Archive for April, 2016

Whisky Museum to Close After Curator Almost Died while Swimming

Forres-Whisky-Museum

After almost dying in a swimming pool, a museum curator was forced to call time on a Moray visitor attraction. John Mackintosh spent the last 35 years creating an astounding collection of whisky-related exhibits. However earlier this year, he was pronounced clinically dead after his heart stopped beating while he was swimming. Thus, the 69-year old decided that he doesn’t have the energy anymore to continue running the museum located at the Forres.

The museum at Forres is an attraction that has been frequently visited by tourists from all over the world. However, it will be closing its doors for the last time this coming Monday after the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival this weekend.

Forres-Whisky-Museum

Jock Mackintosh with some of the memorabilia which forms his Whisky Museum in Forres.
Picture by Gordon Lennox

“We get people from America and Europe visiting quite regularly. They like seeing the copper still,” said Mr. Mackintosh. “It just opens their eyes to whisky.”

Some of the items in his collection include memorabilia and artwork that was dated back for almost a century. All the exhibits that you can find in the museum that features shelves that were filled with glasses, water jugs, and bottles are now being sold.

“It’s all the old things, like penknives, ashtrays, keyrings, all the things that you don’t get from distilleries these days,” Mr. Mackintosh said. “I can’t keep it all. It will all just end up in boxes.”

There have been a lot of offers for Mr. Mackintosh’s vast collection and he is now expecting that there will be commercial interest from other businesses that have intentions on creating displays in their hotels. There are plans in place for transferring the running of the museum attraction to the Forres Heritage Trust. However, Mr. Mackintosh was forced to call it a day earlier than he would have wanted.

“I was clinically dead 13 weeks ago. I was swimming in a pool and the water was freezing. I thought I was bound to heat up once I started but I went the opposite way,” he said. “I ended up in the bottom and a defibrillator was fired to bring me back.”

“It’s not easy to do things now and I have to keep warm. I just don’t have the energy for it now,” he added.

The museum that was set in the old police station at the town’s Tolbooth, was opened three years ago. There are about 800 people who visit it yearly.

“John has a phenomenal collection of stuff. It’s his personality that makes the experience so rewarding,” says independent Forres councilor George Alexander, also the chairman of the town’s heritage trust. “We did try to get a retired distillery worker to take his place bet we haven’t succeeded. It’s a pity. It will be a loss.”

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Gauteng MPLs Disclose a Variety of Gifts

whisky

An RDP house, bottles of whisky and wine, a R4 500 cash donation, 43c worth of shares, and a paid return trip to Port Elizabeth are just some of the items that were disclosed by the Glauteng Legislature on Wednesday.

Lindiwe Lasindwa, an MPL and chairwoman of the portfolio committee on infrastructure development, confirmed that she’s the owner of the RDP house since 1998. It is situated in KwaThema Springs. She also said that she owns another house within the area.

Lasindwa also has 3 vehicles, which includes the 2015 model Mercedes-Benz. “I was just disclosing what I owned. I did not want to hide anything,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

Members of the legislature are now required to disclose their business interests in their legislature members’ register, including Premier David Makhura.

Of the 73 MPLs, another MPL and member of the ANC Women’s League Jackie Mofokeng, confirmed that she received R4 500 donation in behalf of the league for their justice campaign for Reeva Steenkamp. Steenkamp was murdered by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympian, in 2013.

Mofokeng also received a sponsored returned trip to Port Elizabeth last November to attend Reeva Steenkamp Foundation’s formation.

Meanwhile, Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatie also received bottles of whisky as a gift. Presently, he owns R250 shares of Telkom. He also has a BMW X6 and a VW GTI.

whisky

Gauteng MPLs declare surprising array of gifts. Photo by www.iol.co.za

Makhura also said that he received golf shoes, as well as two bottles of whisky, wine, and Russian vodka. He also received pens for his birthday. He currently owns 2 houses, located in Midrand and Limpopo, as well as a 2008 Range Rover Sport Supercharge.

Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu disclosed his ownership of a house at a certain location. In 2015, she received a Johnnie Walker Platinum Whisky worth R949.95 for Christmas, as well as Meerlust Chardonnay and an R700 worth of gift basket.

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Why our Bodies React Differently to Different Types of Alcohol

Alcohol effects

We all have our downfalls when it comes to alcohol. And because we are all created unique, our “poison” may not be the same; you may easily get drunk with tequila, while your friend would get knocked out by vodka. While others claim that they don’t have alcohol downfalls at all, some swear that different alcohols cause varying effects. But what do scientists think about this? Are some alcohols worse for you than others?

Whatever your alcoholic drink may be, it contains the same ingredient: ethanol. Your liver acts to filter the blood from the digestive tract, this includes processing the alcohol-laden blood after drinking a glass of wine and other liquors. Although it is an efficient and effective organ, your liver can only handle so much at a time. Thus, when it becomes overloaded, the excess goes back to the blood stream and travel to every organ in your body, including your brain; this results in intoxication.

Alcohol concentration is a significant factor when it comes to the physical effects of alcohol. The amount of alcohol you sip will determine how difficult it is for the liver to process and absorb it. Thus, other ingredients may be contributing factors as to the effectiveness of your liver, as well as the sensations that you may feel. Additionally, impurities in poorly produced brands of alcohol may enhance its effects. But the most important of these components are “congeners”.

Alcohol effects

Scientific studies suggest different alcohols do have different effects due to alcohol concentration levels and other ingredients. Gerard Julien, Getty Images

Why we get Hangovers

Congeners are organic molecules produced during the fermentation process and contain small amounts of chemicals, like methanol, as well as other alcohols, esters, tannins, and acetone. Although they are usually found in darker-colored drinks, they influence the taste and aroma of all alcoholic beverages; their levels differ according to the type of alcohol and brand.

Congeners also contribute to the symptoms of hangover: that feeling of grogginess and headache the morning after drinking way too much. Although hangovers can’t kill you, they are a manifestation of poisoning in your blood. As we all know, blood is important in transporting oxygen (not alcohol) to your organs and tissues. Thus, alcoholic beverages that have higher levels of congeners are worse for your hangovers and your health than those with lesser ones.

Different Alcohols, Different Behaviors

A 1997 study shows that “different alcohols affect people differently” in the short term. In the study, psychologists pitted beer against a “blue, peppermint concoction” of exactly equal alcohol concentration. Those who drank the unfamiliar blue mixture performed worse on motor and cognitive tasks and rated themselves as more intoxicated than those who drank beer. According to researchers, the familiar drink arouses familiar cues that we respond to in a conditioned manner.

In conclusion, biology and psychology suggest that different types of alcohols do have some different effects that may be due to the concentration levels of the alcohol, as well as some other ingredients, such as the congeners. Still, the idea of trying the unfamiliar may go to our heads temporarily as much as the alcohol itself.

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The Whisky Festival on the Island of Jura

Jura Whisky

The popular pop-up restaurant Jimmy’s in London is part of the attraction of the renowned whisky festival at the island of Jura this year. Whisky legend Richard Paterson and street artists Recoat from Glasgow will also be featured in the event this coming May 25 and 26.

Tastival is the contribution of Jura to the Feis Ile Festival that attracts many whisky aficionados from around the world to open days every year at the many distilleries in the neighboring Islay.

Over the course of the two-day festival, visitors will be exploring the only distillery of the island while having to experience the various ways to enjoy whisky through live entertainment, a series of exclusive tours, and tastings.

The organizers of the festival believe that the event has something for everyone. Whisky fans will have to be quick in buying tickets as 95 percent of the tickets sold last year have been bought in just 24 hours.

Jura Whisky

Jura Festival. Image: www.jurawhisky.com

The ticketed sessions this year include Dine the Different Sides of Jura, where the popular Jimmy’s Pop-Up will be coming up with a special menu for the event that will reflect the sweet and smoky sides of the island’s whisky. Jimmy has been seen on the TV show “This Morning” as a resident chef and he specializes in creating a unique pop-up dining experiences. Meanwhile, Fyne Ales, a Scottish craft beer, will be joining by pairing their beers with whisky.

Willie Cochrane and Graham Logan, both Jura managers, will be hosting a special event in the Masters Tour. This event will give a rare opportunity to experience the Jura still house through the eyes of those who make the whisky.

In Conversation will be featuring an exclusive Jura tasting, as well as question and answer sessions with Richard Paterson, the whisky master blender. Meanwhile, Whisky on the Waves will let visitors cruise on the open sea as they savor the Jura Turas-Mara.

Aside from that, the Cooperage will also be accessible where Recoat will be bringing in to life the different sides of Jura on a large-scale mural in the Dramming Bar. Jamie Johnson is set to paint the sweet side; while Will Barras will paint the smoky side. These artists were especially picked because their styles reflect these two elements. If you must know, Recoat previously worked on projects that transformed the Rotunda Building in Glasgow and for brands such as Converse and Vodafone.

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Some of the Best Whiskies You Must Try

Whisky Enthusiast

Single malt whiskies have been increasingly popular around the world in many countries outside of Scotland, including Australia, and winning awards along the way. Among the new nations for whisky-making nowadays are India, Japan, Sweden, and Taiwan.

Alexandra Dahlenburg, a manager at the Grain bar of the Four Seasons hotel in Sydney, is a whisky-spotter herself. Over the years, she has curated one of the biggest collections in the city, having over 200 drams to show.

The Grain bar hosts a whisky night every Monday, giving away 20% discount on all the whiskeys they offer. She even makes a weekly whisky flight of 4 x 15 ml drams for only $40 ($30 on Monday), where you can explore different varieties of whiskies and decide on what you like.

The Business Insider had asked Dahlenburg to create a list of whiskies that she thinks everyone should try at least once. Her personal choice of whiskies has been based on research and personal opinion.

“At Grain bar, we believe whisky is about your own personal journey. Each individual nose and palate is going to pick up different smells and tastes, so there’s no wrong answer in what you like. It’s the journey of discovering that’s important,” she said.

Whisky Enthusiast

Grain bar manager and whisky enthusiast Alexandra Dahlenburg. Photo: www.businessinsider.com.au

Here are some of the top whiskies on her list.

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest

What makes this whisky stand out from the rest is actually its color. It is aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 12 years. During its final 3 years of maturation, it goes into an Oloroso sherry cask, which gives its red cherry color with a chocolate-y smell, slight smoke and earth tones, and a sweet molasses finish.

Port Ellen 9th Release 30 Year Old

This bottle of whisky has among the rarest cask strength. It’s peaty and sweet with lemon grass and smoky pepper with a long medicinal finish. Currently, Port Ellen is on its 14th release; which only gives you an idea of how mature and special this 9th release bottle really is.

Auchentoshan Three Wood

Obviously, it is matured in 3 casks: Olorosso, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and American Bourbon. While this is a non-age statement whisky, it smells of red stone fruits and tastes like brown sugar or treacle with a citrus finish that cuts through its sweetness. It’s among the best whiskies that you can pair with cured meats.

Rosebank 12 Year Old Flora & Fauna

This rare bottle of whisky has a light straw color. It has a sweet smell and a taste of pure honeycomb and herbs with lemon and grass. Since the Rosebank distillery has already closed, this whisky has only limited supply and very difficult to find. It’s a must-try and a bit of a collector’s item.

Aberlour A’bunadh

This strong cask strength whisky is not for those with a faint heart. It has a deep amber color and a nutty-all spice; citrus smell; dark chocolate, raisins, and cherry taste; and a spicy finish. It’s visually appealing as it has a wax seal and a numbered label.

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Echlinville Distillery Promotes Tourism in Ireland

Irish Whiskey

The Echlinville Distillery, a family-owned business located on a 100-acre site in County Down, was licensed to distill whisky in May 2013. And it can be noted that they’ve previously expected their whisky to come of age this year, 2016.

Aside from their single pot still and single malt whiskeys, Echlinville planned to launch their premium Irish potato vodka and single estate gin. Their facilities boasts of a multi-million euro still house, maturation hall, function room, and bottling and storage areas; all of which are located in the Echlinville Estate.

Echlinville Distillery holds tours for the public, which the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) claims that it will promote the tourism and local economy of County Down. According to them, the opening of the distillery would imply that the Irish whiskey industry has been increasingly growing and it considers “the development of an all-island approach” to tourism.

Irish Whiskey

Echlinville Distillery – Irish Whiskey. By www.whiskyintelligence.com

“With a wealth of new entrants in the Irish whiskey sector, we will continue to see a significant number of new tourism offerings opening over the coming years, like the Echlinville Distillery tours being launched today. This will bring jobs and investment to communities in both Northern Island and the Republic of Ireland,” says the head of IWA, Miriam Mooney.

“The island of Ireland has the opportunity to bring together the industry and government agencies such as Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Tourism Board to put together a coordinated strategy for an all-island approach to Irish whiskey tourism. The employment potential is significant as guided tours and restaurants are labour intensive operations. In Scotland it is estimated that there is a five to one ration of export value to direct tourism,” she added.

Among the fastest growing categories of liquor, Irish whiskey has added 32 new or proposed distilleries in Ireland; thereby creating opportunities that would improve the tourism of the country.

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Celebrating National Beer Day in Oregon

National Beer Day

In April 7th of 1933, former president Roosevelt legalized beer; hence, National Beer Day is celebrated on this day. He signed a bill that would allow people to produce and sell beer again, which was the first step that ended prohibition.

National Beer Day

Cheers To National Beer Day! Picture from www.youtube.com

Find out how your favorite bars in Oregon celebrate this very special day!

Brew Hog Blowout

From 4-10 PM, North 45 Pub, located at 517 N.W. 21 Avenue will be hosting a Brew Hog Blowout in celebration of the National Beer Day. There will be 21 brewers filling the patio to end the Brew Hog series and their last chance for the delectable smoked ribs.

Dam Flat Tail’s Dam Wild Invasion

Saraveza, located at 1004 N. Killingsworth Street, is hosting a Dam Flat Tail’s Dam Wild Dam Invasion where they will have 3 beers from their seasonal series served side by side. Nominate your favorite dam; the one that garners the most votes would win a prize from the Dam gift shop. The Dam Wild series makes use of the sour blonde that is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain which is mixed with various ingredients. On Thursday’s tap are Peaches and Cream, Pink Lemonade, Marion Berries and Pink Peppercorns.

Beer Dinner at Altabira City Tavern with Culmination

Altabira and Culmination will be celebrating the National Beer Day serving a cuisine cooked by Altabira chef Luis Escorcia, paired with a Culmination beer. The beers that will be featured are the Euphoric Brett IPA and the Choco Mountain Stout. Altabira City Tavern is located at 1021 N.E. Grand Avenue. They will be open from 3:30 PM until closing.

Block 15 Tap Takeover at Orenco Taphouse

Orenco Taphouse, located at 1198 N.E. Orenco Station Parkway, Hillsboro, will be featuring Block 15 of Corvallis at their taps. Beers that will be slated include Alpha IPA (a Northwest-style IPA); Block 15’s seasonal lineup; Gloria; Demon’s Farm; Sticky Hands; and Incredible.

2016 Nano Beer Fest

The Nano Beer Fest or the World’s Largest Nano Beer Fest will feature over 30 brewers this weekend. It will be held at John’s Marketplace, located at 3535 S.W. Multnomah Boulevard, for only $20 per ticket. Aside from meet-the-brewer opportunities and tastings, they will be giving away rare bottles of beer, memorabilia, and hourly prizes. The raffles will benefit the Oregon Humane Society, which will feature adoptable dogs on Saturday, from noon to 3 in the afternoon. There will be a preview party on April 8th, from 5 to 10 in the evening, at The Commons, with 6 participating nano-breweries.

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Three Popular Varieties of Whiskey

whiskey

Were you ever curious about the difference of those dark hard liquors? If you thought they’re the same, then you might want to think again. Whiskeys come in different varieties; thus, it would helpful that we should know the difference between their three main types: bourbon, rye, and scotch.

Whiskey or whisky? Does it matter? No because they’re the same. However you spell it, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic drink that has been made from a fermented grain mash. It is aged in charred white oak casks, which gave it its brown color.

Whiskey is a broad category of hard drinks that generally differs in taste, smell and color. So, let’s differentiate its three main types.

whiskey

Different whiskies.Image by TinyPic

Bourbon

The name “bourbon” came from a place in Kentucky known as the “Old Bourbon”. Bourbon is a whiskey that has been distilled from corn. For a drink to be classified as bourbon, it must have at least 51 percent corn. Aside from that, it should be stored in charred oak containers with no additives.

Rye

As we all know, rye is a type of grass in the wheat family and it is closely related to barley. Rye whiskey is further classified into American whiskey, which is distilled from at least 51% rye and matured for two years or more; and Canadian whiskey, which may or may not actually contain rye during its production process. Complete in body and spice, rye whiskey — which is the closest cousin of bourbon since there was an increase in corn production in the US after Prohibition occurred – has been gaining popularity on the cocktail menus of many restaurants throughout the country in the last ten years.

Scotch

Scotch is a whisky (which is technically spelled without an “e”) that should be produced in Scotland. This drink is made up mostly of malted barley and is matured in oak barrels for approximately three years or even more. The number after the name of a bottle of Scotch whisky will typically tell how long the drink was aged. In terms of tastes, some Scotch taste a lot similar to bourbon. It has a signature smokiness that would linger at the end of a tasting. Because of that, some people would generally avoid it; meanwhile, others like the drinking experience.

Washington D.C.’s The Pig has over 70 choices of whiskeys on their menu that showcases the different shades and flavors of the many varieties whiskeys. While some are perfect for drinking on the rocks, others are ideally mixed into another drink.

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