Jack Bettridge

Jack Bettridge
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From Scotland With Love

Posted: Apr 6, 2010 5:27pm ET

I don’t go to many runway fashion shows, but I’m glad I made an exception for Dressed to Kilt, New York’s annual celebration of all things Scottish, complete with celebrities modeling kilts. There is nothing like a show of nationality to get the blood stirring: proud countrymen dressed in the fine textiles of Northern Britain, eating the local delicacies (thankfully no haggis) and supporting a good cause (the Wounded Warrior Project).

Romanced by the Stone of Destiny

Posted: Feb 12, 2010 3:13pm ET
I thought they’d all been vanquished, but every once in a while you find one: the single-malt-whisky snob who talks smack about blended Scotch as if the latter had no business consorting with the former. I entertained one the other night.

A Scotch Master Looks Back

Posted: Dec 21, 2009 6:54pm ET

What to call John Ramsay? His title is master blender. But given that that is a pretty common spirits-industry term defining a person who oversees blending, perhaps for Ramsay we need something more. It may seem redundant, but how about master master blender?

Seeing Is Believing (In the Big Smoke)

Posted: Nov 24, 2009 12:25pm ET

My first Big Smoke came in New York in 1997, when I started at Cigar Aficionado, and it blew me away with the great smokes, drinks and food. But mostly it was the fun and camaraderie of the guests that struck me. Here were all these stogie fans having a great time celebrating their passion for smoke and knowing they were with like-minded people. I thought: "It don't get much better than this."

The Joy of Smoking—and Shaving

Posted: Nov 9, 2009 11:06am ET
One day last week, a number of early-morning contretemps—including my daughter’s locking herself out of her bedroom—conspired to make me leave home without shaving lest I miss my train. I considered that I might just let it go for the day, thinking no one would really be scandalized by my stubble. I even asked Dave Savona if was that noticeable, which he didn’t think was, but then again he hadn’t shaved for years. By lunch, I decided a trip to the barber was in order.

Cîroc To Show Its Flavor

Posted: Nov 4, 2009 2:13pm ET
I wrote in Cigar Aficionado’s Good Life Guide not too long ago (June 2009) about the wide array of flavored vodkas that are available, but at press time I was unapprised of two new efforts from one of my favorite vodkas that are soon to be released. So I wanted to remedy that lapse in this space:

The Joy of Finishing Last

Posted: Oct 27, 2009 11:42am ET
I could still taste the tangerine the next morning.

Eighteen hours had passed since I’d first tasted Bowmore Gold and the last tasting note was just getting finished on my palate. There are arenas where it’s best to come in last, and the world of hyperpremium Scotch whisky is one of them.

Glenmorangie and More

Posted: Sep 16, 2009 2:52pm ET
I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon yesterday that paired a selection of Glenmorangie single-malt Scotches, as well as the Ardbeg Uigeadail, with a slew of food, which included a shrimp dish, chicken, pâté de foie gras, a selection of excellent tomatoes and even French fries. I always love the chance to drink spirits—whisky, brandy, rum, even gin—along with food, and happily attended especially since it was arranged by Jeffrey Pogash. Jeff, who works for the Glenmorangie importer, Moet Hennessey, has long been a champion of this sort of meal and knows just how to put it together. (A column I wrote on spirits and food matching is in the October 15, 2009, issue of Wine Spectator, if you're looking for more insight.)

Of Maverick, Cigars and the Tube

Posted: Aug 26, 2009 3:51pm ET
No, this isn't a blog about Sarah Palin and cylindrical, metal packages for storing cigars. Rather, it involves watching cigars on television. Specifically, the classic Western "Maverick."

As discussed in a previous blog, cigar smoking on television or in the movies always captures my attention. That is especially true when the cigar is an important prop in the action and it is used more creatively—and positively—than the stereotype of popping a perfecto in the character's mouth to make it clear that he is a gangster or some other villain. Cigars in the negative were done to death using Edward G. Robinson and then later in the Courageous Cat cartoon with Chauncey Frog, who was clearly based on Robinson. (I will admit, however, that one of the greatest cigars scenes of all time is in a gangster movie: Albert Finney shooting up his rivals with a submachine gun between puffs in Miller's Crossing.)

What I Did on My Summer Stay-cation

Posted: Aug 21, 2009 12:39pm ET

I didn’t end up making the aforementioned trip to Kentucky to see the cooperage operation for Brown-Forman, but I also didn’t go to Niagara Falls as my wife had schemed. Where the family actually went (after much begging from my daughter Grace, who is fascinated by all things historical) was Mystic Seaport. At the other end of Connecticut from where I live, it was an easy day trip into a time that occurred many days ago (more than a century would be closer).

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