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All You Need To Know About Whisky – Interview With An Expert

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“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”
Mark Twain
I clearly remember when I’ve tried my first whiskey, my grandfather served a beautiful dinner and after this yummy dish he asked me to try my first gentleman’s whiskey – an emotional lifetime memory. A few years later I’m still a whiskey lover and I kept collecting bottles over the years. Sad but true, most of it is already gone – but life is simply too short to wait for a good drink. My passion for whiskey was my motivation to organise an interview with the expert Christoph Nyfeler (Art Cigar & Whiskyworld)


We met in his cigar lounge to talk about the topic. Clearly a relaxed and smooth atmosphere, thanks as well Christian for the great shots!

Bourbon tasting

Can you explain us the roots of Whiskey?

Well if we go very far back, it was during the 5th century, when a French monch called Patrick brought the art of distilling from France to Ireland.
Ireland comes up with a different type of agronomy which is the reason that rather corn is growing than fruits. The monchs then brought it to Scottland. The first official documentations date back to the 15th century, the Scot immigrants brought the knowledge of distilling whiskey to America during the 17th / 18th century.

Smoking Cigar
What was the role of Jack Daniels?

Jack Daniels was responsible for the big american trend of bourbon. From a small backyard distillery, he has raised the probably biggest whiskey brand in history. He was the one enhanced the american whiskey production and famousness. If he wouldn’t have been there, we would speak about a different approach today.

Gentleman Jack Test
  

Can you explain the difference between Bourbon, Whiskey, Single Malt?


Whiskey is the umbrella term for a distillate that is produced of grain. It requires a minimum age of 3 years in oak barrel. The bourbon casks are burnt and roasted which is the reason that bourbon whiskey dominates with caramel or chocolate tastes – those tastes are extracted from the barrel’s wood. A wonderful example is the Gentleman Jack, it contains exactly those flavours. Roasting of the casks is a typical american production method. Additionally bourbon is made of minimum 51% corn. The name is originated in the old bourbon county where Kenntucky & Virgina is. 

Single Malt is the rather delicate choice, the production doesn’t require additional roasting.

Scotch Whisky is always from Scotland.
Gentlemans Jack Review
Talking about grain, what types are used for a whiskey?

4 types of grains are used: corn, rye, wheat & barley
There are whiskeys from America, Scotland, Ireland & Japan. Can you explain the differences?

The art of distillery is based on the scotch method. At the end of the day the production method is the same. Currently there is a trend for Japanese whisky.

The American bourbon though is a bit different. As the scot immigrants came to the states, the country produced rather gin and rum. Loads of grain is growing in the north of the US, might be one of the reasons for the typical local method of producing whiskey. It is also a difference what type of water the brand is using to produce their whiskey. In Scotland nature provides springs, in the US they usually have to work with filteret water. Jack Daniels though, has an own spring called “Cave Spring”.


Interview Whiskey Expert

Tell us something about the correct way to drink & degust a whiskey
Whiskey contains more alcohol than wine which can influence your tasting experience. That’s why your nose shouldn’t be too deep in the glass. 
A common mistake is to drink it too fast. Take it easy, and keep the whiskey in your moulth to gain the full experience. If you taste a bourbon you can use a bigger glass, whilst Single Malt smaller glasses are preferred
Gentleman’s question, are you allowed to drink a whiskey on ice?
Rather not. Whiskey should be consumed straight to feel the flavour.
Avo Cigars Whisky

How can I combine a whiskey?

Cigar is of course a perfect match. On the other hand, you can cook with whiskey. Fits perfect to a lamb rack marinade. 
Another option is to combine it with cheese, a proper modern way.
Traditionally whiskey can be consumed with a dessert, preferably pure chocolate (more than 70% cacao content)


Is mixing whiskey allowed? If yes, how?
Yes it is. You can add water for example. Other options are coffee (Irish Coffee, Whisketto) or you simply mix a gentleman’s cocktail like a Manhattan.

Last but not least… Why the spelling differences (whisky, whiskey)

The differences are as following:

Whisky
Scottland, Canada & Japan

Whiskey
USA & Ireland
There were more Irish immigrants in the U.S.- that’s the reason why the spelling is the Irish way.

A few words about the fashion

– Blazer by Massimo Dutti in beige

 

– Pants by Zara

Cigar Lounges Schweiz

Great wrist shot with Avo Cigars & HYT H1 AIR RC44
HYT Watches Logo
Avo Logo
HYT RC44
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Zürich Film Festival 2015

It’s time for ZFF! Zürich is full with people, there are banners and flags of the Zürich Film Festival everywhere! The board of the ZFF has perfectly organised this whole event. You’re getting pretty much every info twice, which is good for us writers.

 

Zürich Film Festival Logo

 

The vibe in Zürich during these days was incredible, the city is full with an excited crowd and everyone wants to see the stars and movies of the ZFF 2015. It’s really wonderful how close you get to meet the celebrities.
I had an amazing time during the Zürich Film Festival, and I’m absolutely sure I will come back next year.
My week-end started with a visit at the Widder Hotel, a luxury and ancient hotel located directly in the heart of Zürich City. I love the touch and energy, every room of the 49 in total has it’s own style and ambiance.

 

Hotel Widder Room

 

We had a great dinner (prepared by the chef cooks and our assistance).

Very yummy meal with 15 Gault Millau points.

Hotel Widder Review
The journey went on after a relaxing evening. I got up Saturday morning early, on my way to attend the IWC Media Breakfast – very exciting! 
IWC Zürich Filmfestival
The conversation between the anchor Kurt Aeschbacher, the CEO Georges Kern & Marc Forster was very educational and interesting. These points were mainly discussed:
  • The role of a big investor in swiss film industry
  • Switzerland’s role in film industry 
  • Government’s responsibiltiy towards film subsity
  • The upcoming award IWC handed to a Swiss talent
  • Marc Forster’s life and role as a director
I highly appreciate the fact that a big and substainal brad like IWC Schaffhausen is encouraging young people in Film industry. Meeting Marc Forster was just fantastic. He is a genius, very down to earth and a lot of humor. 
Georges Kern (CEO of IWC) proofs that his role as a leader for one of the biggest watch brands in history. 

Marc Forster Zürich Film Festival
Later in the afteroon it was the big gig of Christoph Waltz, two times oscar winner and one of my favourite actors. He is not just famous for good acting, but also for his special humour, I enjoyed it a lot.
 
IWC Medienkonferenz Christoph Waltz
The fabolous adventure went on. Saturday evening we had a beautiful dinner at the Widder Hotel, The CEO Jan Brucker and his lovely wife Regula were so nice and friendly, I really enjoyed the stay at this cosy hotel.
Hotel Widder Nachtessen

 

And this is what I’m writing about. Suddenly you hang there and Jan pops in with Kiefer Sutherland, he explained how much he loves Switzerland and Zürich. Great experience to meet him.

 

Jan Brucker Widder
Every journey has an end, so I went to the green carpet to see the Terminator (or as other people call him: Arnie, Arnold Schwarzenegger). The green carped was super packed, you had to find place for your elbow, everyone was nuts to see the former governer.
Zürich Film Festival 2015
Finally I made my final shot!
From left to the right:
Nadja Schildknecht, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heather Milligan & Karl Spoerri
ZFF Fotowand
Big thanks to IWC Schaffhausen, Widder Hotel & the whole ZFF Board to make this beautiful journey possible. I’ll be back!