have been popular among those who drink. What they don’t realize is that it is packed with more calories than the regular beer. Every gram of this good stuff contains seven calories. For instance, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA with 18 percent alcohol per volume contains about 450 calories per bottle — which is typically a meal in a glass.

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Whisky Galore Set to be Staged at Markinch Town Hall

Whisky Galore Logo

Markinch Amateur Operatic Society is preparing to stage its new production, Whisky Galore, at Markinch Town Hall. They will be performing “Whisky Galore – A Musical!” from Tuesday to Saturday next week. A Fifer who assisted in adapting the tale for the stage helped them to prepare for the said event.

Ian Hammond Brown, from Dunfermline, has joined the Markinch Amateur Operatic Society (MAOS) as the director for this latest production. Along with Shona McKee McNeil, they adapted the popular tale of Compton Mackenzie from the novel to a musical.

Ian said, “I was working with SusanLoftus from Cutting Edge Theatre Company in Edinburgh and she had gone to London and managed to set up a chat with Cameron MacIntosh about producing musicals in Scotland. He suggested picking up on Compton Mackenzie’s work.”

“I met up with Susan in Borders Bookshop and at that time we were trying to decide which of Mackenzie’s work to do. We saw Whisky Galore on the shelf and decided that was the one. It was one of my favourite films when I was young. We read the book and approached the relevant people to get the rights to adapt it,” he added.

The production was showcased first at Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 and has been developed from there.

“It was very successful there so I took it on from there and continued to develop it,” Ian said. “Pitlochy Festival Theatre was looking at Mackenzie’s work so I went up there and pitched it and was commissioned to rewrite for the 2009 season. After that I decided to release it for amateur productions.”

Whisky Galore Logo

Markinch, Fife, Scotland, who produce a musical show in March of each year. By www.maos.org.uk

“Whisky Galore – A Musical!” is set during the time when the curse of rationing visited Hebridean islands of Little Todday and Great Toddy, which was in 1943. The thirsty islanders ran out of uisge beatha (the water of life) when a cargo ship came aground with 50,000 cases of whisky.

Currently, Ian is working on a new piece called the “Carnegie” — a musical based on the life of Andrew Carnegie which is set to be staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

When he was asked about the Markinch production, he further added that, “It’s falling into place. It’s been a lot for the company to learn, as many weren’t that familiar with the musical. I think it will be an amazing night out.”

“Whisky Galore – A Musical!” will be staged from March 22 to March 26 at the Markinch Town Hall.

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The Beginnings of The Lake Distillery and Cumbria

The Lakes Distillery

Paul Currie was in oil and now he’s switched to gold…. Liquid gold!

In his previous job, he sold engine oil to eastern bloc countries shortly after the Berlin wall came down. He also worked for BP in Poland and Russia, dealing with people who want to have a taste of the life in the western world.

Today, he owns the Lakes Distillery and is selling Cumbria around the world — giving whisky fanatics a taste of his product.

The Lakes Distillery was created as a tribute to his father, Harold. At 51, Paul was in his late 20s when he helped his 70 year-old father establish Arran Distillery in the mid-1990s. Harold worked previously for Chivas Regal as managing director and was part of Pernod Ricard Drinks Corporation.

The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery. Photo by www.pressat.co.uk

Since no one had thought of setting up an independent distillery for years, Paul thought creating one would be fun.

“I think my heart was always in whisky. Dad was in his 70s and needed someone young to do the running round. People thought we were crazy, since then, people have opened new distilleries everywhere,” Paul said.

About 20 years after the launch of the Arran Distillery, Paul realized there’s still much potential in launching another independent distillery. He could’ve established his dream distillery and made it successful. However, he chose Cumbria primarily because of what it represents; the countryside — lakes and mountains. The fact that it is damp also helped. Furthermore, the taste of the product also mattered; but the surroundings and the setting of the distillery are the deciding point for Paul as he travels over to Europe, America, and the Far East to market his product.

“The location offered us an amazing brand. It is absolutely crucial to us. The actual environment was perfect; it’s great water, particularly for whisky; and you don’t want the weather too hot or too cold, you want it to be damp for evaporation of whisky,” Paul said.

“There are 109 distilleries in Scotland and to be 110 was not so exciting. There are three others in England, but none in the north. Somehow the Lakes has a place in the whisky world. It looks like whisky-making country,” Paul added.

Paul lives near the distillery, while his family home is still in Oxfordshire because he didn’t want to disrupt his children’s schooling. But they came up to Cumbria on holidays.

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With Increasing Demands, There is Scotch Whisky Shortage

scotch whisky

Whisky fans, this concerns you! The world is currently short of single malt Scotch.

According to a report made by the CNN, there is high demand for Scottish nectar in which the distilleries have hard time supplying.

“The shortage of old and rare single malt… has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” said Rickesh Kishnani, the one who launched the first whisky investment fund in the world.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the sales of single malt around the world have increased by 159 percent between year 2004 and 2014. A number of new markets have an increasing demand for the drink — especially Asia, which currently consumes about 20% of all the Scotch exports.

As we all know, single malt whisky talks years to produce. By rule, all Scotch whiskies should be aged for at least 3 years (distilleries, and the best ones are aged longer than 3 years). Because of the increasing demand, distilleries weren’t able to quickly keep up with the production. There are about 20 million casks maturing in the warehouses in Scotland.

scotch whisky

Don’t panic but we might be running out of Scotch. Credits to www.shortlist.com

According to several experts, this shortage could last for 10 to 14 years, and may cause the prices to increase relatively. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which monitors the value of premium whiskies, has increased by about 14 percent last year.

“We are currently working at full capacity – seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic,” said Charles Whitfield, the brand manager for the Scotch whisky firm Macallan, during an interview with CNN Money. Currently, Macallan is building its second distillery that is expected to open next year.

“The ultimate challenge for the industry is how you predict what you will or won’t sell in the time it takes to mature Scotch. The distillers send millions on research into this specific question but it is still such an unknown quantity. You have to balance making enough with the ability to sell it. And single malts were never expected to be as successful as they become,” says Eddie Ludlow, the co-founder of The Whisky Lounge, during an interview with Telegraph.

Scotland is not the only whisky-producing country that is struggling to keep up with the increasing demands; American distillers producing bourbon whisky are facing the same problems as well. In 2013, in an effort to keep up with the demands, the Maker’s Mark brand cut the alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent; however, it created a negative effect that they were forced to abandon their plans.

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Housewarming Gift Ideas

Whisky Stone Craft Set

So a friend or family recently moved into a new house or apartment. Whether this transition is due to a whole new relationship level or they want to go on a new adventure, this life event is something that you guys should celebrate. Here are some of the budget-friendly gifts that you can give without worrying about how much money you have.

Illume Amber Dunes Cavern Glass Handle

This beautiful candle costs around $45 only. The candle is almost too nice to use. But once the wax runs out, the owner will have an awesome piece of container on their hands. It’s a win-win, right?

Whiskey Stones Craft Set

For only $16, you may give a set of 6 whiskey stones that mixologists and old-fashioned whiskey lovers will seriously appreciate. These amazing cubes allow them to enjoy their drink without having to water them down.

Whisky Stone Craft Set

Whiskey Stones Craft Set. Image: www.freepeople.com

Viddy DIY Pinhole Camera Kit

The Viddy DIY Camera Kit will cost you $26. The kit comes with the things a homemaker will need to create their own pinhole camera; it’s both fun and functional. Plus, there’s a bonus: the photos that your friends or family will take will make a cool new home décor.

Bret Crammer’s Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses

Do away with slurping your hand to prepare for tequila shots! Bret Crammer’s Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses allow salt to flow right with your yummy tequila. You can get this for only $28. These glasses are a perfect accessory for a new home.

Stanley Adventure Flask

The Stanley Adventure Flask can be bought for only $25. You don’t have to be outdoors to use it; you can put coffee or whiskey and drink them on the go!

Hendri Bendel Striped Earbuds

If your friend or family loves music or listens to podcast this earbuds are made just for them. For only $14, they come with an awesome rad case.

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Pogues Irish Whiskey – Now in US Market

The Pogues Bottle

BOSTON – The US market is now offering the known Irish whiskey from The Pogues. This Irish whiskey kicked off in the 1980’s by one of the only two independently owned and operated distilleries in Ireland – the West Cork Distillers. The Pogues is made with exceptional full body with smooth-finishing blends giving the best sample of brown spirits over the years.

It would be great to note that West Cork is Ireland’s only whiskey producer to still malt its own barley, which enables exceptional precision and control over flavor profile.

With that great brown spirits samples for many years, the band which is famous for Fairytale in New York and other hits had been significantly involved in the making of The Pogues Irish Whisky from. With richness of the band’s great spirit and character as well as its poetic rebelliousness, The Pogues Irish Whiskey is uniquely blend of fifty-percent 10-year single malt Irish whiskey which aged in sherry casks; and the half thereof is 5-7 year Irish grain whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks. Unsurprisingly, we have now the great, sweet tasting and aromatic blend of malts and cracked nuts producing and intense flavor.

The Pogues Bottle

The Pogues Bottle: Irish Whiskey. Photo(c): www.radiomilwaukee.org

Shane MacGowan said “It’s been brilliant working with the team at West Cork Distillers in creating a whiskey that we all think reflects our spirit and energy, and that we all enjoy the taste of. It’s wonderful to add a product bearing our name to the ranks of great Irish whiskeys, and we think it will stand the test of time.” MacGowan was with Pogues band members, Jem Finer, Andrew Ranken, Spider Stacy,James Fearnley, Terry Woods, and Darryl Hunt.

Justin Shaw VP of Brand & Market Strategy at MS Walker on his part said, “The Pogues Irish Whiskey represents the ideal blending of tradition and quality from our friends at West Cork, and the rich Irish heritage and culture of the band. We can’t wait for American aficionados of the band and whiskey, new and old, to enjoy their first taste.”

The Pogues Irish Whiskey is carefully crafted using handmade copper stills in small batches at West Cork’s distillery in Skiberdeen using indigenous ingredients of Ireland like locally grown grain and spring water from River Ilen.

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