Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Cigar store's two wooden statues go missing in daylight
Published Date: 29 December 2010
By GARETH EDWARDS
IT is the kind of daylight robbery which wouldn't have been out of place in the Wild West.
• The statues have welcomed customers to the store since it opened a year ago
Two wooden "cigar store Indian" statues have been stolen from outside Robert Graham's whisky and cigar shop on the Royal Mile.
The pair appear to have been nabbed in a daring daylight raid, with the store's manager admitting they could have been missing for hours before he noticed.
Police have now been called in to try to track down the culprits and bring them to justice.
The two 3ft-high wooden statues have been seen outside the store since it opened more than a year ago, and have become a popular attraction for tourists keen to get their picture taken alongside.
The hand-carved statues depict an Indian chief, complete with a large head-dress of bright feathers, holding a big handful of cigars, while on the other side of the door stands a more modest Indian, in a pale blue shirt.
They were chained to the wall as usual when they were stolen at some point during Monday.
Manager Andreas Mott said he was stunned by the loss of the statues, estimated to be worth up to £600, and amazed that they must have been stolen in broad daylight - even though they were chained up.
He said: "It's just ridiculous. I came into the store and put the statues out as normal, then because it was a busy day I didn't leave the store again until 6pm. When I did I noticed something wasn't quite right and realised the statues were both missing.
"It was so odd I actually went back inside and checked that I hadn't forgotten to put them out, but, of course, they weren't there.
"I spoke to the manager of the pub next door and he said he had been out for a cigarette at about 2pm and didn't remember seeing them."
Mr Mott added that it had been a very busy day, which meant his attention had been on the job until closing time.
"It's possible someone came in to distract me while they took the statues," he said.
"There were a lot of curious customers in, but I've no idea what happened.
"We have put out appeals on Facebook and Twitter and I just hope we get them back."
Statues of American Indians are often used to promote cigar shops, in the same way a barbers shop displays a pole.
The association comes from the fact that American Indians first introduced tobacco to Europeans, and the association has stuck.
Further up the Royal Mile, the Cigar Box has a life-sized wooden statue of an Indian chief standing guard outside its store.
An employee there said: "Our statue is still there, thankfully.
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Whisky writer shares his tips to keep out the cold
It's the time of year when we push the boat out and when it comes to that Christmas spirit a good whisky is hard to beat.
Whether it's Scotch or Bourbon, Japanese or Irish, the world of the water of life is complex and varied - and it can be daunting for the novice tippler.
But help is at hand in the form of a book published by whisky expert Ian Buxton. 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die is a distillation of years of his research into the spirit, and Buxton was in Canary Wharf recently to dispense his knowledge to lovers of a wee dram or two.
He said: "The book is about making whisky accessible for real people. Whisky has got very fashionable now, but I wanted to take some of the mystery out of it for people, to help them open their eyes to the things they might want to try.
"A lot of books are about whiskies that are no longer available, or are very expensive. £1,000 for a bottle is nothing these days, while £10,000 is commonplace. There's even a Highland Park that's available for £100,000. But what's the point of that? Most people would never be able to afford it.
"I've tried to be irreverent. The marketing of whisky is often a lot of nonsense. Whisky is simple stuff. It's for drinking and enjoying, not investing in or showing off.
"And a bottle of whisky is good value. People think nothing of paying £30 for a bottle of wine, but that's gone in an evening. A bottle of whisky will last a lot longer than that."
There is a serious side to the book. Whisky production plays a major part in the Scottish economy. And while many whisky drinkers are sniffy about blended brands, Buxton feels single malt snobs should be grateful for them.
He said: "That wonderful single malt would not have survived but for blending. 90 per cent of whisky produced is blended and then sold around the world. That's what keeps the industry going.
"It's a vital industry for Britain, a real success story. Distilling supports jobs in fragile rural economies, and brings in money through tourism. It should be celebrated."
Buxton's top tip for finding a whisky you like is to think small.
"There's no point buying a £30 bottle and finding you don't like it after a couple of glasses," he said.
"The best thing is buy some miniatures to try. You get to learn about several different whiskies for less than the price of a whole bottle, and when you find one you like, go to your local retailer and talk to them about it. They'll be able to guide you towards the perfect whisky for your palate.
"But one thing I would stress is you should always enjoy it responsibly."
Ian Buxton's top tips for enjoying a dram:
-Take time to sample different types of whisky to find the one you like. The variety is huge.
-Add water slowly and carefully to the glass to bring out the full flavour of the spirit. It will also give you a longer drink.
-Try different whiskies at different times of the day. A Talisker is good if you're out for a walk, while a more mature malt is better after a meal.
-Whisky is made by distilling fermented grain. Scotch is made from malted barley, while Bourbon is made from maize.
-The distillation process has been traced back to 2,000BC, although whisky production is a bit more modern than that, with the first Irish distilleries appearing in the 12th Century.
-Scotch is matured for at least three years, usually in oak casks.
-The first blended Scotch whisky was made by Glenlivet in 1853. Blends now account for 90 per cent of Scotch production.
-Whisky (or whiskey) is made all over the world, with distilleries as far afield as Sweden, Australia and India.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Sunday, 12 December 2010
DramFest is back for 2011 - February 25th, 26th & 27th 2011.
From the 1st of November DramFest' 11 tickets for the Film night "Whisky Galore"the wonderful 1948 Ealing Studio comedy are on sale. This is our Friday night kick off.
This is an evening of fun, some whisky appreciation and canapés served prior to the film, this is a classic and a must see on the big screen for any whisky fan.
DramFest' 11 "Main Event" tickets for Saturday the 26th allow entry to the presentation hall and the opportunity to analyse a wee bit of nectar, or perhaps more than a wee bit! This year we have tremendous support from the industry with at least 6 new exhibitors and many new expressions of whisky.
"The DramFest Sessions" are still being worked on, this is where we invite you to imbibe and be educated at the same time! We will have 5 to 8 of these sessions on Sunday the 27th, many with visiting experts from Scotland, tickets on sale from early December.
The DramFest's of 2007 and 2009 were a huge success and we are building on this knowledge for 2011 to make it even better. However, as previously the real success is judged not just by what we offer but by your support. SO, do "Join Us" in February forDramFest 2011 and please, spread the word.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
About the Canadian Whisky Awards
The Canadian Whisky Awards are presented annually to the best Canadian whiskies by the publisher of Canadian whisky website: www.canadianwhisky.org. The Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry and operate on a not-for-profit basis.
December 6, 2010, Ottawa, ON. - Canada’s top whiskies of 2010 were honoured today in the first annual Canadian Whisky Awards. The winning whiskies were announced on the World’s foremost Canadian whisky website: www.canadianwhisky.org. There are six awards in all. The winners of three awards were decided following extensive tastings, while the others were selected based special contributions that individual whiskies make to expanding consumer interest in Canadian whisky.
“Canadian whisky is one of Canada’s greatest ambassadors,” said canadianwhisky.org publisher, Davin de Kergommeaux. “Every year, millions and millions of whisky lovers around the globe buy more than half a billion dollars worth of Canadian whisky.” But, as de Kergommeaux explains, the awards celebrate more than successful sales figures. “Canadians appreciate the contribution Canadian whisky makes to our economy, but we never stop to recognize the excellent quality of these whiskies. All of that now changes with these awards.”
The Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best tasting new Canadian whiskies released in 2010, along with special contributions of highly successful individual whiskies that have garnered favourable attention to Canadian whisky in 2010.
Virtually every Canadian whisky introduced in Canada or the U.S. in 2010 was tasted. The best was chosen in one of three categories: the Canadian market, the export market, and multiple markets. Awards of Excellence were also conferred for accomplishments in innovation, brand extension, and notable success in raising the profile of Canadian whisky in general.
The Connoisseur Whiskies:
Best Canadian Whisky – Domestic Market: Wiser’s Legacy
Wiser’s Legacy is a new, ultra-premium rye whisky from Corby Distillers. This rich, complex, and flavourful whisky has been compared favourably to high-end single malts. Although demand has become strong to release it in other markets, Wiser’s Legacy was initially available in the Canadian market only.
Best Canadian Whisky – Export Market: Caribou Crossing
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel whisky was released early in 2010 to high acclaim from whisky writers and connoisseurs. They were all impressed with this complex and richly flavoured new whisky. As a single barrel whisky, Caribou Crossing introduces a new Canadian whisky in a style much admired by connoisseurs.
Best Canadian Whisky – Multiple Markets: Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve
This is an iconic Canadian whisky matured in Canadian oak barrels made from trees that sprouted at the time of Canadian Confederation. Made in a winemaker’s fashion, by John Hall, Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve earns this award for its creamy, rich and robust flavours. Confederation Oak is available in Canada and selected U.S. markets.
The Awards of Excellence:
Innovation of the Year: Highwood Distillery, White Owl Whisky
White Owl Whisky has no peer in Canada or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The first ever fully oak-matured white whisky, White Owl retains the flavours of Canadian rye whisky, while adding the cocktail-mixability of white spirits. In so doing, it successfully introduces the flavours of Canadian whisky to a whole new demographic.
Award of Excellence - Brand Extension: Crown Royal Black
When a distiller can’t keep up with demand everyone takes note. This new, more robust version of Canada’s best selling whisky, Crown Royal Black was welcomed so enthusiastically by American whisky drinkers that Diageo was faced with the challenge of having a truly runaway success on its hands. To the average American whisky drinker, Crown Royal Black was THE big whisky news of 2010.
Award of Excellence - Canadian Whisky Profile: Canadian Club
Viewers of AMC's Emmy and Golden Globe-winning television series, Mad Men, will not be surprised by the winner in this category. As Don Draper’s whisky of choice, Canadian Club was featured prominently throughout the series, attracting the attention of a new generation of Canadian whisky consumers. Canadian Club reached yet another new audience in 2010 with its featured role in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
... This is the First of a short series on Cigars I occasionally smoke and would recommend , .... with the idea of presentation being to get away from the more orthodox stuffy-ness of Cigar-talk.
.... so I hope you find it interesting !
.... so I hope you find it interesting !