While in London last week, popped by the Highland Park 50 year old launch event at Harrods ~ and the bottle is stunning! There’s just something so unmistakeably beautiful about the way the sterling silver “squeezes” the glass, making it bulge ever so slightly. Apparently it is also holding the oldest ever island single malt ~ and hand-crafted ornate bottle is designed by Scottish Jewelry designer, Maeve Gillies, who was inspired by the elemental forces of Orkney ~ from the seas, island life, wild elements, and natural light. Perhaps the loveliest little secret hidden within this bottle ~ “In recognition of the famous St Magnus Cathedral and its medieval beauty, the front of each bottle features a single piece of circular Orkney sandstone into which is hand-carved the Highland Park amulette. Inside the bottle, behind this sandstone, lies a Sterling silver replica of the St Magnus rose window which is revealed over time as the whisky is enjoyed.” It really was such a tease at the event, when they would show you the bottle, and hint at the replica of the rose window you can’t quite see behind… And as lovely as the bottle, is the hand carved Scottish oak box as well ~ love the porthole you can peer through to see the bottle… Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ the 275 bottles are a Harrods exclusive till the end of Oct.
It makes perfect sense to pair a fragrance specialist with a drinks brand, when scent is such a critical component of any drink experience! It’s been a Liqurious few weeks between being with Veuve Clicquot in the champagne region, and then with The Macallan in the scottish highlands the last few weeks, and one thing that’s been pressed into me is the importance of the Nose… sniffing the various notes, tasting and appreciating the various scents, and layers of scents… granted, i’ve played with the 50 Vial Aroma Set Maestro Dobel had sent over… but it isn’t until this experience with Roja Dove that i fully understood how all of these notes fit together.
The Macallan has teamed up with Roja Dove (changed from Rodger) ~ who is a frangrance specialist, who went from doing medical research at Cambridge, to nearly 20 years working in the House of Guerlain, to opening his own extremely curated haven of a parfumerie in Harrods, where customers can even have bespoke scents made from scratch (not just tweaked from existing ones)… What’s unique here, is that together, The Macallan and the non-whisky loving Roja Dove (he had some bad experiences with as a kid with whisky) have found a way to separate the experience of the scents found in The Macallan from the actual taste/alcohol. And this special kit Roja Dove has created contains 12 scents to allow brand ambassadors to share the experience of learning and understanding the layers of scents that come together to form both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak Whisky. Take a peek at more pictures of the experience, the kit, and explanations of the various scents i experienced. It was rather…. nose opening, to say the least.
Mmmmmm… on sunday fun, while working my way through the backlog of stuff that awaited me here in LA when i got home, Linhchi and i decided to try out Vosges ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ when a delicious chocolatier decides to go cookie mix, how could we not try? And if you follow their instructions exactly, they are HUGE! We’ve also enlisted some of the Kidrobot 2Tone Dunny characters to help us out for a sense of scale! On the next page, take a peek at their awesome packaging, cheeky copy, our experience baking them, and of course, the final product!
Don’t laugh. But on unexpected product reviews of sorts ~ while running around The Macallan estate and distillery, one of the most coveted tools we ran into was this Swiss made Socorex Pistol Grip Syringe… for everything from pulling samples when mixing our own whisky to using it to squirt just the perfect 10ml of water to dilute our drinks… and it’s SO fun… and as you can see, i had a bit too much fun taking pics of it in the dark while we were watching the trippiest animated/stop motion Macallan video from the 90’s (watch the insanity of “Journey to the Center of the Malt” here on facebook). But, back to the syringes, they are awesome! The spring pulls back for you to load it up perfectly. It would make for some really fun, precise water wars… but imagine how fun they would be as a conversation piece on your bar when it comes time to dilute your scotch every so perfectly? See the pics on the next page!
Yum! Here’s a roundup of some of the delicious inspiration we’ve found over at Tasteologie this week! Yes, that is some panda sushi… and yes that says “pound of butter”… also, lots of delectable sweets! Click the images to explore and find out more!
This morning, we attempted to create our ideal whisky from (amongst others) the samples we collected from 12 year old casks of The Macallan. Bob Dalgarno, The Macallan Whisky Maker, taught us so much about the art of whisky making, and the complicated challenge of smelling, tasting, and seeing how to make the perfect bottles of The Macallan, to that perfect smell/taste/color we’ve come to know and love. As he explained the difficulty of making something so consistent from so many varying casks of whisky, and even deciding which casks are decided to be set aside to age longer and such ~ the most creative aspect to emerge was his challenge to us to smell the differences between an array of samples to attune our palates… only to ask us to create in our minds… our ideal whisky. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? What does it make you think of?
And from that, The Macallan NOTCOT Edition was born… can it ever be recreated? Probably not. But i have one little bottle of it! I apparently like my scotch smooth with a deliciously dark maple flavor amidst the spicy woody spanish sherry oak… (Macallan 18 is my everyday favorite ~ but the upcoming Masters of Photography series, omg, deliciousness)… in my head i imagined a cozy comforting log cabin, and since it was early, on not too much sleep, and after a light breakfast… i was loving the maple aromas, i think i had pancakes on my mind…
Anyhow, it is unbelievably hard trying to decipher the aromas, figuring out which samples to mix, finding the right notes to layer for that drinkable delicious whisky with a nice long finish… but we tried. And bonus points to Evan from Cool Hunting who was definitely the whisky maker with the most potential in our group! His smelled divine! And delicious too! Don’t get me wrong, NOTCOT edition is yummy as well ~ my bottle of that is coming home with me! It was incredibly fun and fascinating to play with the awesome syringes to mix samples in our bottles, measure the percentage of alcohol, taste test, and more ~ while i’m no master whisky maker in the making, i definitely have a new appreciation for exactly how much work is going into even just mixing the right casks to make the bottles that show up on the shelf! But, that’s enough rambling for now ~ you really must see how incredible The Macallan lab/Bob’s office is! And the process we went through making our own Macallan whisky ~ all on the next page!
SO! As you probably know by now, The Macallan has me out in scotland, exploring and learning and playing with all things scotch. In fact, they’ve kept me so excitedly busy, it’s been hard to find enough time to process and post! Or even figure out where to start… so here’s how its going to go, i’ll share the most unique bits as i can! And one of the most exciting places to start is ~ SAMPLING!
With so many thousands of casks in so many warehouses with all these slight variations in wood, in atmosphere, in unexplained magical natural occurrences that may make even casks from the same batch differ in flavor, colors, and more, the only way to find and create the perfect single malt is through sampling, tasting, and keeping an eye on each cask as the whisky within matures over time (so anywhere from 5 years to decades?)… on amazingly awesome experiences, we got to go along with the Macallan boys (Thanks, Jim and Gary, and apologies for the times i accidentally squirted whisky on you!) and actually get our hands dirty and help do the sampling! From drilling holes, pumping out samples, filling vials, (maybe sneaking a taste here and there) and plugging the hole! See the process we experienced in the warehouse on the next page!
p.s. The picture above? Can you believe that is the Macallan 1964 that is filling the Lalique Cire Perdue - This 1946 cask became 64 years old in January 2010!
p.p.s. i can’t even begin to tell you how incredible these warehouses smell.
Here’s the forth post in our Inspiration series! Sponsored by Veer.com ~ we get to have some fun and go image researching across the internet around random themes inspiring us at the moment.. and share what we find! This time fascination with food textures close up has lead to this album being made on Veer!!! And leo helped round up some amazing close up looks at food close up that’s been inspiring us across the web ~ perhaps its Tasteologie that has food on the mind lately ~ but the intersection of food and design is so beautifully inspiring! See it all on the next page!
Yes, lemon seeds sometimes sprout INSIDE the humongous lemons on my lemon tree back in LA. Just got these pics from Linhchi over there of the THIRD lemon we’ve found this happen in. (Remember the first one?) This time it is even sprouting some serious roots… so i had to share the pics as i stare in amazement. We’re debating whether to plant it in the ground, or try to stick it back in the lemon to see how much further it will go… see more pics on the next page!
Update - it’s incredible! She found 3 more in the next 5 she cut ~ and they have multiple sprouts going! She is the sproutmaster.
Apparently IKEA has released what may be the coolest styled ingredients cookbook ~ “Hembakat Ã¤r BÃ¤st” (Homemade is Best). Filled with 30 recipes for baked goodies broken down by ingredient… i’d love to see this in person! Rumor has it that it’s free in swedish IKEAs? (Anyone have one? or an extra?) The photos by Carl Kleiner are absolutely amazing! Don’t laugh, but its been quite the mystery guessing from the precise geometrically laid out ingredients what these pictures might MAKE! So much google image searching as i guess and see! (Don’t worry, i’ve put the google image search links in for you, so you can play along at home as well!) See the images i found at Carl Kleiner’s site on the next page ~ and if you have a copy, or can help me find a copy, do drop me a comment? Thanks!!!
FoodParc just opened in NYC at 6th Ave and 29th Street ~ it’s like a high tech foodcourt of sorts, and Anna and Sean of Sub-Studio popped by to take a look for us! Of course they also tasted a bunch of food for us too.. and it sounds like quite the unique bacon-fest! From Bacon Snack and Hash browns with bacon and cheddar and onions inside to Benton’s Smoked Bacon Egg Rolls and Steamed Shrimp, Bacon & Watercress Dumplings… luckily there were also beautiful juices and flatbread sandwiches to even it out as well! “FoodParc is a serious, yet fun, accessible culinary destination. It has 4 distinctly different food and beverage concepts and a full-service bar that includes: The Press, RedFarm Stand, Fornetti, and 3Bs (Burgers, Bacon, and Beer)” The Press is you go to cafe, RedFarm Stand is an asian concept with a twist by Joe Ng of Chinatown Brasserie, Fornetti has italian salads, sandwiches, pastas and more, and 3Bs is exactly as it sounds! All housed in a 20,000 square foot indoor/outdoor, modern space ~ futurist and conceptual designer, Syd Mead (of Blade Runner, Aliens, and TRON) created the environment… and it’s no surprise that in addition to old school ordering, you can also order from all 4 restaurants at once at the self serve monitors! Take a peek at it all on the next page…
Beautiful! What cup of coffee or tea wouldn’t transcend being a mere drink (as delicious as it may be) when served in this cup and saucer? Especially when you reach the sad end of the cup, only to find that last little splash of the bunny whirlpool? Previously, came the Click for Art espresso cups & saucers, which i adore at home! And this second series, they are going for larger tea/coffee cups & saucers! First releases in series 2 are Kozyndan “Sea Hares”, Ron English “Abraham Obama”, and Jon Burgerman “In the Park” ~ each being made in a limited edition run of 250 by ClickForArt. Like the previous set, they come beautifully boxed and with a little limited edition signed print… see more pictures on the next page!
Drool over another gorgeous week at Liqurious with our biweekly roundup. To find out more about each delectable drink, just click the individual image.
The Geometry of Pasta ~ The Perfect Shape. The Perfect Sauce. I’m in love with this book. Geometric shapes ~ flat black and white graphics ~ its even perfect for babies! And you get the history of various pasta shapes as well as sauce recipes that pair perfectly with its exquisite shape. “The Geometry of Pasta pairs over 100 authentic recipes from critically acclaimed chef, Jacob Kenedy, with award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand’s stunning black-and-white designs to reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from all over Italy. A stunning fusion of design and food, The Geometry of Pasta tells you everything you need to know about cooking and eating pasta like an Italian.”
It’s really such a beautifully designed book, and everyone from college kids who may just be toying with feeding themselves to chefs, would have a great time with this one, it’s definitely going on my list for fun designer gifts. I’ve never unwrapped a book and been so tempted to frame up the dust jacket, but this one is just stunning!
Awesome teaser? “Plans are underway to launch a series of products inspired by The Geometry of Pasta featuring the distinctive graphic style used in the book, from an iphone app to kitchenwares and a range of pastas and sauces.”
So take a look at some of my favorite pages in the book on the next page! As well as a giant chart of pasta shapes!
A week into the world of Tasteologie and it has been SO fun exploring the intersection of food & design ~ or perhaps you can call it a study on the design OF food? Beyond recipes and posts we love around the web ~ there have been unique food gadgets and products, unexpected discoveries like Starbucks moon cakes, inhaleable fruit experiences, nacho infographics and more! As with all roundups ~ click the pics above to find out more!