I visited a bunch of cognac houses in the fall of 2014, and spent nearly a whole day with Cognac Hine at their vineyards, winery, distillery, and blending house.
Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.
In 2014 I visited several cognac houses, and had the pleasure to spend several hours with Benedicte Hardy of Cognac Hardy in their aging and blending facilities. We got really nerdy with specifics on aging cognac. But first, some background. Hardy specializes in luxury cognacs, and in general is blended in an "approachable" and "feminine" style. It's a very large operation, with 20,000 barrels aging at their warehouses valued at more than 50 million dollars worth of booze. It was Benedicte's father who made the company famous in recent years putting the emphasis on luxury. She herself has a law...
A quick tour of the house of Deau Cognac in France.
The Merlet family has been distilling in France for 5 generations, but have only launched their own brand of cognac in recent years. They have a really interesting history that I learned on a visit to their chateau, vineyards, and distillery in 2014.
For years I'd heard about the Islay Festival of Music and Malt aka Feis Ile, and last year I finally was able to attend courtesy of Bunnahabhain. (All pictures on this post of from Bunnahabhain's distillery day.) During Feis Ile, each of the distilleries on the island hosts a party one day, with live music, food, special tastings, demonstrations, and tours. Each distillery also puts out a special edition of whisky just for the festival and usually only available for purchase by attendees. During Bunnahabhain's distillery day, I had a chocolate and whisky tasting as well as a whisky and...
They call Bunnahabhain "the welcoming taste of Islay" because unlike other Islay scotch whiskies, most Bunnahabhain is not smoky. Here are is how the whisky is made.
A visit to the Deanston single malt scotch whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands.
Peru is an exciting country for drink nerds like me, as it is the birthplace of the potato, pisco, and the cinchona tree that produces quinine for tonic water. I didn't realize until recently that it was also the birthplace of the international guano industry, perhaps the world's first exported industrial fertilizer.