Monday, 29 September 2008

Exclusive Ltd. Edition Hennessy Sneakers by Jhung Yuro

From Luxist:

"Hip luxury lifestyle brand Jhung Yuro has created an exclusive new limited edition sneaker for world renowned cognac house Hennessy. Dubbed the Hennessy Celebration Hi-Top, the brown and cream (like the bottle) sneaker is made from soft full grain leather with a suede tongue and vamp, napa pigskin interior and a croc embossed overlay and strap. It also has a non-marking rubber midsole and crepe rubber outsole with a leather logo patch. Only 500 handmade pairs of the limited edition shoe will be available for sale beginning Dec. 1 for $300 at Jhung Yuro's (pronounced "young Euro") website. Each pair will come packaged in a custom lizard skin embossed shoebox with a braided rope handle. The cognac is extra."

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Last of the $10,000 Erté Courvoisier Cognac Collection

From Luxist:

"Courvoisier is selling off the very last sets of its rare bottles designed by famed Art Deco artist and fashion illustrator Erté 20 years ago. The legendary cognac house commissioned the seven bottle set from the Russian-born artist for its extraordinary blend of precious Grande Champagne cognacs, some dating back to 1892. The last remaining sets which had been held in reserve will now be sold for $10,000 apiece; only eight of them are making their way to the U.S. market in November and can be pre-ordered here . Each of the seven bottles' designs represents a different facet of the cognac making process:

Vigne (Vine) shows the importance of the soil and environment to the grapes produced to make cognac.
Vendanges (Harvest) celebrates the passion of perfection for which Courvoisier is best known.
Distillation illustrates the process of distillation as a woman riding a volatile giant peacock.
Vieillissement (Aging) symbolizes the aging process as a robed female emerging from darkness.
Degustation (Tasting) shows the blending process of the cognacs.
L'Esprit du Cognac (The Spirit of Cognac) interprets the cognac spirit as a woman standing majestically surrounded by grapes.
La Part Des Anges (Angel's Share) symbolizes part of the aging process where some of the spirits' volume is lost through evaporation."

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Grey Goose Dress Designs

From Luxist:

"Rachel Roy is in the news again, and this time it's not because of the dough that she and husband Damon Dash owe. Roy has teamed up with vodka maker Grey Goose, which commissioned her to exclusively design and create a signature cocktail dress to be worn by the brand's spokesmodels at select Grey Goose-sponsored events across the country. The dresses will be labeled "Rachel Roy exclusively for Grey Goose Vodka." Grey Goose was the official title sponsor of the Rachel Roy Spring 2009 Fashion Presentation earlier this month during New York Fashion Week, and the partnership also will include trunk shows and store openings.

The cocktail dress will resemble a classic silhouette with clean, modern lines. Made of stretch wool for structure and ease of movement, the design will include a feminine draped neckline and an element of fluidity in the back detailing. (See gallery.)

Roy's creation is "derived from the classic heritage and discerning taste of the luxury vodka brand," according to Grey Goose. Roy notes, "In keeping with this tradition, my design matches the timeless fluidity of the little black dress, with a hint of the iconic, signature blue to capture the effortless elegance of this occasion."

In addition to joining with Grey Goose, Roy has jumped on the green bandwagon by designing eco-friendly clothing, which she will continue to selectively incorporate in seasons to come. Roy will donate 100% of the proceeds to Orphan Aid Africa, an organization that aims to help orphans in Ghana."

From Black Voices via Luxist.

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The Classicist: Maker's Mark & Bourbon Heritage Month

From Luxist:

"Maker's Mark, the top shelf Kentucky bourbon that traces its roots all the way back to 1780, just celebrated September's demarcation as National Bourbon Heritage Month during the 17th Annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival down South. The storied whisky maker isn't resting on its laurels however; they also just kicked off an admirable new campaign to encourage people to vote in the upcoming elections with a 16-city cross country bus tour and two new special limited edition bottlings featuring red, white and blue wax seals.

The story of Maker's, which is handmade in small quantities using water from a spring-fed lake and a mash consisting of corn, barley and winter wheat, goes back to 1870 when third generation Scottish-Irish immigrant Robert Samuels arrived in Kentucky. A farmer by trade, Samuels began making whisky for himself and a few friends. His grandson T.W. erected the family's first "commercial" distillery at Samuels Depot, the family farm, in 1840.

Fast-forward 100 years and the story takes an unexpected turn. T.W.'s great-great-grandson Bill Samuels Sr. was not overly fond of the "secret" family recipe - so he literally burnt it and sold off the distillery, which had become overly commercial. He then spent several years experimenting with different grains until he developed a entirely new bourbon recipe based on locally grown maize (corn), malted barley and soft, red, gentle winter wheat - as opposed to the traditional and harsher grain, rye.

In 1953, armed with his new recipe, Bill Sr. bought and rebuilt a small, old distillery in Loretto, Kentucky (now the oldest operating bourbon distillery in the world) in order to produce it. He selected the property for the clean, natural flavor of its limestone-filtered springs. While he waited six long years for his first batch of bourbon to mature, his wife devised its now iconic name and packaging, including the hand-dipped wax seal. The first bottle of Maker's Mark went on sale in 1958, and the rest was whisky history.

About 25 years ago, Bill Samuels Jr., the family's seventh generation bourbon distiller, took over the business. He has now been joined by his son Rob, who acts as the brand's global ambassador. They confine their bottling to about 600,000 cases per year, in batches of less than 1,000 gallons - a fraction of what most commercial distilleries produce - because, as the understated Samuels puts it, "that's staying within our abilities to not screw the product up." And if you've ever tasted Maker's, you know just how much of an understatement that is."


Monday, 22 September 2008

Taste Lab Restaurant

From the ever brilliant Springwise

"Geschmackslabor, German for Flavour Lab, is a new restaurant located in a former school in Bremerhaven. The 'lab' part of the name doesn't refer to molecular gastronomy or food served in test tubes. Experimentation at the restaurant is all about letting customers add flavour to their meals.

Dishes are served ready-to-eat, but diners are encouraged to enhance them by adding one or more of twenty custom-made seasoning oils that Geschmackslabor has on offer. The seasonings are all based on very pure olive oil, which is infused with flavours ranging from Arabica coffee and rosemary to papaya and coconut. Geschmackslabor's menu suggests which seasonings go well with which dishes, but the whole point is for customers to experiment and find their own delicious combinations. The restaurant supplies plenty of bread for trying out different oils before adding them to food, allowing customers to sample a full range of spicy, sour, salty, sweet and bitter. The oils are also sold separately at EUR 4.90-5.50 for 100 ml.

Adding olive oil to prepared food may not appeal to every consumer, but Geschmackslabor's DIY approach to 'finishing' a dish definitely adds a new level of experience to eating out. It's an adventurous, taste-focused alternative to the usual ketchups and hot sauces, and should appeal to those daring consumers that our sister-site calls trysumers. If you're in the restaurant biz, this is one to experiment with!


Spotted by: Susanna Haynie"

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Balvenie Whisky Pairing

Balvenie is hosting a 5 course whisky matching dinner at:

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 OJF
Tuesday October 14th 2008
Dress code – Jacket & tie
Price - £95 per person (inclusive of five-course dinner and whisky)

Looks very stylish and I am sure will be great fun.

Here's the menu:

"Cured Scottish Salmon in citrus and black treacle on a veloute of fennel
Accompanied by a dram of The Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old

The Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky’s subtle citrus flavours and slight background spice contrast beautifully with the cured salmon which has slightly sweet yet salty flavour with hints of lemon, orange and lime. In addition, there is a lingering hint of treacle. This dish is truly a mouth watering experience.
Carpaccio of Wood Pigeon with marinated foie gras and a quince mousse
Accompanied by a dram of The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is wonderfully sweet and multi-flavoured. The Wood pigeon and foie gras, flavours enhanced with a little sherry in the marinade, bring out light touches of Game and berry notes, while the quince gently exposes cinnamon spiciness and warmth.
Roasted Scottish Lobster with a smoked pomme puree and star anise
Accompanied by a dram of The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old

The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is powerful yet subtle. The understated sweetness of The Balvenie Single Barrel is enhanced with the sweet lobster, while The Balvenie oak cask smoked potato offers a powerful and intriguing connection to one of The Balvenie Single Barrel flavours – ‘vanilla oak’. Finally, the whisky’s liquorice after taste is further enhanced by the Star Anise.
Balmoral Venison with root vegetables and sauce grand Veneur
Accompanied by a dram of The Balvenie Thirty

The Balvenie Thirty’s full and rich flavour drives straight to the heart of the rich flavoured venison. With its wonderful and naturally wild game flavour, it is a decidedly strong match to this big, thirty year old Malt.
Clafoutis of griottines and almonds with an almond ice cream and brute cocoa Accompanied by a dram of The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old

The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This whisky demands some pronounced flavours to ride alongside it. The griottines pack a punch with The Balvenie PortWood in which they have been uniquely preserved."

Sounds fantastic to me.

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CSR Nightmare for Sparks

From Slashfood:

"Sparks, the "caffeinated alcohol beverage with a blend of caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng extract," has been around since 2002 and has been owned by Miller since 2006, so it certainly isn't a new phenomenon. However, a number of questionable decisions recently have led to a massive backlash against the beverage and may well spell the end of alcohol/energy drink hybrids on the market.

General sentiment has been building that caffeinated alcohol beverages pose a risk to drinkers, especially for younger and underage drinkers who the beverages' detractors believe the products directly target. In fact, last summer, Anheuser-Busch received enough pressure that they eventually stopped making caffeinated-alcohol products. However, MillerCoors managed not only to slip by, but appears to have decided to do some flaunting.

First, the company announced they would be releasing Sparks Red this October, an addition to the Sparks product line that will have as much as 8% alcohol by volume -- a significant step up from the original Sparks' 6% ABV. Then there was backlash against what many considered to be a raunchy and unethical advertising campaign.

Well, they got publicity, but probably not what they were hoping for. As of yesterday, district attorneys from 25 states have called for the cancellation of the Sparks Red launch and, last week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest sued MillerCoors to stop selling Sparks all together. Public opinion seems to be shutting this industry down."

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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Dom Pérignon Rosé x Sylvie Fleury Box Set

From Colette:

"Who blew the first kiss: Dom Pérignon or Sylvie Fleury? The result of the encounter between Sylvie Fleury and Dom Pérignon is a unique limited edition for Dom Pérignon.

The giftbox, edited in 999 copies, contains two large glasses, numbered and signed by Sylvie Fleury, and a bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 1998.

By imprinting a pair of lips on wine glasses, Sylvie Fleury has revealed by this artistic expression the very essence of the legendary wine, which creation is associated to Pierre Pérignon since 1668.

“Dom Pérignon is my favourite champagne”, she declares with a certain mischievious glint in her eye, just as Marilyn has often been know to say."

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Monday, 8 September 2008

Ice Stones


But at £16 they are expensive and fairly pointless. A lot of drinks actually want a little bit of the ice to melt in order for the physical nature of the drink to change. For instance the Khymos blog suggests that adding ice alters the state of the whisky so that a new set of aromas emerge...

This is from the Mocha gifting website:

"Nordic Rock is mined from ancient Swedish pollution-free base rock. It is the purest way of cooling your drink - literally 'on the rocks'. Stone does not melt, which means no unclean water in your glass. They are also reusable making them very eco-friendly.

To use, simply place the stone ice cubes in the freezer for approximately one hour before use. For a normal glass, two or three Nordic Rocks will be fine. They give off their cold gradually and equally."

Heineken - Don't Drink and Drive

Veuve Cliquot NotCot Extravaganza

I'm not going to post everything because it would take too long. But follow the relevant links and you'll see just how amazing this experience was for Jeam Aw from Not Cot.

First of all Veuve whisked Jean over to Paris from LA and provided her with a cool array of branded goodies in her hotel...

First port of call seems to have been a trip to see the Veuve Chateau... in an orange Bentley!

Loving the sat nav...

And then they had the most amazing demonstration of the recent Riva / Veuve collaboration - as they were taken on a gourmet river boat trip, with a champagne pairing meal.

The food and chapagne pairing looks awesome...

And they had another meal to celebrate the launch of the new Veuve ice bucket...

I've got 3 comments about this.

1. Veuve have done an awesome job - all of their ideas are inspiring and fit into the luxury lifestyle, champagne drinking experience. The stuff they have made and the people/brands they collaborate with are spot on. It all reflects well on Veuve and gets people like Jean talking about their brand.

2. Great idea to invite the likes of Jean to the Chateau. All the little extras such as writing pads and city guides show this is a brand with attention to detail. This is a very successful mechanic for generating PR.

3. I want Jean's job!

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Thursday, 4 September 2008

Two Fingers has a new look.

It seems that the wire is all a buzz with Tequila news this week...

Heaven Hill Distilleries has yet another announcement- they have introduced a new package design for their Two Fingers Tequila line.

The new Two Fingers redesign includes a clear bottle and a more "streamlined" black label featuring a Blue Agave plant.

"We wanted to maintain the black iconography but make it more contemporary," said Reid Hafer, senior brand manager for Two Fingers at Heaven Hill.

Along with the new design, POS material has been developed to support the new look featuring the tagline, "It Takes Two".

The last revamp on the bottle was in 2004- here is what it used to look like

Two FIngers Old

Quite an improvement.

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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Spicy Tequila

So, long ago during my days at New York University we had this ritual. If you were still sober by midnight, you were forced to take a Prairie Fire shot. Tequila and Tabasco. Warm. Didn't taste good going down (or coming up, for that matter). I'm not really sure where this ritual stemmed from, but I definitely do not miss it. Well, it seems that some folks think that bottling this combination will help us NYU Alums live out our glory days.

The people at Heaven Hill Distlilleries, located in Bardstown, Kentucky have teamed up with the people from McIllhenny Co.- the maker of Tabasco and have created Prairie Fire in a bottle. Otherwise known as Tabasco Spicy Tequila.

The product will launch in 5 US markets and will carry a suggested retail price of $21.99 for a 750ml. The "Heat Up the Night" campaign will support the brand while the "Tabasco Hot Girls Promotion Team" (if we can find photos we will post them) will conduct events On-Premise and POP will appear in the Off-Premise.

I can't say that I'm anxious to run out and try this, but if anyone out there would like to sample and let the group know how the experience pans out, I wouldn't object.


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl

From Luxist:

"A nice one-bedroom apartment in NYC rents for about $2,500/month. And for that same price you can get a shot -- yes, just a taste -- of Louis XIII Black Pearl Magnum cognac, a limited edition, natch, kept in a glass case and then offered exclusively at NYC's Rose Club at the Plaza hotel. The spirit, produced by Remy Martin, cannot be sampled anywhere else in the State of New York. The bottle, designed by Baccarat and hand-blown from black crystal, has not yet been uncorked since it was introduced in June. A recent Rose Club patron asked if he could buy the entire bottle, one of only 358 in the world. Rose Club manager Anthony Evangelista turned him down, and the man left without even tasting it. There are about 32 pours in the 1.75 liter bottle, meaning that the decanter contains $80,000 worth of cognac."

Here's some comments from the Daily News:

"This is why people in the world hate us. $80,000 for a bottle and $2500 big ones for a drink that is the price they charge in the hot azz desert. I remember the days of quarter waters (25-cent juice) and 50-cent sodas and four wings with fries from the Chinese spot all for under four dollars and fifty cents."

"Let us play a game to see what $80,000 G’s can get you; A house down south, a bachelors degree , three open heart surgeries, ten dates with the ex-governors girl friend, protection from the mob, fifth-teen hit-men, a bribe for a politician, hush money, five suits for mayor money bags, 40,000 hot dogs with every thing on it, one hundred overtime hours for city workers, eight years of season ticket for the Kicks ,and 160,000 jelly doughnuts."

"If I have 80G I would used it for something else."

Not necessarily positive, but it is being talked about!