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January 2016

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My first visit to Scotland was sometime back in the mid 90s. I went with a friend to visit his hometown Dundee, and this is where and when I had my first taste of scotch whisky.

If I forget the fact that I almost had my nose smashed in by one of the regulars at the neighborhood pub, and that I almost threw up my breakfast on my friend’s mom the next morning. Then the rest of this trip was unforgettable. Before this trip to Scotland I had, like most teenage men before me, tried a couple of bottles in my dad’s liquor cabinet. Usually he had some bourbon or blended whisky in there. I remember it felt like my tongue was dissolving and my throat was ripped out when I tasted his brown liquor.

Scotch whisky - Glenmorangie

Well, back to Dundee. My friend’s father had planned a trip to the Edradour distillery, and we were coming along. Edradour is located in the idyllic highland. But before joining the trip we had to get a whisky for dummies intro course. Remembering my own father’s sharp and bitter whisky I had no intention to really enjoy the glass placed in front of me. Little did I know then, that my first sip of real whisky would touch me in such a deep and intense way that it would change my life. I can honestly say that whisky was the starting point of long journey in taste.

It was a 25 yo Glenmorangie we got in the first glass that evening. The rest is long forgotten, but that first sip of scotch whisky is stuck in my taste memory. The soft opening feeling on the tongue, almost like thick cream with aromas of vanilla, caramel and dried berries coming one after another. The end was floral and almost endless. And so light.

This savory experience was so complete that it still is my hallmark when I am searching for my next thrilling adventure in taste.

Scotch whisky - Glenmorangie barrel

Throughout the years I’ve had many whisky favorites, but I am still relatively simple and will always be comfortable with the standard Glenmorangie or Macallan. But it is usually a single malt scotch whisky. Some know-it-all’s say they can enjoy a 3 yo as much as a 21 yo. I find that to be nonsense. Of course I will enjoy a 10 yo, but I will always choose the 18 yo or older if I get to. If you ever have a chance to do a vertical tasting you can make up your own mind.

A vertical tasting is when you drink several vintages from the same distillery or vineyard. On whisky it seldom states vintage on the bottle, but the age will always be on the label. The age will be the youngest barrel blended in the single malt, ex 10 yo will be at least 10 years of age, but usually will have content from older barrels as well. Read more on the topic of scotch whisky at the end of this article.

A tour of a distillery will often end with a vertical tasting of their products. Go on at least one distillery tour when you visit Scotland. These tours will also give you a unique understanding on how scotch whisky is produced and how taste and aromas develop.

Scotch whisky - Glenmorangie

All scotch malt whisky is made with malted barley. The Malting is a process where barley is soaked in water before being spread out on a large floor, malting floor. There the barley will start to germinate, or sprout as I would say. The germination is necessary to activate an enzyme that will transform starch into sugar. The barley will now be green malt.

The sprouting barley grains now need to be dried again to stop the germination process to consume all the sugar produced by the grain. The green malt is spread out on large surfaces again, but this time it is perforated drying floors that are heated to above 70°C to stop mildew formation. It is during the drying that the green malt can be flavored with a smoke aroma by adding peat to the kiln underneath the drying floors.

After a couple of days above the kiln, the green malt will finally have become malt. The malt will then be sieved and then milled into grist, a very coarse malt flour. The grist will then be mixed into hot water to a mash. After about an hour the sugary malt water, now called wort, is sieved off and transferred into the wash tanks where yeast is added. The fermentation will spend a couple of days transforming all the sugar from the wort into alcohol. The fluid now called the wash is about 8-9 % alcohol.

 

Scotch whisky - wash still

The wash is pumped directly into distilling in a pot still. All maltwhisky is distilled twice. First in the wash still, then for a second distillation in the low wines still.

After distilling the whiskyen will hold above 70% alcohol and the alcohol needs to be lowered inbetween 64-65 % for storage. When desired percentage is reached the whisky will be transferred into oak barrels and stored for at least 3 years. In my opinion it should be at least 10 years, and most distilleries store most of their barrels for decades. I have tasted directly from a barrel more than 60 years old, and it was delicious!

Scotch whisky - men of tain

There are many factors influencing the development of flavor and aromas in whisky. Many of you may recognize the pre-distillation process as similar to that of making beer, and you will find that tastes are developed in the same manner. Water is of course a prerequisite and most distilleries are utilizing their local water source like a river running by the distillery. The quality of the barley is important as it influences the malt, but also the germination process, the drying and the amount of peat all be varying factors influencing taste. The yeast will of course bring flavor, so will the choice of barrels.

Now if you really want to delve into the details of making whisky one of the better sites will be Whisky.com . Here you will find everything from fermentation chemistry to tasting sheets.

Scotch whisky - Glenmorangie

Scandinavian whisky: 

You will find several scandinavian whisky distilleries. In Sweden they have the famous Mackmyra, Denmark have Stauning, Finland have their Teerenpeli and in Norway we have Buran and Tautra  that will start selling their sales now in 2016. We also have Myken already selling theirs.

Japanese whisky:

Needs no further introduction to the expert of scotch whisky as they are mostly mistaken for scotch whisky in blind tastings. To all the experts irritation. Have a long tradition for making solid quality whisky now. Be on the lookout for Nikka, Yamazaki, Suntory and Hakushu – the latter three owned by Suntory.

Blended whisky: 

A method where you blend whisky from several distilleries or where you use an expensive malt whisky as base and blend in cheap grain whisky to lower the price of the end product.

Single malt whisky: 

Whisky produced at one distillery. A blend of several barrels of different vintage/storage. The year stated on bottle is the youngest barrel in the blend.

Single cask whisky: 

Whisky of one single barrel from one single distillery.

Cask strength: 

Whisky where the alcohol percentage of the barrel is kept, usually 64-65 %.

scotch whisky - Glenmorangie

SIHH 2016 was novelty wise a good year. All the major manufactures gave us some challenging watches. Most in a good way, but some in a bad. Audemars Piguet came out with this years most provoking line in my opinion. Who they made these wild colors on the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph for is beyond me. Usually I can spot what market a watch is made for, but these creatures is impossible to place in any market. Audemars Piguet is taking a risk with these colors and I am anxious to hear how the sales turn out.

SIHH 2016 det beste

Well, it can only be better news from now on. Below I will highlight the watches I really liked from SIHH 2016. You may have seen some already, but I hope to show you a few pieces that you missed.

Timezone watches is a trend this year. The one from IWC turned out better than I had predicted. You may read more on it here.

I already published my A. Lange & Söhne favourites from SIHH 2016 on an other article you may find here.

Audemars Piguet:

Audemars Piguet released a lot of beauties this year opposed to the above selection. They are among the most exciting manufactures in my opinion and that is also why they sometimes fail. However they did not fail on the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, a Minute Repeater measuring 44 mm in a Royal Oak Concept titanium casing. Contrasting black open works dial and white gold hands is simplicity in design, but absolutely stunning in execution. A tourbillon and chronograph is a given feature in this price range.

SIHH 2016 det beste

SIHH 2016 det beste

Diamond Fury is a ladies watch with balls. This watch is maybe obvious and excessive, but I find it so attractive with the punk rock appearance and the 4635 brilliant cut diamonds on the bracelet. It took 206 diamonds to cover the dial alone.

SIHH 2016 det beste

The Jules Audemars line is usually overlooked because of the strong Royal Oak line from Audemars Piguet. I am sad to say that this beauty will not be different. Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph in a 18K pink gold case, at 41 mm, with a brown open works dial, is a piece of art in my opinion.

SIHH 2016 det beste

IWC:

IWC launched so many novelties this year that I had a hard time picking my favourites. A favourite amongst all the journalists at SIHH 2016 was Big Pilots Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”. One thing is for sure. IWC made this years most gorgeous rotor. I also find the Annual Calendar complication to work very well on this dial. The case is a 46 mm pink gold beauty with the IWC calibre 52850 on the inside.

SIHH 2016

SIHH 2016

I have never tried to cover up my anticipation for Timezoner. You can find my first mention here. And I was not dissapointed. This watch is mean. By pressing the bezel down you can turn it to the correct timezone and release. The watch automatically adjust time and date. IWC is the first manufacture to manage such a complication. The date change both back and forth when passing 24:00. If you want to know the time on the other side of the world before you call a friend there, you just twist and check. The watch comes in a steel casing at 45 mm.

SIHH 2016

This year IWC made a brilliant move with their flagship Pilots. Mark XVIII came back to the simple and trusted dial design and became one millimeter smaller, back to 40 mm. A great entry level watch, but now back to the classic look. Finally.

SIHH 2016

Vacheron Constantin:

First of all you should check out the video on top. That video is pure watchporn, and the new Overseas is hot. The new modular interchangeable bracelet are an attractive new feature, but it is also just the start of the changes on this model. The fact that Vacheron Constantin now are developing their own movements on this line is fantastic news. A real in-house chronograph movement from Vacheron Constantin touches a watch fanatic to the roots.

SIHH 2016

The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Platine also deserve to be highlighted. Both case and dial is made from platinum. With this remarkably elegant and discreet watch Vacheron Constantin did everything right to honour the 50s moonphase and calendar watches. A modern interpretation in a 41,5 mm case limited to only 100 pieces.

SIHH 2016

SIHH 2016: A. Lange & Söhne: SIHH 2016 is happening as we speak and novelties from all manufactures are puring into my mailbox. A. Lange & Söhne launched a couple of goodies that I want to share with you. Above you can see the new version of a cult classic, the Lange 1 “Lumen”,  now with moon phase. A new tourbillon Datograph with a black dial is also very exciting news.

Read more on SIHH here.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne named their new black beauty Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. They spent a lot of time and resources on combining several complex mechanisms in a movement with the established A. Lange & Söhne feel. I believe it is a smart move to launch this watch with the black dial. The aesthetics of the Datograph is kept and the black plays well with the 41,5 mm platinum case. Inside you will find a L952.2 movement. The watch is limited to only 100 pieces. See a video of the watch at A. Lange & Söhne.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

Saxonia Moon Phase comes in both white gold and pink gold. It is a clear cultivation of the Saxonia line. The balance in the dial design with the date at 12 o’clock and the moon phase at 6 o’clock gives this watch an elegant and classic look. The case is 40 mm. One other special thing about this watch is that it will run continuously without the need to reset for 122,6 years. It has a power reserve of 72h, but wind it and it will last two lifetimes. That is impressive for a relatively inexpensive watch.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

The classic Lange 1 now comes in a 38,5 mm white gold case. After the relaunch last year of the new and improved L121.1 movement, this edition is a welcomed addition to the pink gold, yellow gold and platinum.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

A new Richard Lange watch is nothing but spectacular. The fact that A. Lange & Söhne have wanted to do a  jumping seconds is not that unexpected, but when it turns out to be as good as the new Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, then I am all in. The platinum case measures 39,9 mm, and the dial is a beautiful Regulator style dial. A constant-force mechanism keeps perfect time throughout the entire deload of the spring. Power reserve is 42 h, and at 10 h remaining there will be a red indicator at 4 o’clock. The watch comes limited to 100 pieces.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

Finally there will be a new edition to the 2013 cult classic “Lumen”. Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase “Lumen” discloses that it is a moon phase, but the production of this luminous moon is quite special. The moon dial is cut in glass and there have been 1164 stars embossed in the glass by a special laser technique. The luminous material have been placed on the back of this glass. The main dial is made of a special black glass that only permits the UV spectrum that charge the lumen to come through. 72 h power reserve and a 41 mm platinum case.

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

SIHH 2016 A. Lange & Söhne

Mer informasjon hos A. Lange & Söhne.

Linde Werdelin is known for making rugged watches. Now comes a new one in gold and the complex 3DTP carbon. Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP is the classic moon phase gold watch reinterpreted in a typical Linde Werdelin manner. The result is both sophisticated and innovative. My guess is that we will be seeing this watch both as a sporty watch and a dress watch on all the important instagram accounts.

Linde Werdelin Octopus Moon

The black carbon and the black details is a nice contrast to the gold case. It brings a feeling of sporty luxury to the watch that no one else comes close to recreate. In my opinion Linde Werdelin have had a positive design development thru the last couple of years. They tend to get a pure and clean expression on these big watches, and these watches in gold are great. If you remember the really good looking and awesome Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Tattoo you will recognize a cleaner design on Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP. 

The carbon material of the bezel with its lifelike appearance and the case in 18 K pink gold is an expression developed naturally from earlier models.This is the first watch from Linde Werdelin with a carbon bezel, and the 3DTP were chosen for both the the aesthetic illusion of depth here, but also because carbon is resistant to bumps and scratches. 3DTP differ from regular carbon in that the material is built from layered sheets of carbon glued together.

Linde Werdelin want their watches to be used. This watch in gold and carbon is by no means an exception. The materials used were chosen for their underwater properties and resistance to corrosion during diving. the moon phase were included to give the owner an estimate for the best light when night diving.

Linde Werdelin Octopus Moon

Inside you will find a LW modified movement with an in-house moon phase complication. The watch is 44 mm in diameter.

Launched today in a series of only 59 pieces and priced to 35.000 CHF (31.000 EUR). More information at Linde Werdelin.

Linde Werdelin Octopus Moon

Linde Werdelin Octopus Moon

I have a strong affinity towards the trench coat. It is a garment that I want, but one that I have no personal relationship with. There is no other garment, that I can think of, that fit the climate of the scandinavian spring or fall better than the trench coat. They are also stylish, masculine and versatile. Still I have to admit that I find the ladies adoption of the trench coat to have ruined it. It is about time we take it back.

Burberry Trench Coat

Thomas Burberry started developing the trench coat as early as 1879 when he invented the gabardine fabric. Gabardine is a tightly woven cotton fabric. The compact structure is almost waterproof and gabardine revolutionised rainwear. Finally a comfortable and light raincoat was available.

Before this innovation, fabrics were waxed or rubberised to repel water, making them heavy, stiff and uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Gabardine was made from yarn woven in a compact twill construction with over 100 interlaced threads per centimetre. The microscopic open spaces in the weave allowed ventilation, while the compact structure prevented rain from permeating the fabric. For extra protection, the cloth was then triple proofed, creating a lightweight, highly weatherproof and breathable garment.

Burberry Trench Coat

Burberry Trench Coat

It was during the first World War that the trench coat became a concept. In reality the trench coat is a rain coat with shoulder straps for epaulettes and a belt with D-rings on for attaching tools. The coat was used by both british and french armed forces during the war. Thomas Burberry patented his design during the first war in 1912, but it is said that he sent his first design for an officer’s coat to be approved by the United Kingdom War Office in 1901. Burberry added to the shoulder straps and tool belt with innovative design for the time. The back on a Burberry trench coat is designed for allowing ease of movement. The back pleat was constructed to expand when running or on horseback. Covering the upper back a storm shield was added to ensure that water ran cleanly off the coat and kept the wearer dry.

Originally created to protect officers from wind and rain, the Burberry trench coat has evolved over 100 years to become an icon. Representing timeless British style and design innovation it has been copied over and over. No one has come close to the original. The Burberry trench coat is a true classic.

Burberry Trench CoatBurberry trench coats are made in Castleford, a town in the north of England, by expert workers who combine traditional techniques with modern technological developments.

Today gabardine is created using many of the traditional techniques that originally set it apart from other fabrics, alongside new, modern finishing processes that make it more water-repellent than ever before. From raw materials to finishing, every step in its production is carefully considered. The cotton is chosen for the fineness and length of its fibres, which give a clean surface texture and enhanced strength. This is then spun into yarn, which itself is super-strong and durable, created from two fine yarns twisted together in a process known as doubling. The colour of Burberry gabardine is strictly controlled and must be signed off by experts at the mill. After final approval, the fabric undergoes finishing and is checked twice more by eye to ensure the cloth is flawless.

It takes approximately three weeks to make each coat. Over 100 highly skilled processes must be completed, each one to ensure the quality and unique appearance for which the Burberry trench coat is known.

 

Burberry Trench Coat

Burberry Trench Coat

The most intricate of these production processes is the stitching of the collar, which is unique to Burberry trench coats. It takes up to a year to learn to stitch the collar alone, using a method that is part of Burberry design heritage. The craftsman hand-places 4.5 tiny stitches per cm (11.5/inch) along the length of the collar to create a fluid curve, ensuring it sits perfectly on the neck.

It is still the lining that I link to Burberry. Each coat is lined with the iconic Burberry check which is made up of a signature combination of camel, ivory, red and black. The checked pattern is a badge of origin since the 1920s. Each lining is carefully cut and placed to ensure the check design is symmetrical and unbroken. The undercollar lining features a bias positioning, with the lines of the check meeting at exactly 45 degrees.

Burberry Trench Coat Collar

The Burberry Heritage Trench Coat Find more info on Burberry.com

Burberry Oslo