Everyone has a vice Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons
Everyone has a vice
Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Neat Stuff 18: Veep thrills: Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives us one more season

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“I’m strictly a Scotch girl and I always have been, so I never really experimented with Chardonnay.” So declares Selina Meyer in Season 6 of Veep, though she leaves most of the drinking to her doom-laden chief of staff, Ben Cafferty.

Arguably the most savage U.S. comedy ever made, the profane, zinger-filled HBO series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as powerless and delusional former president and vice-president Meyer, is back for a seventh and final season that started March 31. That’s great news for fans after 11-time Emmy Award winner Louis-Dreyfus beat breast cancer.

Reid Scott (ethically vacant sometime Meyer aide Dan Egan) was choked that Veep never made it to eight, but he rallied. “Within five minutes and probably a glass of whiskey later, I was like, ‘No, you know what? This the right thing to do. We’ve created something so beautiful. Don’t cheapen it,’” Scott tells Entertainment Weekly.

French connection

Matt Walsh, who plays hapless former White House press secretary Mike McLintock, has been advancing his movie career. In Under the Eiffel Tower, Walsh portrays an out-of-work American bourbon salesman smitten with a French vineyard owner. Scott also makes an appearance, but word is this film is no Veep.

A sip of Texas tea? Credit: Balcones Distilling

These just in: New bottles that could become old friends

Like us, you may suffer from a thirst for novelty that only gets mightier with age. Forbes.com contributor Larry Olmsted has just the ticket, rattling off a list of new whiskies he’s been lucky enough to try.

First up: Waco-based Balcones Distilling’s Texas Pot Still Bourbon. “It is surprisingly complex, fruity and a touch sweet, with hints of crisp apple, nuts and sweet corn,” Olmsted says of the 92-proof number, which retails for less than $30.*

Heart of oak

He’s also bullish on Irish upstart Glendalough Distillery, whose 13-year-old single malt ($90) is aged in rare Japanese Mizunara oak: “It gives the whiskey complex layers of honey and citrus fruit.”

Another newbie that caught our eye is The Story of the Spaniard ($65), by London-headquartered Scotch producer Compass Box. This Highland single malt blend spends time in French, European and American casks, some of which once held sherry and Spanish red wine. “The result is full-bodied yet soft, sweet and very smooth, perfect for sipping neat, with nuanced layers of citrus fruit and ripe berries,” Olmsted writes. Tell us more.

*All prices in U.S. dollars

Credit: Stork Club Whisky
Jägermeister it ain't
Credit: Stork Club Whisky

Achtung, Scotland: Germany cranks up its whiskey biz

Seems we owe the Germans an apology. They may be somewhat challenged when it comes to whiskey names, but their fledging industry has been busier than Frankfurt Airport.

German whiskey distilleries now outnumber those in Scotland by about 180 to 130, the New Zealand Herald reports. Nearly all are tiny operations: in 2017, the value of combined production hovered below $20 million, while Scotch exports totalled $8.4 billion. But unlike their Scottish peers, German producers cater mostly to the domestic market, so they aren’t worried about a chaotic Brexit and U.S. tariffs.

So what’s der Plan?

Don’t expect Deutschland to play the home game forever, though. “At the moment, we’re still mostly trading nationally, but we’re not setting any limits for the future,” Michaela Habbel, president of the German Whiskey Distillers’ Association, tells DW.com. Wunderbar.

Book us a seat Credit: Tokyo Whisky Library
Book us a seat
Credit: Tokyo Whisky Library

Required sipping: Tokyo Whisky Library is a page turner

We love Japanese bars more than just about anything. Some of the best have only half a dozen seats, like this punk joint we visited last summer in Tokyo’s Golden Gai district. In the nation’s capital, Cole Lubchenko of Metropolis stops by Tokyo Whisky Library.

Since it opened in 2016, the Omotesando bar and lounge, which looks like Bruce Wayne shacked up with Sam Malone, has amassed a collection of some 1,000 imported and domestic bottles. Its whiskey menu runs to almost 100 pages, more than half of them devoted to Scotch.

Rites of spring

Oh, TWL does cocktails, too. If you’re going anytime soon, its seasonal springsound is “a delicate blend of whiskey from Miyagi Prefecture, Cherry Heering liqueur, okra, kelp tea with plum, egg white, honey, lemon and umami bitters,” Lubchenko says. “It is a subtle and sweet blend of Japanese ingredients to create a wholly singular cocktail.” One may not be enough.

More liquid than bitcoin Credit: William Grant & Sons
More liquid than bitcoin
Credit: William Grant & Sons

Tech tonic: Blockchain whisky keeps it real

From bitcoin to Cryptokitties, people have been trying to sell us on blockchain for years. Maybe Nouriel Roubini is right, but finally, someone is speaking a language we can understand. William Grant & Sons has a new line of Scotches that take advantage of the cryptographic online ledger, Edith Hancock of The Drinks Business explains.

The whisky giant’s premium brand, Ailsa Bay, teamed up with Edinburgh tech firm arc-net to gather data such as cask types and bottling dates. Consumers can use that info to trace what went into a bottle. Because the blockchain record can’t be hacked, it’s a way for distillers to certify their products in a market flooded with fake whiskies—and track buying patterns. ICO, anyone?

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