FrontRunners: A Civilized Sip

<< Back to Robb Report, January 2014

In 1807, when John Blandy arrived in Madeira, the Portuguese archipelago (though remote from the centers of European civilization) had long been producing what, in the 18th century, came to be regarded as the Western world’s most civilized wine. Exportation began on the islands in the late 15th century, when European vessels heading toward the New World regularly stopped there for provisions before crossing the Atlantic. Like port, the wines were fortified to prevent spoilage, and in the Americas, the refinement of a household was often judged by the quality of the Madeira it served. Blandy, recognizing opportunity, entered the wine trade, and the firm he established in 1811 has remained among the most respected since. Blandy’s 1969 Vintage Bual ($230, www.blandys.com), only 154 bottles of which are available in the United States, offers modern palates the opportunity to savor profound vanilla and almond scents and flavors of candied lemon and Darjeeling tea.

The full-flavored whiskey takes its character from the distillery’s picturesque natural...
The Mandarin Oriental New York hosted the exclusive event at its 35th-floor MObar…
Photo by Antoine Bagot
The finest Cognacs are deeply flavored, richly textured, and best discovered on their native ground...
The $3,000 Platinum pass ensures the finest food, drink, and access…
In honor of the hotel’s 125th anniversary, the ultra-rare scotch comes with a piece of England’s...
Scott Torrence evaluates, assesses, and drinks some of the greatest vintages in the world...
The cucumber-infused spirit inspired the giant green airship, which is taking to the skies of major...
Photo by Madison McGaw
Club members celebrated the release of the Cognac at the Surrey hotel in in Manhattan…
A new generation of imbibers has flocked to the lighter taste of grain whisky…
Photo by Bob McClenahan
The bottles from the $6 million worth of barrels sold will be available in as soon as one year…