I had a little whisky and water,” Queen Victoria wrote in 1859, “as people say pure water would be too chilling.” Clearly, Her Majesty liked her Scotch.
While Scotland appreciated the queen’s nod to its whisky, it did not like to see it diluted with water. As an old Highland saying goes, “There are two things Scotsmen like naked, and one of them is whisky.”
And naked is the way pure single malt Scotch is enjoyed today. Made in a single distillery solely from malted barley, distilled slowly in small onion-shaped copper-pot stills and aged in wood casks for 10, 12, 15 or 18 years, its unique many-layered complexity differs from one distillery to the next just as fine wines differ from one vintner to the next. On the other hand, blended Scotch, introduced in the 1800s, combines 40 to 50 whiskies made from corn, wheat and barley in large, continuous stills and is less expensive, but also less individualistic, less flavorful. As the original centuries-old Scotch, single malts offer a range of flavors and fragrances, from tangy, toasty, smoky and citrusy to vanilla, peat, honey, hazelnut, tobacco, toffee, thyme and oak.
Four regions of Scotland produce single malt whisky: the Highlands, including the elite producing area of Speyside; the Lowlands; Campbeltown; and Islay. Of them all, the single malts of the Highlands are considered the classics. Glenlivet, from Speyside, has a distinctive, citrusy bouquet; Knockando’s taste combines citrus and tobacco. Cardhu is full flavored; Glenfiddich is fuller bodied. Still fuller is Macallan, with its toasty aroma, and Glenmorangie, with a bouquet of heather and butterscotch. Aberlour is rich and assertive; Glendronach is round and supple.
Single malts of the Lowlands are generally drier and lighter bodied. Among the best are Auchentoshan, McClelland and Glenkinchie. Campbeltown offers Springbank and Glen Scotia.
The wind-washed island of Islay produces the most robust, assertive and peat-intensive single malts, often with a whiff of iodine and seaweed. Laphroaig is the tangiest, with Bunnahabhain close behind. Also from Islay are Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Lagavulin.
Unlike other countries, Scotland spells its whisky without an “e” — one more way it’s unique among others.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.